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Giles, Fatherly earn top SNH winter honors

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s Alivia Giles and Nansemond River High School’s Justin Fatherly both earn the Suffolk News-Herald Winter Player of the Year honors.

The winter season for 2019-2020 had many talented individuals across all schools in the city. Among the top of those performances were Alivia Giles and Justin Fatherly, two seniors who had standout seasons on the court for their respective teams. Both athletes competed to the best of their abilities to bring as much success as they could to their programs. With the individual seasons they had, accolades followed.

Giles, an NSA girls’ senior basketball standout, earns the SNH Winter Female Player of the Year honor after a stellar season. Giles helped lead the NSA girls’ basketball team to a 23-5 record, which included an undefeated record in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS), a regular-season title and a conference tournament title. Because of NSA’s strong season, they earned the No. 1 seed in the state tournament and advanced to the state title game before falling short.

Giles was the TCIS Player of the Year and a first team All-State selection. She averaged 19.1 points per game to go along with 10.2 rebounds and 4.5 steals a game. She also surpassed 1,000 career points this year.

“I feel so honored and blessed, because I know there are so many more athletes in this area who could’ve also been selected,” Giles said of the SNH award.

Despite falling short of her goal, which was to help win a state championship, she felt good about what she was able to do to help her team. She described this season as a great journey.

“It was disappointing not to come away with the championship, because we were so close,” Giles said. “We did have a great and memorable journey getting there. We have a lot to be proud of. We had a strong season, winning a regular season and conference tournament championships. It was a great journey to experience these accomplishments with teammates, coaches, family and friends.”

Fatherly, a Nansemond River senior, put together an impressive season. He finished as South Hampton Roads’ top scorer, averaging 27 points per game. He had two 40-plus-point games this season, the most in the area. He was also selected first team All-District and first team All-Region and was the runner-up for the Southeastern District Player of the Year. He surpassed 1,200 career points this season and was among 10 Virginia seniors nominated for the McDonald’s All-American game.

“It feels great to be able to receive these accolades, because I worked so hard for them,” Fatherly said. “I told myself I’d work as hard as I could for them this season. We didn’t have the season I expected, but we still fought every game. I definitely appreciate being recognized for my hard work and dedication. I feel like it’s just the beginning.”

Fatherly was also invited to play in the Virginia All-Star game that was set for May. His vision for his season started last offseason.

“It all started with my self-confidence and work ethic,” Fatherly said. “I put in a lot of work during the offseason on and off the court. I added muscle to my frame and watched a lot of film.”

Giles is set to play college basketball at Christopher Newport University, while Fatherly is still working through his options.