“She didn’t play for me but she probably could have.”
That was Northside High School football Head Coach Kevin Kinsler on Tamia Sapp. It was meant to be a joke, but then again … “(She) probably would have been pretty good,” he continued. “Over the years I’ve been here, I’ve watched her … volleyball, basketball, and I’ve just enjoyed watching her compete.”
Needless to say he hasn’t been alone. In particular has been to catch the eye of Georgia Southwestern girls basketball Head Coach Kelly Britsky, who along with the school offered her a scholarship – one she accepted and signed at a ceremony at Northside May 17.
“So, I’ve had Sapp for two years,” said Lady Eagles Head Coach Ashleigh Fox. “(But), even when I got here I was excited ‘before’ I saw her in practice. (That’s) because, me coming from Jones County we had played against Northside, and I was super excited to work with her, because she is so versatile.
“Whenever I needed her to guard a guard she was able to do it. She was able to guard in the post. The best thing is she’s already a really good player and she has so much potential. She hasn’t begun to hit her ceiling. Not even close to it. ‘So as long as you really want it,’” she said, speaking directly to Sapp, ‘you’re going to be a great player Sapp.’ And y’all (the many who attended her signing) might be seeing her on TV one day. That’s how good she is.”
Good enough in fact to lead Region 1-AAAAAA in scoring. That – 378 points and a 14.4 average – is at least among the 50 players whose stats were recorded on MaxPreps. (Meaning: she outscored a lot of talented ladies!)
She was also second in blocks. She had 44. She was third in free throw shooting with a 63 percent success rate and fifth in rebounding. She had 127 defensive and 77 offensive ones.
All that while helping the Lady Eagles put together a 19-10 season, one in which they beat Glynn Academy – a No. 2 seed versus their No. 3 ranking – in the opening round of the GHSA state championship before falling to Lovejoy, which went on to win the title.
Sapp speaks humbly of her time at Northside. She does likewise on her future with the Lady Canes.
“They have a great coach and a great basketball system,” she said. “I’m just glad to be a part of that team. I feel like I can contribute and I know my teammates there will help me. And they will pick me up when I’m down, so I feel like it’ll be a very good experience.”
Again, as Fox mentioned – and as Britsky confirmed – “versatility” was one of her main attractions. (In fact, since she started at age 4, she’s played every position on the court, she said.) There’s also the strong possibility, she said, she’ll see considerable playing time as a freshman. (GSW finished 8-18 this past year, so help will definitely be appreciated.)
Long-term, Sapp said she plans on majoring in sports medicine and becoming a physical therapist. “I just want to help people,” she said.
That is unless perhaps as Fox mentioned, TV starts calling. That, or the football team has an opening …