Paschal presses toward success

Published 6:54 pm Monday, August 25, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Katie Paschal’s full court press towards success started in April and didn’t end until August, and though the journey was long, it was well worth it.
When we last saw Paschal on the hardwood, she was trying to lead her team past Pender in the NCHSAA 1-A East Region Tournament of the state playoffs.
The Tigers’ ultra-talented point guard, had fouled out with under a minute remaining in the game, en route to a hart-wrenching 69-63 exit out of the playoffs.
However, as one door closed, another one opened, as Paschal crossed over from prep hoops into the world of Boo Williams and the AAU circuit; and this time, the season ended on happy note.
Playing for the Boo Williams Summer League Team, which is based in Hampton, VA, Paschal matched skills with some of the nation’s most heavily recruited basketball players and came out on top.
The team went on tour from April through August, playing week-long tournaments across the United States that featured as many as 200 teams from all over the country.
The five month hoops-a-thon ended in Georgia, where the Nike Nationals where held, and this time there would be no heartache.
While Paschal’s team failed to take first place, it finished runner up, and there is no failure in placing second in the country.
The team is comprised of mostly rising seniors, and Paschal is one of just a handful juniors on the squad, which speaks volumes about her ability.
Paschal said she was honored to be a part of the team.
Paschal’s Boo Williams teammates are all Div. I bound, and she said playing against that kind of competition every week helped strengthen her game.
Throughout the summer she has flew to Virginia on a weekly basis for practice, and has played tournaments from Florida all the way to Wisconsin.
While the busy schedule might seem like a grind, Paschal said she was cool with it.
One of the things Paschal liked was the college-like structure presented by Williams.
Team practices weren’t the only time the players were exposed to a collegiate atmosphere, during the games some of the greatest coaches in basketball history gathered around to watch Boo Williams and its opponents go head-to-head.
Playing for Boo Williams was an adjustment for Paschal in more ways than one. Since the time she picked up a Spalding, Paschal has been the star on every court she has ever been on, but this summer she was used as a reserve.
Paschal estimated that she averaged around 7-8 points per game, and said her season best was 21.
Paschal played a lot of new roles this summer, and while she may not have been thrilled with being a backup, she fully embraced her transition from point guard to shooting guard.
While Paschal is a gifted passer blessed with tremendous court vision, her coaches saw that she could shoot, and found her best suited to play the two-guard position.
Paschal said if she had her choice when she gets to college, she would prefer playing at the shooting guard spot.
Speaking of choices and college, Paschal said she has not made a decision yet on what school she wants to attend, but has received several offers.
Paschal said she would love to play close to home, but did not rule out the possibility of playing out of state, and if given a choice between ECU and UNC (if offered a scholarship) would be a dream dilemma that any basketball player would love to have.