RECORD-SETTER: Dallas’ Chastity Friday shined at North Gaston then won a national title before playing in the SEC and professionally
By Richard Walker
Chastity Friday set a school scoring record at North Gaston High School, won a national championship at Louisburg College, competed in the country’s top major college women’s basketball conference at Mississippi State and played professional basketball in the Netherlands.
Yet, despite all of that, she is most proud of being inducted into the Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame because it carries on her family’s athletic legacy that has continued in her post-athletic life.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Chastity Friday said. “I’m definitely excited and happy to share this big experience with my family. It’s a big deal. I want the story to be about my family because they’ve always supported me.”
The youngest of Parthenia and Bud Friday Jr.’s six children, Chastity Friday grew up watching older brothers Cintron “Tony” Friday and Kelvin Friday and older sisters Budricka Friday, Monica Friday and Tonya Friday.
“I remember first going to games when Tony was there,” said Chastity Friday, whose brothers Tony and Kelvin and sisters Budricka and Tonya all played basketball at North Gaston while Monica played in the school band. “And he (Tony) would take me on the court when I was very young. He would throw me the ball and let me dribble around on the court. So my whole life was being up at North Gaston before I went to school there.
“In the evenings when I got home from school my brother Kelvin would have me outside working on my dribbling, making no look passes and making me work on using my left hand which was my weakness from the time I was in first grade until I was in high school.”
When Chastity Friday got to North Gaston, a school that had advanced to a pair of girls basketball state title games in the mid-1970s, the program had fallen on hard times. The Wildcats hadn’t had a winning season since winning the old Western N.C. Activities Association in 1977 with a 28-1 record.
In her first season of 1988-89 under coach Jeanne Bryne, North Gaston went 10-15 overall after advancing to the school’s fifth state playoff berth in school history. Her sophomore year of 1989-90, the Wildcats had an 18-9 overall record, finished second in the Southwestern 3A Conference and won the school’s first playoff game in 13 seasons. Her senior year of 1990-91 also was successful, as North Gaston went 16-10 overall and again advanced to the state playoffs.
By the time Chastity Friday’s career ended, her 1,458 points were a career scoring record for any basketball player (boy or girl) in North Gaston history – it was later surpassed by four-year player Spencer Britton’s 1,526 points in 2019 – and she was among the state’s most highly-recruited players.
Chastity Friday chose to go to junior college power Louisburg after a high school career in which she was 1990 Gaston Gazette player of the year, a three-time All-Gazette selection and North Gaston MVP in both basketball and track.
At Louisburg, she helped the Hurricanes go 66-4 overall and advance to back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association championship games in Tyler, Tex.
“I was such a shooter and a scorer coming out of high school that (then-Louisburg head coach) Mike Holleman said, ‘You don’t play defense,'” Chastity Friday said. “I said, ‘What do you mean?’ “His comment changed my whole perspective my game. He told me I couldn’t do something and I was determined to prove him wrong. And, eventually, he made me his defensive stopper.”
She averaged 8.3 points per game that included 23 points off the bench in the 104-89 national championship game victory over Central Florida as Louisburg finished the 1991-92 season with a 36-1 overall record and a 26-game season-ending winning streak.
“Playing for that national championship was the best,” Chastity Friday said, who won Louisburg’s 6th man award in 1992 and was team co-MVP in 1993. “I remember coming off the bench that year and that includes the national championship game.”
The following year, she averaged 14.8 points per game as Louisburg went 30-3 overall and lost 104-99 to Kilgore, Tex., in the national title contest.
At year’s end, she was recruited by several ACC and SEC teams before choosing Mississippi State.
“During my time, the SEC was the best because it was the Pat Summitt era,” Chastity Friday said of the Basketball Hall of Famer Summitt, who won 1,098 game and eight national titles as Tenneseee from 1974 to 2012. “Everybody wanted to play for her or play against her. And that made my decision.”
Chastity Friday averaged 6.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists while making 94 percent of her free throws as a junior and 4.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a senior.
She also had a son, Mykel Davis. (Davis would eventually play on South Point High’s 2011 N.C. 3A baseball championship team and won Region 10 All-defensive team and Golden Glove honors at Hickory’s Catawba Valley Community College.)
Chastity Friday then moved back to Gaston County where she finished up her college degree and set history during her professional career; She became Gaston County’s first African-American Deputy Clerk of Court (Civil Division) in 1998, North Gaston’s first professional basketball player in 2002 and became Gaston County’s first female African-American Magistrate in 2003.
She also taught school in Gaston County, was he first volleyball and girls basketball coach at Highland Tech when that school re-opened in 2001 and coached York Chester Middle School’s boys track team to a divisional title in 2002.
She realized her childhood dream of playing professionally after a tryout camp in San Antonio, Tex.
“I went to Amsterdam after I had my son in 2002,” Chastity Friday said. “I signed to play for the Gibo Groep Grasshoppers in Amsterdam of the Netherlands Senior Women’s Basketball League A.
“I was going to be there for three months and then come back home. I couldn’t make three months because everytime I called home, my son was always crying so I came back home.
“But I’ve done everything I wanted to do in the sport because I played professional basketball.”