ROCKINGHAM — Capping off his biggest week of the season, junior basketball player Paul McNeil Jr. has been named the Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week presented by HWY 55.
The Raiders continued Sandhills Athletic Conference play after a nearly three-week break and McNeil proved to be the leading scorer in all three contests.
Helping the Raiders to a 3-0 record last week and stay undefeated in the SAC standings, this is McNeil Jr.’s third career recognition.
Winter Sport: Basketball
Position: Shooting Guard
Years on Varsity: 3 Years
“LIVING IN THE MOMENT” WITH PAUL McNEIL JR.
Scoring at least 20 points in all three victories, McNeil averaged 28.0 points per game for Richmond against Hoke County, Pinecrest and Union Pines high schools. He also registered a double-double through the three games with 11.0 rebounds a night.
Starting the week in an 83-51 win over the Bucks, McNeil scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds. He netted 15 points in the first half and shot 8-of-15 from the field.
He followed that with a double-double of 23 points and 15 rebounds on the road at Pinecrest on Wednesday, scoring a game-high to lift the Raiders to a pivotal conference victory.
In that win, he started with just three points in the first quarter before adding seven points in the second and nine points in the third. Connecting on 9-of-19 from the field, his final two points in the fourth were part of a 22-8 run for the Raiders to ice the win.
McNeil Jr.’s biggest performance came in Friday’s 70-19 rout of Union Pines, a game that saw him tie his career-high 41 points. Shooting an impressive 16-of-22 from floor, including seven three-pointers, he added 10 rebounds and five assists.
Scoring 23 points before the break, McNeil Jr. started the running clock early in the third quarter with the first three of his 16 third-quarter points.
He added a breakaway dunk to open the fourth quarter for his final two points, ending the week 33-of-56 shooting (59%). McNeil Jr. was also recognized ahead of Friday’s game for scoring his 1,000th career point.
Through 10 games this season, McNeil Jr. is averaging 23.4 points per game, which leads the 4A East. He’s also averaging 8.6 rebounds per game.
Richmond (11-2, 4-0 SAC) will return to play on Tuesday at Lee County High School (6-6, 0-3 SAC). Looking to extend their winning streak to five games, tip will be held at 7:30 p.m.
RAPID RESPONSE VIDEO WITH PAUL McNEIL
In his video interview, McNeil discusses his productive week, updates fans on his college recruitment and explains the special meaning behind wearing the No. 2 on his jersey.
The Richmond Observer will publish two more Official Richmond County Athletes of the Week next week.