When North Myrtle Beach boys basketball player Jaquan Grissett reached the 1,000-point mark for his career last week, the implications were about more than just one player.
In fact, it appears Grissett is the fifth member of his family to have achieved the feat for the school or its pre-integration counterparts.
“It says a whole lot. It’s our community, it’s the history of our community,” North Myrtle Beach Athletics Director Joe Quigley said. “There’s such a strong commitment to athletics by their family.
“Your children don’t do that unless they have a ton of support from their family. Their lineage, it’s just amazing to me in this day and age. … Our kids lose sense of that. But it’s what the parents and the community members share with them. It brings that relationship back. It shows that the community ties are strong here.”
It all started in 1940 with Lila Cox (Livingston). Grissett’s great-great-grandmother sparked the family scoring tree when she reached the 1,000-point mark at Popular Training School, the all-black high school that was eventually rebuilt and re-named Chestnut Consolidated High School in 1954.
Then, at Chestnut, Angie Livingston (Randall), Lila’s daughter, topped 1,000 points for her career in 1965. That year, she was named the team’s most valuable player.
Twelve years later – after Chestnut and the all-white Wampee High School merged – Nathan Livingston, one of Lila’s grandsons, reached the scoring plateau en route to another family MVP award.
Those three all played without the benefit of the 3-point line.
Another of Lila’s grandsons, Jerome Randall (Angie’s son), then followed suit in 1988. The dual-sport star in football and basketball was also named the team’s MVP after getting to 1,000 points.
Then, last week, Grissett joined the family scoring fray in a game against Socastee. The senior continued the tradition of basketball excellence when he was named the Region VII-AAA player of the year.
This season, he’s averaging 17.3 points per game and helped the Chiefs to the region championship. They will begin their postseason at home Tuesday night as a Lower State No. 1 seed against Crestwood.
It’s an extension of Lila Livingston’s legacy. The matriarch died Dec. 4, 2011 at the age of 89. Prior to her death, the family created the Lila Livingston Scholarship Foundation, a program that Jerome Randall said has donated more than $10,000 in college scholarships to North Myrtle Beach students in the last four years.
Grissett leads a lengthy list of Grand Strand basketball players who were named to their respective all-region teams following last week’s conclusion of the regular season.
In Region VII-AAA, Grissett was joined by guards Nolin Butler (Myrtle Beach), Caleb Duggan (St. James) and Patrell Rogers (Wilson), as well as Georgetown forward Charlie McGirt on the first-team honors.
The second team included five guards – Matt Lindsey and Josh Lindsey (North Myrtle Beach), Mason Lewis and Soloman Cooper (Myrtle Beach) and Nehemia Stafford (St. James).
Socastee sophomore Dylan Thompson was named the Newcomer of the Year, and North Myrtle Beach’s Frank Moorehead was named the region’s coach of the year.
The all-Region VII-AAA girls team was also heavy on North Myrtle Beach after the Chiefs also won their region with a 10-0 record. Senior Taylor Allman was named the player of the year, and Jude Hunt took home coach of the year honors.
Teammate India Farmer was also named to the All-Region VII-AAA first team, along with Tanisha Brown (Myrtle Beach), Blake Smith (Socastee) and Georgetown’s Taziya Moody.
North Myrtle Beach junior Ja’Quella Livingston, Kristin Zanardo (Socastee), Bryanna Goodsen (Wilson), Ta’Sheona Chestnut (Myrtle Beach) and Hannah Price (St. James) comprised the second team.
Conway senior Reggie Bonner was named the Region VI-AAAA player of the year after helping the Tigers to a second-place finish. Conway will be going for its first playoff victory since 1993-1994 Wednesday night at home against Aiken.
Carolina Forest junior forward Hunter Yurachek also was named to the All-Region VI-AAAA squad.
Carolina Forest’s Marisa Runyon earned Region VI-AAAA girls player of the year honors after pushing the Panthers to a second-place finish in that region. Teammate Ashleigh Turner also garnered a spot on the all-region team.
In Region VIII-AA boys, Aynor, Loris and Waccamaw each had two players on the all-region team. Aynor placed Christian Buie and Hunter Windham on the squad. Loris’ Tyree Floyd and Aaron Wheeler made the team.
Waccamaw capped it off with Noah Gulley and Adonis Williams.
That region does not specify first- or second-team.
On the girls side, Waccamaw had three players named to the all-region squad with Mary Tyler, Taylor Foster and Janae Rice. Loris had two players – LaReba Jackson and Nasrah Gill – while Aynor’s all-region honorees were Brooke Barfield and Ayana Deas.
The Carvers Bay boys team earned four spots on the all-encompassing Region VII-A squad. The Bears on the team were Da’Shaun Aiken, Walter Linnen, Shayton Durrand and Darius Williams.
Playoff game time change
Carolina Forest’s first-round Class AAAA playoff game against Aiken on Tuesday night has been changed to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate North Augusta’s travel home.
The Panthers finished in a three-way tie for second place in Region VI-AAAA, but beat out West Florence and Conway in the tiebreaker points scenario. It awarded coach Stacey Hughes’ team the second-place spot and the home playoff game.
Football rule changes
The National Federation of High State High School Associations – the governing body of prep athletics – added more specific language to further increase safety measures.
The new rules, which will primarily involve players whose helmets come off, will go into effect for the 2013 season. For a breakdown of the changes, visit the Prep Talk blog at MyrtleBeachOnline.com.
The Sun News asks that athletic directors and/or coaches please send schedules for all spring sports to firstname.lastname@example.org.