Croker achieves new milestone

Published 8:13 pm Saturday, February 15, 2014

At a school with celebrated basketball alumni like professionals Sugar Rodgers and JaQuon Parker and college star Davante Gardner, King’s Fork High School senior Khadedra Croker has carved out a distinction all her own.

Croker

Croker

In a Feb. 6 game against Nansemond River High School, Croker grabbed a rebound that made her the first King’s Fork basketball player from either the boys’ or girls’ programs to accumulate 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her high school career.

“Wow!” she said upon learning of the accomplishment. “I’m excited.”

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She reached the 1,000-point mark last year in the Southeastern District tournament championship game against Western Branch High School.

She explained how she logged 1,000 in the second category.

“I wasn’t thinking about it,” she said. “I was just thinking I’ve got to get this rebound, this rebound, every rebound counts, so I was just thinking I’m going to get every rebound I can.”

King’s Fork boys’ basketball coach Josh Worrell confirmed that former Bulldog and current Marquette University star Davante Gardner was previously the closest to reaching the 1,000-1,000 mark, but he was about 20 rebounds short.

Lady Bulldogs head coach Maurice Fofana explained what it meant to see Croker reach this milestone.

“It feels good, as a coach, to see a kid progress throughout the years,” he said. “I won’t say that I was surprised once she reached the milestone of a thousand rebounds. She’s a rebound machine, so points, rebounds, I wasn’t surprised.”

A testament to just how dominant Croker has been, Fofana said he was actually looking at her blocks tally to see if she could generate 1,000 in three statistical categories. She currently has more than 800 blocks, and he said she will not make it, but then took it back.

“I guess it depends on if we go all the way to the state championship and she averages 10 blocks a game,” he said. “She may be able to get to it. I won’t say it’s out of her reach.”

Croker, who has already committed to play at Virginia Tech next year, currently averages about 18 points, 15 rebounds and seven to eight blocks per game.

While Croker is athletic and 6 feet, 3 inches tall, Fofana attributed her success to her work ethic.

“Even with the success that she’s had, she still continues to work hard, and that’s how you know you have a special kid,” he said, noting some players get to a certain level and coast on raw talent. “But when you continue to work, it actually separates you from everybody else, and you can see it some nights on the floor. She’s just a force to be reckoned with. I haven’t seen anybody yet that can check her girl-on-girl.”

Croker agreed hard work is what got her to this level of achievement.

“Every day I bust my butt in practice just to get better and better, work out outside of practice,” she said. “I just try to stay active almost all year around so I will never get out of shape or anything.”

She spoke in humble terms about her company with former King’s Fork greats.

“I look up to them because they came from here, and I’m very honored to wear the Bulldog on my (jersey),” she said, knowing that the likes of Rodgers, Parker and all the other stars came to the same school. “I just want to be up there like them. They’re doing really good, I want to do good, too.”

Four King’s Fork boys’ players have reached 1,000 points, and on the girls’ side, Rodgers scored 2,256 and Ransheda Jennings had 1,283.