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Fryer’s mark was ‘best memory’

Correspondent file photo / Robert Hayes Niles senior Aneziah Fryer looks down court in an early-season home game against the Hubbard Eagles. Fryer ended hear career with more than 1,000 points.

Aneziah Fryer wanted to be a leader during her final campaign on the Niles McKinley High School girls basketball team.

Setting the bar high for her teammates and working with the next generation of Red Dragons is something that was important for the Niles senior, who’ll soon be moving on to the collegiate level.

“Having the seventh and eighth (graders) and the younger kids in general look up to me means a lot because I work so hard.” Fryer said. “Just to have people look up to me, it makes me happy, and I was really close to most of the eighth graders and just to get them a little bit of help for the upcoming four years of their lives is just something special to me.”

The 5-foot-6 point guard had a stellar season to finish off her career with the Red Dragons, averaging 22.6 points per game, scoring 519 points during her senior season alone and hitting the 1,000-point mark for her career at home against South Range.

Second-year coach Makayla Butler said Fryer embodied what a role model is supposed to be.

“She was a big tribute to all the girls,” Butler said. “They loved her, even our middle school program, our seventh and eighth girls, they loved her.

“She included them in everything that she could. We did a lot of team bonding with our middle school, and I think they’re going to take everything, her hard work and passion, and put it toward their basketball careers as well.”

Fryer hit a jumper within the teeth of the Raiders defense from inside on a pass from fellow senior Kayla Taylor-Hall back on Jan. 30 to reach the 1,000-point mark.

Achieving that milestone is something that Fryer feels most accomplished about when she looks back at her time in high school.

“That was for sure my best memory from the past four years,” she said. “Just to have my family and friends there to see me accomplish something so big, that’s definitely my biggest memory.”

Her basketball career isn’t over though, as she’s currently committed to Mount Union University.

“Picking Mount just felt so comfortable because to see how much energy they have and how fast they are,” Fryer said. “It was a really tough decision to make, but I thinking going there will help me a lot just to have such a family-like team. I think I fit really well on that team.”

Butler is extremely proud of Fryer and is joyed to have one of her players continue their career.

“As a coach, it’s only my second year coaching, and it’s great to see one of my girls go to the next level,” she said. “She visited a bunch of schools, and she thought Mount Union was the right fit.

“She loved their program. They have a nice winning program there with their coach (Suzy Venet). She’s been there for a while, and she thinks she’s going to fit in well. She’s going to go put in the hard work, put her time in and try to get some playing time as a freshman.”

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