New York High School: Destini Feagin

Naz's Feagin to Cincinnati

May, 3, 2012
It didn't take long for Cincinnati to win over Destini Feagin.

The Bearcats only started recruiting the Nazareth senior wing in late April during the live period. A little more than a week later, Feagin signed her national Letter of Intent with the Big East school, choosing it over Morehead State and Providence.

"The visit was great and it felt like family," Feagin said. "They're experienced coaches and Coach (Jamelle) Elliott was wonderful. She's awesome. She won six national titles at UConn. It's a great fit and I bonded with the girls from the start. The competition is the Big East, that's a challenge for me, and I feel I can play that level. Why not take it on?"

Feagin took an official visit to Cincinnati last weekend and officially decided on the Bearcats after returning home and thinking things over. The senior had received some phone calls here and there from Cincinnati, but their pursuit didn't pick up until they had her SAT scores, as she only recently took the test.

The wing played one season for Nazareth after transferring from Ben Davis (Ind.), describing it as a roller-coaster year. She started out the year ineligible, head coach Apache Paschall died in January and the school announced it was going to close during the middle of the season.

"It had its up and downs," she said of her year.

On the court, Feagin was one of the key players in helping guide Nazareth to the CHSAA Class AA crown. While in most games she played a complementary role to the other stars on the Lady Kingsmen, she had her share of big moments. Nazareth finished the season ranked No. 1 in New York City by

"She had this defensive toughness and she's just a tough kid," Nazareth co-coach Ron Kelley said. "She's another scorer. She's got a great basketball body because she's super athletic. Down the stretch, she won some game for us with her great defense and her opportune shooting in big games."

Feagin is the third Nazareth senior to sign with a Big East school for next season. Brianna Butler is headed to Syracuse next season and Darius Faulk is going to West Virginia. While Syracuse will head to the ACC in 2014, the trio of teammates will be able to have some battles.

"I think Apache would be very proud and he envisioned the best places for us to all go," Feagin said. "I think we're all happy and excited that we have the chance to play against one another. We're anxious to see each other next year and it's pretty interesting"

Feagin was very close to her former coach, who she said told her that her time would finally come. The wing believes that time is finally here.

"I'm very excited and very happy," Feagin said. "I just feel the best is yet to come. I'm going to keep working and I already have started and I can only do bigger and better things as I continue to move forward."

Rapid Reax: No. 1 Nazareth 82, No. 8 MLA 63

December, 12, 2011
Bianca Cuevas stopped at the top of the arc, took a brief look at the defense and then drilled a three-pointer for Nazareth just 28 seconds into the game. It was Nazareth’s first possession and one of the most fluid baskets in game that didn’t have many.

But it started a run that saw Nazareth build a 14-point lead in the first quarter, a lead that Mary Louis chipped into but could never break during Nazareth’s 82-63 home victory in a showdown between two of the most highly-touted teams in New York City.

Many thought that Mary Louis would be big test for Nazareth, playing in its season opener. Cuevas didn’t think so though.

“We didn’t play to our ability,” the sophomore guard said. “We could have played better. We could have blew them out more.”

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Nazareth, ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s FAB 50 and's poll, jumped out to a 17-3 lead after Cuevas nailed the trey to start the game. But No. 8 Mary Louis made its on run led by Jasmine Nwajei (26 points), who sliced through Nazareth’s full-court pressure and forced her way to the basket, helping cut the lead down to four with five minutes left in the first half.

The Hilltoppers (1-3, 0-2 Brooklyn/Queens Division I) were still within five points with 1:40 left in the first half after back-to-back layups by Nwajei. But Nazareth (1-0, 1-0) forced three straight turnovers for three straight baskets and carried an 11-point lead and much of the momentum headed into halftime.

It only got worse from there. Mary Louis failed to convert a field goal in the third quarter, scoring seven points on free throws while Nazareth’s lead ballooned to as much as 23. From there, it became a free-throw shooting contest.

“We played right into their hands,” Nwajei said. “They tried to rush of with the press. We played right into it.”

STAR OF THE GAME: It’s hard to pick one player of the game but the gold star would go to Nazareth’s defense. It took three and a half minutes for Mary Louis to score its first field goal of the game and the Hilltoppers went without a basket in the third.

THE TRANSERS: A lot of the talks before the season for Nazareth centered around transfers Sadie Edwards (Our Lady of Mercy School in Connecticut), Destini Feagin (Ben Davis in Indiana) and Syracuse-bound Brianna Butler (William Penn Charter School in Pennsylvania), the ranked No. 13 in on ESPN’s Top 100 list. Edwards led Nazareth with 19 points, Butler scored 13 and Feagin struggled badly before fouling out with four points.

THE NUMBERS: For a game that was the highly anticipated, it was marred by whistles and bad shooting from the free-throw line.

54: total foul calls

31: total missed free throws (23 by Mary Louis)

3: the number of Nazareth players that fouled out

1: technical foul (called on Mary Louis coach Joe Lewinger)

0: Field goals by Mary Louis in the third quarter.

QUOTE OF THE GAME: Many considered Mary Louis, which has now lost to Bishop Loughlin and Nazareth before playing Bishop Ford Wednesday, the second-best team in the CHSAA behind Nazareth. Cuevas was asked if she thought her team made a statement with the decisive win.

“Yeah,” she said. “That we’re the best team in the league. I don’t think they’re the second-best team.”

UP NEXT: Mary Louis will visit Bishop Ford on Wednesday in search for its first league win. Nazareth will visit rising Bishop Loughlin.

Nazareth transfers are reinstated

November, 18, 2011
The three Nazareth transfer students who were deemed ineligible by the CHSAA Girls Brooklyn/Queens Division earlier this month have been notified by the league that they have been reinstated.

“I'm happy it worked out well for the players and their parents,” Nazareth Athletic Director Rochelle Murphy said. “The committee did what they felt they needed to do and evaluated the documents. We re-submitted documents and they made their decision and did what we felt they were going to do all along.”

The three girls are Brianna Butler, who transferred from Penn Charter (Penn.) and is ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the 2012 class according to ESPN HoopGurlz, Sadie Edwards, who transferred from Mercy (Conn.), and Destini Feagin, who transferred from Ben Davis (Ind.). All three girls played for Nazareth head coach Apache Paschall's AAU team, Exodus, this summer.

The reason the girls were deemed ineligible in the first place was because they didn't provide the league with a traditional bill showing a parental change of address. In order for transfer players to be eligible, they must submit documents that show a parental change of address in order to prevent athletes from living with a relative or a friend just so they can compete for a certain school.

“They asked for certain documents and we submitted bills but they weren't traditional,” Murphy explained. “They usually get traditional ones so we gave them further documentation.”

Nazareth submits papers for transfers

November, 14, 2011
Nazareth has submitted further documents trying to sufficiently prove parental change of address for three transfers on the girls basketball team, Brooklyn/Queens Girls CHSAA President Denise Hillig said. The Brooklyn/Queens Girls CHSAA will review the documents and Hillig said that she hopes that there will be a decision by the end of the week.

Seniors Brianna Butler and Desinti Feagin along with junior Sadie Edwards are the trio that have been ruled ineligible by the league. Butler, who just signed with Syracuse, transferred to Nazareth from Penn Charter (Penn.), Edwards came from Mercy (Conn.) and Feagin left Ben Davis (Ind.). Butler is the No. 13 prospect in the class of 2012.

Two week ago, the league notified Nazareth that all three players are ineligible for the upcoming season for not providing sufficient proof of a parental address. The league requires that transfer students show parental changes of address to prevent athletes from moving in with a relative to play at a certain school. Documents such as birth certificates and other forms like utility bills are submitted by transferring students.

The league requested that Nazareth provide further documentation and once the paperwork was submitted, it began an appeals process.

"The committee would have to look at it and see if was satisfactory and then we could change our ruling," Hillig previously said.

Nazareth's first game is scheduled for Dec. 3 against Christ the King in what is expected to be a showdown of two of the top teams in the city.

Nazareth transfers currently ineligible

November, 5, 2011
The transfers might be on the outside looking in.

Three Nazareth transfers are currently ineligible for not providing sufficient proof of a parental change of address, according to CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens President Denise Hillig. One of those players is top recruit Brianna Butler, the No. 13 prospect in the 2012 class according to ESPN HoopGurlz. The news was first reported by the New York Post.

“In this case, we don’t feel the documentation they provided showing the parental change of address is sufficient for us,” said Hillig, who added that the players are not allowed to represent Nazareth but can practice with the team. "We are requesting additional documentation."

The three players are Butler, a guard who transferred from Penn Charter (Penn.), junior guard Sadie Edwards, who transferred from Mercy (Conn.) and senior Destini Feagin, a transfer from Ben Davis (Ind.).

All three players play with Nazareth head coach Apache Paschall’s AAU team, Exodus. Their additions are a key reason why the Lady Kingsmen will be highly ranked heading into a season where they look to defend their state and conference titles. The players can become eligible by submitting the proper documentation and going through an appeals process.

“The committee would have to look at it and see if it was satisfactory and then we could change our ruling,” Hillig said.

Paschall, while saying he has been told not to comment about the players' eligibility, said his players have given the proper documents to the league.

“Whatever was supposed to be given in, was given in,” Paschall said. “What was asked to provide, we provided.”

Hillig explained that in order for transfer students to be eligible to play in the CHSAA, they have to provide documentation that shows that a player and his or her parents moved and the athlete is living with them at the new residence. She added that transfers submit birth certificates and some kind of utility bill, among other forms, to prove that their parents have changed addresses. Hillig would not comment on what specifically drew red flags with the three Nazareth players.

The league met last week about the transfers' eligibility and notified Nazareth with a letter at the beginning of the week. From here, it’s the school’s responsibility to provide the documentation needed for the players to become eligible. Nazareth will hold its first practice on Monday.

“It’s to prevent any coach in any sport from recruiting somebody from another state to come live with a teammate and you can play,” Hillig said about the rule. “That’s why it’s all on a parental change of address. You can’t go live with your grandmother who lives near the school just because you want to play basketball there.”

This isn’t the first time that Nazareth has come under scrutiny. The league investigated last season whether Paschall, who came to the school after St. Michael’s Academy closed in 2010, had recruited players to join him at Nazareth, which would have been a violation of league rules.

Paschall was cleared by the league and the Lady Kingsmen eventually went on to win the Brooklyn/Queens Division I regular season and tournament title as well as the CHSAA Class “AA” title and the New York State Federation Class “AA” title. The Lady Kingsmen finished last season ranked 16th in the country by ESPNHS.