Home Local Sports Paul McNeil Jr.: The Official Richmond County Male Student-Athlete of the Week

Paul McNeil Jr.: The Official Richmond County Male Student-Athlete of the Week

Senior wing Paul McNeil Jr. has been named the Official Richmond County Male Student-Athlete of the Week. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Helping the Richmond Raiders to two wins to start the season, senior wing Paul McNeil Jr. has been named the Official Richmond County Male Student-Athlete of the Week presented by Rockingham NC Self Storage.

The Raiders earned two victories at the Hoops and Dream Showcase over the weekend, with McNeil Jr. serving as a key two-way player in both matchups.

Returning to Richmond for his final season before heading to play at N.C. State University, this is McNeil Jr.’s fourth career recognition.

Athletic Profile

Year: Senior

Height: 6’-6”

Winter Sport: Basketball

Position: Wing

Varsity Experience: 4 Seasons

CLASSROOM CREDITS WITH PAUL McNEIL JR.

With the countdown to graduation on, McNeil Jr. is taking four classes this semester at Richmond. He’s in Computer Science II, English IV, Psychology and Honors Weight Training.

McNeil Jr. said he understands the importance of doing well in the classroom, which he says comes ahead of basketball. At the end of the first marking period, McNeil Jr. had all As and Bs, putting him on the A/B honor roll.

Currently with a 3.0 GPA, McNeil Jr. said he’s really enjoyed Psychology and English IV this semester. This month he was also voted president of the African-American Studies Club.

“Psychology is a fun class because Ms. (Allison) Roberts is a cool teacher,” he shared. “We learn a lot about the brain and it involves a lot about real life and what I’m going through. English has been good, too, especially reading the play Macbeth and having a lot of friends in that class.

“Being a student-athlete means a lot to me,” McNeil Jr. added. “It means grades come first. It also means being a good student inside the classroom and respecting my teachers and classmates. The work has to come ahead of me being an athlete.”

“LET’S RIDE” WITH PAUL McNEIL JR.

The Richmond Raiders’ season kicked off on Tuesday at Myers Park High School, but the game was postponed late in the first half due to water leaking onto the court.

During the 13:01 played before the suspension, McNeil Jr. had 17 points and seven rebounds with Richmond trailing 27-21.

Although those statistics won’t count until that game is completed, McNeil Jr. provided a major spark on offense and defense for the Raiders against Fayetteville Academy and Millbrook High School.

Playing on back-to-back days at Fayetteville State University, the Raiders earned 74-68 and 70-59 wins over the Eagles and Wildcats, respectively.

Scoring exactly half of Richmond’s points against Fayetteville Academy, McNeil Jr. scored a game-high 37 points. Four points shy of tying his career high, McNeil Jr. tied his second highest single-game scoring record.

Averaging a double-double this season, McNeil grabbed 15 rebounds in the win, helping Richmond erase a pair of double-digit deficits. He also had five blocks, four steals and two assists in the win.

A night later, McNeil Jr. was one of four Raiders to reach double figures with 19 points. He finished the game with 13 boards, five assists, two blocks and two steals.

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In two games this season. McNeil Jr. leads Richmond in most major categories — 28 points per game, 14 rebounds per game, 63% from the field, 42% on three-pointers and 85% from the free throw line.

McNeil Jr. is also averaging 3.5 assists, 3.5 blocks and 3.0 steals per night.

Richmond will compete in the Good Guys vs. Cancer showcase at First Flight High School (Kill Devil Hills, N.C.) on Friday and Saturday. The Raiders will play the host Nighthawks and John Marshall High School (Richmond, Va.).

Paul McNeil Jr. (2) moves past a defender for two of his 37 points against Fayetteville Academy. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

RAPID RESPONSE VIDEO WITH PAUL McNEIL JR.

McNeil Jr. talks about his explosive start to the season, Richmond’s upcoming trip to the Outer Banks and shares a few of his favorites about the sport of basketball.

The Richmond Observer will publish two more Official Richmond County Student-Athletes of the Week next week.



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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.