PITTSBORO — Ahead of her freshman year at Howard University, recent Northwood graduate Te’Keyah Bland will represent her high school one final time Monday night at the 2023 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Girls’ Basketball Game in Greensboro.
Bland is one of 10 players on the West team, which is coached by Mountain Heritage’s Susie Shelton. One of Bland’s notable teammates in the All-Star Game will be recent Salisbury grad Kyla Bryant, who scored 14 points against Seaforth in this year’s 2A state final and was the MVP of the 2021-22 2A championship game. Bryant will play college basketball at North Carolina Central, an HBCU — like Howard — located in Durham.
Playing in her final season for the Northwood girls’ basketball team in 2022-23, Bland averaged a team-high 14.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 48.2% from the field. Across her four seasons with the team, the 6-foot-1 forward scored 1,183 career points and helped the Chargers win the 2021-22 3A state championship game.
Bland is the second Northwood player to compete in the East-West All-Star Game in as many years. Last summer, former Charger Olivia Porter — who recently transferred from Michigan State to Charlotte — played in the game and scored 10 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter to lift the West team to a win.
Bland was one of three seniors on Northwood’s roster in 2022-23. The Chargers amassed a record of 23-5, winning the Central 3A Conference before losing in the second round of the 3A playoffs to Western Alamance.
Adams earns invite to NCAA-run camp
Northwood rising senior Skylar Adams recently announced on Twitter that she accepted an invite to the NCAA’s College Basketball Academy, which will be held from July 28-31 in Memphis, Tennessee.
According to its website, the College Basketball Academy is the only event NCAA Division I coaches are allowed to attend for evaluation purposes during this period. At the camp, Adams will get the chance to experience a little of the “college basketball experience” while working on their on-court and general life skills.
Adams was one of several players to earn an invite to the College Basketball Academy via the Individual Pathway program. This path to an invitation involves head coaches from every Division I basketball program in the country voting for players in a central nomination portal, while the College Basketball Academies’ Advisory Board also helps make selections.
As part of the College Basketball Academy, Bland will also get the chance to complete an “athletics assessment” to help her identify her strengths as a player and the areas she needs to focus on improving. She and her parents will also attend courses on NCAA eligibility and compliance, NIL opportunities and the Transfer Portal, among others.
This past season, Adams averaged 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game despite playing with a broken finger for part of the season. She’ll be the Chargers’ leading returning scorer when Northwood takes the court for the 2023-23 season.
Outside of Adams, Northwood’s top returning players in 2023-24 in terms of points per game will be rising sophomore Alyia Roberts (6.5), rising junior Natalia Whitaker (6.2) and rising sophomore Neah Henry (5.2).