Tya Freeman, a junior guard for the Eagles, eclipsed the 1,000-point threshold during the semifinals of last week’s Class 3A, District 3 Tournament.
When Blessing Freeman was hired by Legacy High Athletic Director Jarrett Wiggers in 2015 to start and coach the school's girls basketball program, Wiggers impressed upon her that — because of the small student body at the charter school — she would be teaching many of the girls how to play the game.
Freeman, who played basketball collegiately at Mississippi State and also coached in college, prepared herself for the task, and Wiggers’ words mostly held true, with one exception — then-freshman Tya Freeman.
“I went to (athletic director Jarrett Wiggers) and said ‘you know, there’s somebody here that knows a little bit of basketball,’” Blessing Freeman recalled. “I think (Tya) was a little bit of light for me coming in.”
Though they share a last name, the program’s first open gym in the fall of 2015 was the first time the player and coach met. Three seasons later, Tya — now a junior — has become the first player in program history to reach 1,000 points.
The dynamic point guard cleared the milestone by scoring 25 points in a district semifinal game Feb. 6 at Mount Dora Christian — taking her from 990 points to begin the night to 1,015 to end it.
It was quite an occasion for the junior who, a few games earlier, had not even been aware she was closing in on the accomplishment.
“I was a little surprised — 1,000 points is a big deal and I had no idea I was that close,” Tya said. “It was pretty cool because my 1,000th point was on a free throw. It was quiet in the gym and then everybody was really loud when I made it.”
Tya scored 11 more points in a district final loss to Orlando Christian Prep to bring her to 1,026 points so far in her Eagles career. On the season, Tya is averaging 18.8 points per game to go along with 4.1 steals per game and 3.2 rebounds — her scoring and steals averages lead the team.
Despite the relative inexperience of the team at Legacy – Tya is program’s only player who plays travel ball year-round — the team has had success and is in the regional playoffs for a second consecutive season.
The Eagles (11-9) finished as district runners-up last week and will face Keswick Christian Feb. 15 in the FHSAA Class 3A Regional Semifinals.