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.”