Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chesson's greatniece signs with ECU

Even though former Rocky Mount head baseball coach Shelton Chesson made his mark on the diamond, he knows basketball, too. In fact, he was the Gryphons' head boys basketball coach my senior year (1975-76) and coached former All-America Buck Williams as a sophomore.

Now another Chesson offspring has made some noise in the state - also in basketball.

His great niece (his brother's grandaughter) Katie Paschal, the state's top girls scorer last year as a junior at Williamston High School, signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at East Carolina last week.

“We are very excited about the addition of Katie,” head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener stated. “Our coaching staff was very selective in finding the right pieces to the puzzle for next year’s team and did a great job. We are excited to this young lady to join the Pirate family.”

Paschal, a 5-8 guard, led all North Carolina prep players in scoring last season as a junior, netting 33 points per contest while averaging four assists, six rebounds and five steals. She is ranked as the 42nd-best shooting guard in the nation by the All-Star Girls Report and 78th by Additionally, Atlantic South has tabbed her as one of the top five players in North Carolina.

Paschal has garnered numerous honors during her high school career, including 2009 North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association (NCBCA) First-Team All-State and Associated Press Second-Team All-State accolades as well as 2008 First-Team 1A All-State and 2007 Third-Team All-State laurels from NC Preps. She was also named Southeast Region Player-of-the-Week for the period ending Feb. 23.

Paschal has helped Williamston to three berths in the North Carolina 1A playoffs, including a sectional championship and regional appearance in 2008.

“Katie is a gym rat that understands the game of basketball," said Baldwin-Tener. "She is not just a great scorer but a great passer as well. She makes the people around her better. We are excited that Katie decided to stay close to home for the next four years.”

Chesson, who has been packing his car with many of his RM area friends and making pilgrimages to Martin County to see Katie play since she was in the eighth grade, will now get to see her play at Williams Arena the next four years.

Paschal also thought about coming to Rocky Mount. Her dad, Roanoke's head football coach Brian Paschal, had thought about joining then-head coach B.W. Holt's football staff before her junior year and Katie thought she might come with him and play for Pam Gainey's squad.

But alas, her dad opted to stay at Roanoke, so Katie stayed at Williamston.

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