OSSINING, N.Y. – It was a shot Saniya Chong will never forget.
The Ossining High School senior basketball sensation pulled up for a three-pointer with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game against Blind Brook and drained a basket that broke two monumental records.
Chong broke the all-time Section 1 scoring record of 2,662 points, previously set by FDR’s Karen O’Connor in 1987. She also broke the New York State career three-pointers record of 277 set by Bloomfield’s Heather Shepard from 1997 to 2001.
And she didn’t even realize what she had done.
“I wasn’t actually aware of the last three point shot,” Chong said. “I was just going for making the shot, basically, and it was such a surprise for me.”
Play stopped after Chong made the basket and Ossining head coach Dan Ricci announced to the Pride fans what his star player had just done. The crowd cheered wildly as Chong took the game ball and ran to the other side of the court to hand it to her grandmother.
Chong never reentered the game after that and finished with 40 points. She now has 2,664 points and 288 three-pointers for her career.
Many of the players on the all-time scoring list competed at the varsity level for five or six years, but Chong rocketed to the top in just four seasons. After the game, Chong admitted that her accomplishments have taken her by surprise and said it was just the hard work she put in that made it all possible.
The senior bound for the University of Connecticut had two regular season games left to break the record. Had she not done it Wednesday, she would have had one more shot at home against Irvington on Friday. But an impending snowstorm could cancel the game, so Chong did not want to risk having the record hang over her head for another several days.
“Coach told me I wasn’t coming out of the game because he knew I was trying to get it today,” Chong said. “So I just tried to give it all I’ve got and all that I can today.”
Chong’s four grandparents made a special trip to see her break the record, which she said made the accomplishment that much sweeter for her.
Just minutes before she broke the two records, Chong grabbed her 500th career rebound in the 89-56 win. To top it all off, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association named her an All-American earlier in the week.
Chong called it the best week of her high school career.
“Definitely, I would say this is, by far, the best week ever,” Chong said. “So many accomplishments that I’ve achieved and I think it’s just getting better.”
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