BREAKING: Following Ossining’s thrilling, and (rare) come-from-behind 88-79 win over Hamilton Wednesday afternoon, the Pride were rewarded in more than just the win column.
Standout senior guard Saniya Chong and head coach Dan Ricci were named the High School Player and Coach of the Week by Sports Illustrated Thursday afternoon.
For Chong (pictured right), it is the second time in as many years that the sports juggernaut has recognized the sharp-shooter’s talents. Last year, Chong was featured as one of the “Faces in the Crowd” in the March 12 issue after scoring her 2,000th career point.
Chong was the difference maker in Ossining’s win Wednesday, scoring 24 of her 43 points in the fourth quarter. During her stellar quarter, Chong also passed Peekskill alum Sheila Wagner to become the leading female scorer in Rockland/Westchester/Putnam.
While his UConn-bound guard has received plenty of well-deserved national recognition, this is all relatively new to the three-sport Pride coach. Ricci (pictured left), with the help of Chong, has built a powerhouse of a program in Ossining that is now ranked tops in New York for Class AA by the New York Sportswriters Association.
Even without their D-1 recruit, the rest of the Pride starters, as well as their bench have all stepped into the limelight due to Ossining’s success in recent years.
After falling short in the state semifinals last year to Syracuse-Cicero North (backed by Chong’s future teammate, Breanna Stewart), Ricci and the Pride looked poised to bring a state title home to Ossining.
Among Chong’s several accolades over the past few days, she was also named one of the four nominees to play in the 2013 McDonald’s All-American game on April 3 at Chicago’s United Center. A testament to Section 1 basketball, Rye Country Day senior Carolyn Binder was also selected as one of the nominees.
Binder, a Con Edision Scholar-Athlete of the Week recipient earlier this year, is the school’s all-time leading scorer and will be attending Columbia University to play D-1 ball in the fall.
The selection show to determine the final 24-boy and 24-girl rosters will be aired on ESPNU on February 14 at 5 p.m. Hopefully the announcement doesn’t bring heartbreak to our girls.