Finding her place: South Shore star on top after dominant senior season

She was worried it wouldn’t work.

Selena Philoxy transferred into the South Shore program two years ago with a mind full of doubts, questions and hopes. The senior forward — who previously played at Television and Films — silenced every single question this season, leading the Lady Vikings to the program’s first-ever Federation championship and emerging as a star on both sides of the ball.

Philoxy was a defensive force and an offensive spark for South Shore and her success on the court is why she is this year’s Courier Life Player of the Year.

“Honestly I didn’t even think I could get this far,” Philoxy said. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to fit in with everybody. But then the first year we won and I knew we could accomplish something. Then winning states, I’m just happy to have my teammates by my side and do what we could do.”

Philoxy wasn’t the only senior on the South Shore roster this season, but she was the unquestioned leader of the group, looked upon to jumpstart her squad throughout the year. But that wasn’t always an easy task.

There were expectations and stats she needed to post and Philoxy admits it got to be a bit overwhelming at times.

“In the middle of the season, it was tough,” she said. “I did think, I’m going to give up, but my teammates were by my side. That’s how they’ve always been and they let me know we were going to win and we were going to do this.”

Philoxy refocused her efforts down the stretch and embraced the challenges of being a leader. She hadn’t always been part of the South Shore hoops culture, but this season Philoxy was an integral part of what the Lady Vikings were going to do.

Once she realized that, the rest was easy.

Philoxy upped her defensive intensity late in the season, shutting down opposing scoring threats with her size and physicality on the block. She also chipped in 9.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during the regular season before taking it to another level in the playoffs, averaging 12 points per contest en route to another city title.

It definitely got challenging,” Philoxy said of her on-court expectations. “Knowing that people look up to me and people want me to do certain things. I just had to do it and that was one of the hardest things for me to do.”

Philoxy came to South Shore for a reason — she wanted to make history. And she did, lifting the Lady Vikings to a lopsided victory over The Mary Louis Academy in the Federation championship. Even now, weeks removed from that matchup, Philoxy can’t quite wipe the smile off her face when she talks about the game.

“It’s not like we won by five. We won by almost 30,” she said. “We just had to get respect. Last season we lost in states by almost 20 and we just wanted to come back and show everybody what we’re really about.”

Her two seasons in Canarsie weren’t always easy, but Philoxy wouldn’t change a moment of it and, now, she’s ready to take her game to the next level. She’ll head to Seton Hall next season, determined to prove herself all over again.

“The focus right now is on Seton Hall,” Philoxy said. “I’m just ready to meet new people and play and I can’t wait.”

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