O’Neal named to East All-Star team

Published 9:23 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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Southside guard Ka’Nyah O’Neal has one more high school basketball game to play in before she heads off to Fayetteville State University.

The 5’8 guard is one of 10 seniors who will suit up for the East in the annual East-West All-Star game July 17 at the Greensboro Coliseum as part of the North Carolina Coaches Association coaches clinic.

“It’s another big accomplishment for her,” Seahawks coach Milton Ruffin said. ”She deserves to be among the top 20 seniors in the state after the career she had and it’s another example of her hard work paying off. We’re very proud and happy for her because she’s been a great representative for Southside.”

Ruffin nominated O’Neal for the game after she led the Seahawks to a 25-7 record and the fourth round of the 1A state playoffs. She averaged 29.3 points a game, which was fourth in the state in all classifications and her 12.1 rebounds per game were 22nd best.

Southeast Raleigh coach Nicole Sampson chose O’Neal for the All-Star game along with Sydney Barker of Durham Jordan, Purnell Swett teammates Kylie Chavis and Natalie Evington, Rocky Mount teammates Nyla Powell and Caroline Thiel, Keashiana Murphy of E.E. Smith, Kylah Silver (D.H. Conley), Staci Williams (Holly Springs) and Olivia Young (Cardinal Gibbons).

“it will be good for her to be around other great players,” Ruffin said. “She’s done well in her other All-Star games and it will be fun to watch her play one more time.”

O’Neal was named the Coastal Plains Conference Player of the Year for the third straight time and earned All-District honors from the state coaches association for the third straight year.  She scored 939 points this season for the seventh-most in one season in girls state history and her 2,426 points rank her 18th among the state’s all-time scorers.  Her point total this year is the sixth most by a senior in state history and she’s 28th among all-time rebounders with 1,079. She is the 13th North Carolina girls player to score more than 2,000 points and grab more than 1,000 rebounds in a career.