Solid play leads to big honor for Seal

Published 12:21 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

University of Mobile’s McKinley Seal was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.
“It is a huge honor, especially going up against a girl on my team Artasia McDowell from Covington,” Seal said. “Had they gone co-Freshman of the Year, she definitely would have gotten it. We had a good freshman class at Mobile. I don’t think my points got me there, I think my assists did. We were kind of competing in two different categories.
“She’s competing against the post and I was competing against the guards. She’s having to try and outrebound seniors who have way more experience and probably have more muscle mass on them whereas I’m just having to make a pass and my teammates score and get me the assists. The points help us win and all I’m doing is passing the ball to my teammates, who are getting us those points and those wins.”
The 2017 Bowling Green School graduate put a solid season together that saw her make the All-Freshman Team. As of Friday morning, Seal led the SSAC in assists per game and total assists.
Seal began Friday seventh in NAIA Division I in assists per game with 5.07 and was sixth in total assists with 147.
Besides her assists, Seal averaged 6.24 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Seal talked about her season.
“It was a crazy experience. Dedication that I didn’t know I had, time I didn’t know I’d have to put to the side for basketball, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” she said. “As for basketball, all I can do is get back in the gym, work harder, push myself and hopefully help my team get into the championship game next year.”
University of Mobile coach Billy Evans had plenty of good things to say about Seal.
“There are two things that stick out to me. No. 1, she sees it as a team honor. When her name was announced, she was embarrassed and shocked,” Evans said. “To me, it was an accumulation of everything she’s done since she’s got there. She works hard in the classroom and on the basketball court.
“When she got to the University of Mobile, she was determined to be our starting point guard. She knew ahead of time that Jessica Barber held the record for most assists in our school and she told Jessica that she was coming for her record. When she got here, she told me that we had an opening point guard position and that she wanted to get it. I think she has her sights set on being Player of the Year now, not just Freshman of the Year and I know she’ll work hard this summer to get closer to that goal.”
Barber, who was Seal’s first AAU coach, finished with 384 assists during her time at the University of Mobile.
This season, the University of Mobile posted a 14-15 record. The season concluded Thursday, after an 87-70 loss to Bethel University in the opening round of the SSAC Tournament.