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Charise Wilson from St. Anthony's

Charise Wilson didn’t believe what she’d heard about playing ball at St. Anthony’s. The junior point guard knew Long Island public and Catholic schools were nearly apples and oranges basketball-wise, but transferring in from a strong program in North Babylon as a sophomore, she figured she could handle it.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” Wilson said. “But playing [in the Catholic league] is a big difference. I’m being challenged more.”

Wilson had plenty of time to get acclimated – she sat out the remainder of her sophomore campaign, as per transfer rules, and worked on her game. The transfer is ancient history, and she’s long been a Friar. When the time came to suit up, she delivered, and most recently, her 7 point first quarter against St. Mary’s in the NSCHSAA championship game on Sunday was instrumental in pacing the Friars to a win. Wilson's arsenal of speed, shooting touch and play-making skills make her a point guard to watch in the 2013-14 season.

“Her overall experience and understanding of the game are her greatest attributes,” said St. Anthony’s Head Coach Ken Parham. “Charise has a very high basketball IQ and makes good decisions.”

And being recruited as a point guard means she’s on the right track in the headiness department – Northeastern and Central Connecticut Universities both made offers. But Wilson first will do her part in helping the Friars advance to the state tournament. And next year she will need to fill the leadership shoes vacated by senior captains Rebecca Musgrove and Johanna Impellizeri. But sandwiched between those two tasks is one final season of AAU with her Riverside Hawks squad.

“I just want to get stronger and play harder [this summer],” she said. “And get my ball handling up.”

And Wilson expressed that although she’s a dedicated Friar in uniform, she’s still got North Babylon in her blood: “This is my last AAU season. I want to play with my old North Babylon teammates and win [a championship] together.”

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