O’Neal joins elite group

Published 4:46 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Southside’s Ka’Nyah O’Neal stands with 12 other North Carolina high school girls basketball players as the only ones to score 2,000 points and collect 1,000 rebounds in their career.

O’Neal passed the rebounding milestone during Tuesday’s 65-62 home loss to East Carteret while posting a game-high 45 points and 16 rebounds.

Nine of the other 12 played Division I college basketball, including Elissa Cunane and Amy Simpson at North Carolina St., Camille Little and Stephanie Watts at North Carolina and Tiffani Johnson at Tennessee.

Johnson helped the Lady Vols to consecutive national championships in the late 1990’s before winning a WNBA title during her 10-year career.

Little also claimed a WNBA crown during a 12-year career.

“There’s no doubt that it’s an impressive group and Ka’Nyah has worked hard to achieve her milestones,” Southside coach Milton Ruffin said. “That many rebounds shows that she’s not just a scorer. She’s willing to play both ends and do the dirty work for her team. She’s a good example of hard work paying off.”

O’Neal stands 32nd on the all-time scoring list with 2,193 points and is also 32nd with 1,006 rebounds. Her college plans are still undecided.

The Seahawks (19-5, 6-2) host Jones Thursday and Lejeune Friday to wrap up the regular season.

The Coastal Plains Conference tournament is next week, while the 1A state tournament begins February 21.