- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Whitney McCargo, a three-year standout on the Halifax County High School varsity girls basketball team, has committed to Salem International University in Salem, West Va. to play basketball. McCargo made the announcement yesterday at Halifax County High School with coaches, family members and school officials surrounding her.
“It’s very exciting,” McCargo said.
“Many opportunities like this don’t come through in Halifax County, especially for girls. I’m very excited about going there to play. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Salem International University is located in Salem, West Va., and is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. The school was formerly a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletics Conference but, this fall, will compete as an independent in NCAA Division II.
McCargo, a guard, plans to redshirt this season.
“This will give me time to work and prepare to compete for a starting spot,” McCargo said.
“I plan to work hard and prepare myself to play at the next level.”
McCargo had two other options on the table in Lynchburg College and Virginia State University. It was Salem International University Head Coach Kellie Snyder that was the difference-maker.
“What drew me to Salem was the coach,” McCargo explained.
“She was very informative about everything. She was very straight-forward from the beginning. Unlike with other coaches, I wasn’t nervous talking to her.
“Right now, we’re getting a whole new line-up in,” McCargo continued.
“Looking at her team from last year, she told me I would get plenty of playing time.”
McCargo had an outstanding athletic and academic career at Halifax County High School. A three-year varsity player, McCargo was a First Team All-Western Valley District pick each of the past two years. She earned team Most Valuable Player honors each of the past two seasons and was a Western Valley District All-Academic Team pick in both of the last two years.
“I admire her for her distinguished ability to work hard and be an exceptional student,” said Halifax County High School Principal Albert Randolph.
“She is well-behaved, well-mannered and has all of the attributes it takes to be successful as an athlete.
Academically, she works hard and is very dedicated to being the best student possible. I think she will be very successful in college because of her work ethic.”
Former Comets girls basketball coach Ray Reaves, who coached McCargo when she was a first-year varsity player as a sophomore, said he is very proud of McCargo and her accomplishments.
“There was no doubt in my mind that she had a chance to play at the next level,” said Reaves, who is now a teacher and an assistant boys basketball coach at Person High School in Roxboro, N.C.
“I say that not only because of her ability level, but also because of her drive and work ethic, the mentality she has when she steps onto the court and how she approaches practice and games.
“A lot of things have changed for me the last couple of years,” Reaves continued.
“But one thing hasn’t changed and that is my love for the girls basketball program here at Halifax County High School and especially for this young lady and what she has meant to me as a coach, a person and to this program.”
Matthew McCargo, the young player’s father and basketball coach at Halifax County High School the past two years, said he feels his daughter will make the adjustment to college very well.
“I was also impressed with coach Salem International coach Kellie Snyder,” the elder McCargo said.
“Whitney and Coach Snyder were talking like they were the best of friends, like they had known each other for years,” he pointed out.
“That made me feel very comfortable.”
The elder McCargo also noted that the situation surrounding the Salem International University basketball team makes a good fit for his daughter.
“Coach Snyder is young and is bringing in an entirely new team,” he pointed out.
“She said she is building the program from the ground up and that she wanted to bring in all young ladies that could grow together and learn together.
“It’s similar to the situation that we were in here at Halifax County High School,” he added.
“I think she will be very comfortable with that. I think she will make the adjustment very well.”