Picking Richland senior forward Destiny Nunley as the Star-Telegram Super Team Player of the Year was a smart pick.
It literally was a smart pick — she’s going to Harvard.
Destiny Nunley, Sr., Richland, 14.9 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 2.2 apg. The forward’s drive to win pushed Richland to the second round of the playoffs this season. Signed with Harvard.
Kennedy Leonard, Soph., Carroll, 12.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 6.3 apg, 3.9 spg: The point guard distingished herself as one of the best as evidenced by the fact that few teams pressed Carroll this season.
Lili Thompson, Sr., Timberview, 13.4 ppg, 3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.9 spg. The point guard signed with Stanford over several in-state schools, including Texas.
Lilley VanderZee, Sr., Granbury, 20.5 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.3 apg.: The post player signed with Texas. She was District 7-4A’s MVP.
Autumn Williams, Sr., Kennedale, 19 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.6 apg.: The guard was the District 6-3A co-MVP and took on role of team leader after former top-scorer Jemaika Hughes sustained an ACL tear.
Mallory Powell, Sr., guard, Aledo: 15.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.1 spg.
Ashley Ferguson, Sr., post, Arlington Bowie: 15.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg.
Caroline Gonzalez, Sr., forward, Heritage: 12.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.2 apg.
Kami Mickens, Sr., guard, Carroll: 10.5 ppg, 4.6 spg, 3.5 apg
Taylor Dorsey, Sr., guard, Dunbar: 25.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.6 spg.
However, sometime in the midst of all that studying Nunley found time to socialize with friends and stand out as the area’s top basketball talent.
“When I was growing up, my parents instilled in me that I don’t have to be the best as long as I try my best,” Nunley said. “So, I kind of took that to heart. I made sure that I wouldn’t just be putting in extra hours on the court, I was putting in extra hours in the classroom.”
Her studies didn’t keep anything away from her basketball game. She averaged 14.9 points and 10.9 rebounds a game this season, and grabbed the attention of the boy’s Player of the Year, classmate Leyton Hammonds.
“I think Destiny is probably the best girls basketball player I’ve seen in high school,” Hammonds said. “She’s 6-foot, but she can play any position on the floor. That girl can play.”
Nunley has the ability to take over games for her team this season, making the crucial bucket or a game-sealing rebound. Those skills already earned her the District 4-5A Most Valuable Player award.
However, two wins during that district schedule are extra sweet to Nunley and her teammates.
“We beat a lot of really good teams because of her consistency,” Richland coach Kate Goldberg said. “We beat Southlake and beat Colleyville and got second place in our district.”
The Southlake victory was especially sweet for Nunley whose best friend is Super Team player Kami Mickens, who will be playing close to Nunley next season at Boston College.
“It was a really big deal,” Nunley said. “All year we were talking about beating Southlake and beating Colleyville and those few weeks before we were putting in extra work in the gym, and we just left it all on the floor in those games.”
Nunley’s hard work on the basketball court and in the classroom won’t slow down any in college. She plans to major in pre-med with aspirations of becoming a neurosurgeon, while continuing her basketball career. But then again, a busy schedule not much of a change.
“I don’t know any other way,” Nunley said.
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