SI High School Player of the Week -

January 17, 2013

Saniya Chong

Position:

Point Guard

School:

Ossining High

Location:

Ossining, N.Y.

Height:

5-9

Class:

Senior

Season Highlights:

Chong is one of the top-ranked basketball players in the nation who averaged 33.6 points, 10 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 5 steals as a junior. This year, she is averaging 36 points, 10 assists and five rebounder per game as well as shooting 87-percent from the free throw line.

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Posted: Thu January 17, 2013 2:32PM; Updated: Fri January 25, 2013 2:56PM

Saniya Chong: The soft-spoken superstar

By Gabriel Baumgaertner

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Boxed up in the tiny Hamilton (N.Y.) High gym, the Ossining girls basketball team was down four and needed a jolt. Hamilton was last year's Section 1 Class C champion, 12-0 to start the 2012-13 season and had the home crowd rocking the gym.

But Ossining had Saniya Chong.

The UConn-bound point guard went off for 24 points in the fourth quarter -- yes, 24 points on her own -- and led Ossining to an 88-79 road victory over one of the toughest teams in the region. Coach Dan Ricci said that Chong was having a "ho-hum" game for the first three quarters, but he wasn't surprised by her performance in the final quarter. He's come to expect it from his soft-spoken superstar.

"She's not the rah-rah type kid and the kids understand that because she leads by example," Ricci said. "She's always first in drills but she won't yell at kids or celebrate after she makes a great play. She's so level-headed."

Chong was one of the most coveted point guard prospects in the nation, and she will attend the nation's best basketball school as a result. Chong is the Huskies' only commitment in the Class of 2013 and will join a loaded backcourt in Storrs-Mansfield.

"UConn looks at kids who fit what their program is about. They want kids without big egos so they can walk in and be a part of a team that has all All-Americans on it," Ricci said. "They wanted to get to know her and after she took all of her visits, she ended up at UConn."

Ossining is off to a 9-3 start to start this season and is looking to repeat as Class AA Champions. In last year's tournament final, Chong scored 31 points and contributed eight rebounds and five assists in a 79-48 win.

Ricci has the rest of the season to watch probably the best player he has ever coached, and he's always there to help her try and get better. He was still amazed, but not surprised at her performance this night before.

"It's just been incredible," Ricci said. "She's so good at making plays when she has to. She just has a different level that nobody else has."

Just don't ask her to tell you that.

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