STAR CITY — Jucquecia Chaney made it official Wednesday morning in front of a select group of family and friends at Star City High School as the senior point guard signed a scholarship offer to continue her basketball career at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss.
“I am very proud of Juquecia,” Star City basketball coach Becky Brown said in a telephone interview Wednesday morning. “Her hard work and dedication has given her an opportunity to extend her athletic career in college. She had a great year and has achieved her goals.”
Behind Chaney’s relentless play at Star City this past season, the Lady Bulldogs claimed the top spot in the state of Arkansas, winning the Class 4A title with a 56-34 win over Farmington in the March 10 title game at The Summit Arena in Hot Springs.
Chaney was selected MVP of the finals after scoring 13 points in the final showdown.
Chaney said more schools had made contact but Delta State expressed the most interest.
“I had heard from some other schools but none of them showed as much interest (as Delta State),” Chaney said. “I am happy. This feels good.”
Chaney will play for DSU coach Sandra Rushing, a fiery coach with a history of winning much the same as her prep days with Brown at Star City.
“I should be comfortable with it,” Chaney said of making the transition. “I know what to expect. (Rushing) said she knew I would be a help to the team if I would come play for her. I hear she pushes the freshmen really hard.”
Chaney cited Brown, and AAU coach Felicia Loring, as the responsible parties for preparing her for the next level.
“Coach Brown pushed me and everybody else,” she said. “She was always telling me I could be better, and to be better when I would slack off. And Coach Loring was there in the summer. They helped me be a step faster, control the tempo of the game and control my teammates.”
Something Brown is going to miss in her MVP graduate.
“Obviously it’s going to be difficult (to replace her),” Brown said. “She was such a great floor leader. It’s hard to find that leadership quality. That just doesn’t happen overnight. That is something that takes time to develop.”
Chaney averaged 8.4 points per game as a senior while pulling down 3.5 rebounds and dishing out 4.5 asssits.