Senior guard Ashia McCalla may be the Greenbelt, Md.-based Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s girls basketball team’s next star, according to head coach Delton Fuller.
Eleanor Roosevelt senior guard Ashia McCalla takes a shot during a scrimmage against Largo High School. (Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr.)
McCalla is stepping up to replace Octavia Wilson, who has been regarded as one of the best players in the state. The former forward was said to be the driving force behind the Lady Raiders high school basketball team during the 2016-2017 season. Wilson graduated and is now a starting guard with UNC-Charlotte’s basketball program.
Despite finishing the regular season undefeated in their region and boasting a 22-4 record, the Lady Raiders fell to Bethesda, Md.-based Walt Whitman High School 49-43 falling shy of one win to get to the 4A State Championship match.
Fuller said, McCalla, a five-foot-five, 135-pound playmaker, who averaged 15 points per game alongside Wilson, will be more of a volume shooter moving forward with more scoring opportunities, but strong defensive play will still be paramount.
“We are going to be all about defense this year,” Fuller told the AFRO. Octavia shot about 40 percent of the time last year between her and Ashia because they were our two shooters. We have some plays set up to get the ball down low to our bigs now, but defense wins games.”
Fuller said he recalls McCalla being the leading scorer, with 19 points, during a winter tournament that she played last season and if she can stay healthy this year, the sky is the limit for the Morgan State University commit.
“The only thing that has hurt her is that the past couple of years she has dealt with some injuries, Fuller said.”She has really been growing and maturing as a player.”
McCalla scored in double-figures 20 times last season and had her best performance against District Heights, Md.-based Suitland High School on Feb. 9. She scored a season-high of 25 points and hit three shots from beyond the arc while accounting for three rebounds, an assist, and a block.
Fuller said he will be expecting more of that this season.
“Going into this season, we lost a couple of our key components, so we are trying to build to what we used to be last year with the same intensity and same drive, McCalla told the AFRO. “As a senior, I feel like I have to be a leader and step up, so I know what we need to do and what path that we need to follow to get to where we need to be.”
Fuller now has two championships under his belt when he led Eleanor Roosevelt to two consecutive title games in 2014 and 2015. He still feels that with this collection of players and his star senior at the forefront the Lady Raiders will get the job done this season.