Suffolk players named to district teamsPublished 10:06pm Friday, March 1, 2013
The King’s Fork Lady Bulldogs made up most of the Suffolk representatives out of the 2012-13 All-Southeastern District selections, but Nansemond River had one as well.
Lady Bulldogs junior power forward/center Khadedra Croker was named to the first team for the second year in a row after winning district Player of the Year last season. Her teammate senior wing Chantel Roberts made the second team for the second year in a row and senior shooting guard Shaikeyla Jordan received honorable mention.
Nansemond River senior point guard Ashante Humphries was also named to the second team and senior forward Sonnae Gibson received honorable mention.
Selections are made by the coaches in the district. Coaches are allowed to nominate their own players, but cannot vote for them.
King’s Fork head coach Maurice Fofana saw no mystery in why Croker was a first team member again.
“I think it’s simple math,” he said.
Fofana reported that Croker averaged 18 points a game along with 12 rebounds and six blocks and had 11 triple-doubles this year. She also surpassed 1,000 points this season as a player at King’s Fork.
“Her numbers speak for themselves, the blocked shots, the rebounds, the points,” Fofana said.
He said that they spoke loudly enough that they should have merited her a second straight district Player of the Year award, but that title went to Western Branch senior Da’Lishia Griffin. It has been a back and forth battle between the two players as Croker narrowly edged out Griffin for the award last year.
“It’s an honor to make first team because not everybody can make it,” Croker said.
Making it last year established the goal in her mind to return to the first team this year because she said she “wanted to try to keep strong consistency.”
She related some of what she thought she did this season to help her team, potentially drawing votes from opposing coaches.
“When (my teammates) get beat (on defense), I’ll always be there to try to block the shot, slow them down,” she said. “I always help them in the back, so just in case they lose their man, I’m always there, I just have their back.”
Fofana estimated that Roberts averaged 11.5 points per game, 6.7 rebounds a game, three assists and three steals.
“She was just the difference when people doubled-down on Khadedra,” Fofana said. “Chantel really could do it all. She could go underneath and play a big girl underneath the basket and she could also play a guard. For us, she played one through five for us. She was the point guard sometimes, she was the big sometimes.”
Roberts has struggled with injuries in the past but was strong this year and pleased to make the second team.
“It means a lot,” she said. “It means that I was chosen as one of the top players in our district after the first team, so yeah, a really big honor.”
After suffering a serious injury at the end of last season, it was a long, hard road to get back to where she was. She wore braces on both knees this season, but said that things were back to normal.
“Yes, no problems at all,” she said. “I did a lot of rehab over the summer. While they played basketball during the summer, like (the Amateur Athletic Union) season, I just went to therapy and I worked out, worked out, worked out so that way when I came back, I would be to my full force, as I was in the past.”
Nansemond River head coach R. Calvin Mason put Ashante Humphries’ accomplishment in perspective given the talent in the district.
“It’s a really tough district, some great players, so it was an honor for her to even get on the second team,” he said. “She’s worked hard over the past four years to get there. This was the first time she had the opportunity to actually make the second team or any team.”
Despite having a high school career that culminated in her passing 1,000 points this season, Humphries had never even received an honorable mention, but achieved one of her senior goals of being all-district.
This year, she averaged 15.7 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.3 steals.