NC Super Teams: the best boys ‘and girls’ basketball players in NC

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Today we introduce Super Team, the best boys ‘and girls’ basketball players in North Carolina.

This is the second year that Charlotte Observer and News & Observer from Raleigh have joined forces to award these prizes after the Associated Press stopped naming the teams, which it has done since the early 1980s through a nationwide media poll .

The 2021-22 boy player of the year across the country is Carmel Christians Cade Tyson, a 6-foot-7 Belmont signature who was also named Mr. Basketball in North Carolina. Tyson led his team to a No. 2 spot in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, a spot after undefeated Weddington, as well as an NC 4A private school state championship that was disrupted by nationally ranked Greensboro Day.

Tyson scored 33 points in the final and averaged 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He ended his career with 2,052 points.

This year’s all-state player for girls is Apex Friendship’s Indya Nivar, a 5-10 guard signed with Stanford. She averaged 18.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.4 steals, leading Apex Friendship (29-2) to its first state championship game. Apex is set to face Charlotte’s Chambers High for the 4A title on Saturday in Chapel Hill. Nivar, a McDonald’s All-American, was named this year’s NC Ms. Basketball and NC Gatorade play.

This year’s Super Team coaches are Weddington’s Gary Ellington and Chambers’ Donnell Rhyne. Ellington led his team to another NC state championship in a row, despite going up from 3A to 4A, the most competitive elementary school class in North Carolina. His team finished undefeated over the past two seasons and was ranked in the top 15 by several national polls. Rhyne’s team won a third NC 4A girls state championship in a row the first time it was done.



Daniel Sanford, Chambers, 6-7, Sr., F: The South Carolina Gamecocks recruit was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in North Carolina and was District 9, this year’s conference in Queen City. Average 16 points., Eight rebounds for NC 4A quarterfinalist.

Cade Tyson, Carmel Christian, 6-7, Sr., F: NC Mr. Basketball averaged 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the NC state champion.

Chase Lowe, Weddington, 6-5, Sr., G: NC 4A Finals MVP led Weddington to back-to-back NCHSAA state titles. Averages 18 points, eight rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals. Three times conference POY.

Paul McNeil, Richmond Senior, 6-6, Soph, F: Player of the Year in NC Gatorade averaged 24.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Scored 661 points this season.

Noah Ross, Trinity Academy, 6-6, Senior, F: led his team to the NCISAA 2A state finals against Burlington School. UNC-Wilmington is committed. Average 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds.


Takorrie Faison, Goldsboro

Jarin Stevenson, Seaforth

Jah Short, Farmville Central

Xavier McKelvy, United Faith

Jordan Chambers, North Mecklenburg


Jaylen Curry, Chambers

Isaiah Evans, North Meck

Drake Powell, Northwood

James Scott, Fayetteville 71

Kany Tchanda, Concord Academy

Aaron Murphy, Greenfield

Jackson Keith, Southern Durham

Jaiden Thompson, Central Cabarrus

Nolan Hodge, Northern Guilford

Collin Kuhl, Holly Spring

POY: Cade Tyson, Carmel Christian

COY: Gary Ellington, Chambers



Indya Nivar, Apex Friendship, 5-10, Sr., G: McDonald’s All-American averaged 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds for a second-place finish in NC 4A.

Sarah Strong, Grace Christian, 6-2, So., F: The top 25 national recruits led the team to a 29-1 record, a state title, and averaged 25 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks per game.

Blanca Thomas, Charlotte Catholic, 6-5, So., F: Averages 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for the NC 4A state semifinalist. Top 10 national recruits in her class.

Imani Lester, North Raleigh Christian, 6-4, Sr., C: Led his team to the NCISAA 4A State title with 23 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks in the final; Louisville commit

Emily Hege, North Davidson, 5-8, Sr., G: Averaged 27.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 4.2 steals for a team that won 25 out of 28 matches.


La’Niya Simes, East Forsyth

Kylie Chavis, Purnell Swett

Miya Giles-Jones, Terry Sanford

Zamareya Jones, North Pitt

Maraja Pass, Shelby


Samyha Suffren, canon school

Emerson Thompson, Falls Lake Academy

Torin Rogers, Murphy

Kate Sears, Watauga

Senali Moss, South Mecklenburg

Anya Massey, Hoggard

Desiree Askew, Hertford County

Reychel Douglas, Millbrook

Amiya Joyner, Farmville Central

Mila Holloway, Chambers

Olivia Porter, Northwood

POY: Indya Nivar, Apex Friendship

COY: Donnell Rhyne, Chambers

This story was originally published April 13, 2022 at 06.00.

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Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked for the Observer since 1988. He has covered everything from the Final Fours and NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz – a West Charlotte High and UNC graduate – is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte” when you ask, “Which city do you come from.”
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