Two giant trophies and their corresponding banners now residing in the Howard Finch Gym will forever attest to the brilliant career of Jo Snow in a Mount Airy basketball uniform.
On Monday, the 5’3” senior point guard received yet another honor, two days after taking part in the Triad All-Star Classic in Walkertown. A year ago, Snow was named to a few 1A All-State basketball teams. This year, she can claim the honor without regard to classification, as she was named as one of the state’s 15 best women’s basketball players by the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association.
The NCBCA named its All-State teams, choosing 15 men’s and women’s players and dividing them into a first, second and third team, based on the number of votes received. Snow was named to the second team, and was one of only two players from a traditional 1A school to make any of the lists. Murphy’s Jessica Beckner, a player that Snow once identified as one of the toughest defenders she ever had to contend with, made the women’s third team.
Prior to the state winning the state championship with the Lady Bears on March 9, Snow had been named to the NCBCA’s All-District team, but didn’t win District Player of the Year, which went to another point guard, Janiya Downs of South Rowan. However, Snow got more All-State votes than Downs, who was named to the third team.
The only men’s player from the region who made All-State was Daivien Williamson of Winston-Salem Prep, who made the second team.
Snow had a remarkable career as a four-year starter for the Lady Bears, winning All-Conference honors three times. In her junior and senior seasons, Mount Airy won back-to-back state championships, going 30-2 in 2017 and 27-2 this season. Snow was named as the MVP of the state championship game in both seasons, made the All-District team both years, was Northwest 1A Conference Player of the Year both years, and followed up last year’s 1A All-State citation with the full distinction this season.
The All-State list was dominated by players from large schools. Elissa Cunane of Northern Guilford was named as state Player of the Year, with Darlene Joyner of Northwest Guilford as state Coach of the Year after repeating as 4A state champion. Cunane, Nyjanique Langley of North Pitt, Ahiana Smith of Mallard Creek, Jada McMillian of Southeast Raleigh and Elizabeth Kitley of Northwest Guilford made up the first team. Alexandra Scruggs of E.E. Smith, Saniya Rivers of Wilmington Laney, Snow, Elana Ingram of Roxboro Community and Areon Laurent of Jacksonville were the second team. Kennedy Todd-Williams of Jacksonville, Evonna McGill of Ashbrook, Beckner, Downs and Dazia Lawrence of Mallard Creek made up the third team.
Wendell Moore Jr. of Cox Mill was the men’s state Player of the Year, with Tony Marshburn of Northside-Jacksonville winning Coach of the Year honors.
Snow had modest overall numbers, averaging only about 13 points per game, but frequently came out of blowout wins early on, and rarely looked to score big unless her team needed it. In the second round of the playoffs against Alleghany, a team with a dominant frontcourt, Snow outscored them 23-21 in the first half all by herself, and later exploded for big numbers against East Wilkes and in the state finals against Pamlico. She also had a massive impact on games defensively throughout her career, including a memorable steal of an inbounds pass in the final seconds of the 2017 regional semifinals that preserved a one-point win over Murphy.
Snow has yet to announce her college plans, but wherever she goes, she will do it as an All-State performer in both track and field and women’s basketball.