Monday, November 30, 2015

Choctaw's Fingall earns tourney MVP, Athlete of the Week honor

Choctaw senior Nadia Fingall, left, talks during her signing ceremony two weeks ago when she officially committed to the Stanford women's basketball team.

DEVIN GOLDEN,, November 30, 2015

Recognition is nothing new for Nadia Fingall.

In fact, winning any tournament or weekly award is probably just an appetizer -- or dessert -- to two consecutive All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year awards or Division I scholarship offers or district championships.

Yet, being the MVP of Choctaw's Thanksgiving tournament brings a two-fer for her collection. Fingall, the Indians' senior who committed to Stanford two weeks ago, is the Athlete of the Week.
Choctaw defeated Niceville in Wednesday's tournament championships, and Fingall's double-double efforts propelled the Indians to another victory in their own holiday event.
What does your Twitter handle, "35-degrees Nad," stand for?
"It was just for the Fort Walton Beach rivalry week. There is a thing where if you roast someone, you turn your hand a certain way at a 35-degree angle. So it was a thing with my friends and I. It was sort of a dumb thing but it was also cool. I'll be changing it soon."
You worked out on a Sunday, when most athletes are resting. How long are your workouts and do you prefer working out alone or with teammates or a trainer?
"On the weekends, we try going as long as possible. Maybe two or three hours, as long as my dad wants. Two or three hours is the range on weekends. I invite my team. We just started inviting some of the boys down. Jessie came down a couple times and some Navarre people came down, too."
Since you committed to Stanford, are you now a huge Stanford football fan? What was your reaction to last night's thrilling win against Notre Dame?
"That game was pretty amazing. I didn't know they'd be able to pull it off. I didn't think they'd call a touchdown, but that's beside the point. I didn't think they'd win but I was running around the house."
Should Stanford make the college football playoff if it wins the Pac 12 Championship game?
"They have two losses this season. One was to an unranked team and one was to Oregon. I think the top four they have at this point will probably stay the way it is."
What other schools were you considering along with Stanford?
My top five ended up being Stanford, Oklahoma, Penn State, Florida State and Florida. That's in no particular order."
Say you're playing a game of "HORSE" and both you and your opponent are one letter from losing. What is your go-to shot to win?
"A bank shot from the right elbow. ... (The bank shot) is an art."
What is your favorite thing to do when not playing basketball or training?
"Probably reading. I'm a nerd."
You are 6 feet, 3 inches. You'd probably be a pretty good wide receiver in flag football. Have you ever considered, like other area basketball players, playing the new sport for Okaloosa County schools?
"I wanted to last year but it ran into club basketball season and now it will run into my preparations for college so it never worked out."
You're a talented basketball player, and it'd be tough for anyone to find a weakness with your game. However, that probably wasn't the case your entire basketball-playing days. What did you have to work on the most?
"Ball handling and just overall confidence just handling the ball. I was trained primarily to be a post player so working on ball handling and my outside game was the next step in my development. It is something I had to work on really hard."
What came naturally? What was the easiest basketball skill for you?
"I wasn't really athletic when I was a kid. I was more of a nerd so nothing about it really came easy."
What accomplishment do you take the most pride in?
"Getting the (Daily News) All-Area Player of the Year two straight years was pretty cool."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nadia's Recap w/e 11/21, November 22, 2015

McGill-Toolen 35, Choctaw 34
The Indians (2-1) lost their first game of the season when McGill-Toolen was awarded free throws on a foul called with 0.2 seconds left. The game was tied 34-34 when the foul was called. Nadia Fingall led Choctaw with 22 points. 

Choctaw 58, Rutherford 19
Fingall had 17 points for the Indians.

Stanford lands Horizon standout

Steve Brand,, October 27, 2015

Horizon Christian’s Dijonai Carrington had her choice of major college basketball programs, and she selected West Coast power Stanford University.

Carrington averaged 27.4 points and a whopping 21.1 rebounds a game in leading Horizon (23-9) to the section Division I championship last year with a 66-59 victory over Mount Miguel. She also averaged 3.6 assists and 3.3 steals.
The 6-foot senior with great body control and jumping ability suffered a torn ACL playing club ball over the summer and could miss the entire 2015-16 season. It’s not the same ACL that she injured two years ago, from which she returned to play at an even higher level.
“The question is do I risk playing my senior year (of high school) versus being ready for my freshman year of college,” said Carrington, a 4.0 student who also considered Notre Dame, Cal and Texas A&M.
“I want to focus on getting my whole body ready. Stanford gives me opportunities academically, athletically and socially and I’ve worked extremely hard in high school to get to this position. I think I’ll bring something unique that Stanford’s never had before.
“Picking Stanford was the hardest decision of my life. I finally had to go into my room, close the door, turn out the lights and make a decision because all of the schools were good.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Choctaw's Fingall signs with prestigious Stanford program, November 17, 2015

This wasn’t the first time Andrew Fingall shared his journal entries with his daughter.

Yet this was the first time he’d shared an entry – hopes, dreams, fears and all – with a packed gym.
Tuesday’s monumental occasion, after all, demanded it.
Nadia, a 6-foot-3-Choctaw forward and the eldest of his five kids, was signing with Stanford.
 click for more..

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fab Four, November 11, 2015

Stanford’s Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Tara VanDerveer announced the signings of four prep standouts to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday in Mikaela Brewer (Barrie, Ontario/Innisdale Secondary School),DiJonai Carrington (San Diego, Calif./Horizon Christian Academy), Nadia Fingall (Navarre, Fla./Choctawhatchee) and Anna Wilson (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue). The quartet will join the Cardinal ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
Stanford’s four-member recruiting haul, ranked among the best in the nation, are impressive additions to a program which has been to 28 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for eight straight years and won at least 20 games for 14 straight seasons. The No. 16 Cardinal opens its regular season on Friday night at UC Davis (7:30 p.m.).
Collectively, the Cardinal’s class is rated No. 8 by espnW HoopGurlz and No. 6 by Prospects Nation.
“I rank this class No. 1,” VanDerveer said. “We are absolutely thrilled to have these four coming in. They are fantastic young people and obviously great players and great students.” 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Marta Sniezek named Gatorade state player of the year in basketball

National Cathedral senior Marta Sniezek (left) was named D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight season.

Brandon Parker,, March 23, 2015

Just one month after being named D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year in girls' soccer, Marta Sniezek earned the same honor in girls’ basketball earlier this month, bringing her grand hardware total to three.
The National Cathedral senior was also selected as the District’s top girls’ basketball player last year. The rare accomplishment makes Sniezek the only female to win the award in two different sport this year and serves as validation for her decision to play both soccer and basketball as a senior despite being committed to suit up for Stanford’s women’s hoops team next winter.
“I feel a sense of honor and affirmation,” Sniezek said via e-mail. “Being durable on a sustained basis is important in any sport.  I attribute my durability to staying fit throughout the year, ongoing sport-specific practice, and knowing the difference between an injury that requires rest from one that I can play through.”
This past season, Sniezek averaged 24.5 points and 6.0 rebounds to lead National Cathedral to a 20-6 mark and the DCSAA semifinals.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shannon Named to 2014-15 All-Ohio Girls Basketball Team, March 17, 2015
The 2014-15 Associated Press All-Ohio girls basketball teams, based on the recommendations of a media panel: 
DIVISION I: FIRST TEAM: Shannon Coffee, Centerville, 6-5, sr., 20.5pts/game

Monday, March 16, 2015

Shot-swatting Smith continues family's sporting tradition, March 11, 2015

Australia forward Alana Smith is continuing the family tradition of seeking out a career in sport.

Not only is the teenager following in the footsteps of her father Darren who played basketball professionally in the NBL for more than a decade, but also her uncle who played American football in the NCAA.
Once she has appeared for Australia's Gems at the FIBA U19 Women's World Championship in Chekhov, Russia later this year (18-26 July), Smith will then be heading to the United States and specifically to Stanford in order embark on her own college experience.
"Going to college had always been a goal of mine from a young age as my uncle, Jason Smith, went to Cal Lutheran.
"I am so excited to be a part of the Stanford Basketball programme and can't wait to develop and play under their coaching staff.

"I am looking forward to experiencing life in California and bringing a little bit of Aussie swag to the Stanford campus.
"I expect it to be tough, but also enjoyable and I hope to use my strengths to make an impact on court."
Having excelled and top-scored at the FIBA Oceania U18 Championship for Women last year, Smith has clearly had significant baller skills passed down expertly via her father - although she insisted that it has been a very natural and by no means pressured process.
I loved watching my dad play, but he didn't try and force me into the game. -Smith
"He let me make my own decision. I wanted to play like him and I saw him as a great role model," revealed the 18-year-old.
"He has been my own personal coach for the whole of my basketball career and I'm so grateful that he can pass on his expertise to me."
As well as taking inspiration from her father and uncle, Smith is also looking up to Opals forward Rebecca Allen.
"I have been lucky enough to train and play with some great players and I would have to say Rebecca would be one player that I admire most," she smiled.
"I love how 'Bec' [Rebecca Allen] plays, using her height and quickness to her advantage.
"We both played at the same junior club (Nunawading Spectres) and we got to play together last year.
"She is a fantastic player who has been recently elevated into the Australian Opals team that I look up to and hope to play in one day."
Certainly the progress of Smith to date means she could well be in with a chance of realising her senior team dream. She first caught the headlines at the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women three years ago, when she came up with a spectacular nine blocks in a game against Japan.
She recalled: "Amsterdam was a fantastic experience, in terms of getting to play against the best players in the world.
Each game [at Amsterdam 2012] was difficult and different from the last, because each team had a different style of play. - Smith
"It was also a great opportunity to experience a different country and culture to my own and being able to experience it with the group of girls from the team was so much fun.
"Overall the tournament was challenging and enjoyable. Each player had a different role in the team to play and we all made a difference in each game.
"I guess in the game against Japan, my role was to protect the basket and I tried to do that to the best of my ability.
"I also have really long arms!" added Smith.
"It will hopefully assist in the team performing well during the Championship and our goal is to get another medal.
"If I am privileged enough to be selected for the team going to Russia, I am most looking forward to playing against world class athletes and trying to push the Australian team deep into the tournament."

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gatorade District Of Columbia Girls Basketball POY: Marta Sniezek, March 12, 2015

THE WINNER: Marta Sniezek
School: National Cathedral School (Washington, D.C.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Point guard
Height: 5-foot-7
Athletic achievement: She averaged 24.5 points and six rebounds per game this past season, leading the Eagles (20-6) to the D.C. State Athletic Association semifinals. The district’s returning Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year and reigning Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year, she is a 2015 Washington Post First Team All-Met selection.
Academic excellence: Sniezek has maintained a 3.02 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Haiti Relief Fund and with So Others May Eat, delivering food and medical supplies to families in need.
“Marta Sniezek is a true competitor down to her core,” said National Cathedral head coach Brittany Mitch. “Her knowledge of the game and her skill level are on another level. She is a true leader.”
THE FUTURE: Sniezek has signed with Stanford.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Marta Named Gatorade D.C. Soccer POY

Marta Sniezek named D.C. Gatorade girls’ soccer player of the year

Brandon Parker,, February 6, 2015

 Marta Sniezek has been named the District of Columbia’s Gatorade girls’ soccer player of the year.
The National Cathedral senior became the seventh girls’ soccer player from the school to earn the honor after scoring 26 goals and tallying five assists this past fall. Sniezek pushed her career goal total to 54 by scoring twice in National Cathedral’s 3-2 win in the DCIAA championship. She and her teammates finished No. 9 in The Post rankings.
Friday’s announcement marks the second time that Sniezek has won Gatorade player of the year. Last winter, she earned the distinction on the basketball court  after leading the area in scoring for the second straight year.
Sniezek has been named first-team All-Met in both soccer and basketball, and is signed to play the latter at Stanford. The talented guard is currently averaging 26.8 points per game for National Cathedral on the hardwood.


D.C. Girls Soccer Gatorade Player Of the Year: Marta Sniezek, February 5, 2015

THE WINNER: Marta Sniezek
School: National Cathedral School (Washington, D.C.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-7
Athletic achievement: She led the Eagles to a 13-4-4 record and the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament championship this past season. The 2013-14 Gatorade Washington D.C. Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Sniezek scored 26 goals and passed for five assists including a pair of goals in NCS’ 3-2 win over St. John’s in the DCIAA title game. A 2014 Washington Post First Team All-Met selection and a three-time First Team All-Independent School League honoree, she concluded her prep soccer career with 54 goals.
Academic excellence: Sniezek has maintained a 3.05 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Haiti Relief Fund and with So Others May Eat, delivering food and medical supplies to families in need.
“Marta Sniezek is an incredibly impressive athlete,” said Chloe Beizer, head coach of the Maret School. “She’s completely dominant in the air, very strong on the ball and ultra-competitive. She was their go-to player and their playmaker. She’s a game-changer.”
THE FUTURE: Sniezek has signed to play basketball at Stanford.