Knighten-Lilly signs with Coastal Alabama

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County High School senior basketball standout has signed to play at the college level.

Surrounded by family and friends, Skye Knighten-Lilly made her decision to play for head coach Linda Pitts at Coastal Alabama Community College official during a March 11 signing ceremony at SCHS.

“I’m excited but nervous,” Knighten-Lilly said. “I feel really motivated.”

Knighten-Lilly was one of several core players – including Maggie West, Aaliyah Cotton, Nataley Whitner and Peri Clark – on the Lady Wildcats’ 2019-2020 team, which made school history by advancing to the Final Four this year.

“We battled and fought hard,” Knighten-Lilly said, adding she planned to keep that same attitude as a college player. “We had good chemistry as a team. I couldn’t ask for a better team than that.”

Her mother and father, Sasha and Fredrick Knighten, were among the family members, teammates and friends in attendance at the ceremony.

“Y’all are a big piece of the puzzle to Skye’s success if you’re in this room,” Sasha Knighten said. “We’re very proud of her. This is a phenomenal day.”

SCHS head coach Ashley Phillips described Knighten-Lilly as a “versatile and consistent player,” noting her 1,416-point career total.

“Our motto this year was ‘more,’ and Skye really took that to heart this year,” Phillips said. “I know she’s going to take that winning attitude down to Coach Pitts at Coastal.”

Pitts congratulated Knighten-Lilly and her teammates on their remarkable season, and said, “We’re looking forward to having her.”

Sarita Agee, Knighten-Lilly’s kindergarten teacher at EHES, said she was honored and humbled to have been asked to speak at her signing ceremony.

“From a distance I watched her grow from a sweet little blessing to the beautiful young woman she is today,” Agee said. “Coastal Alabama, you are getting a part of basketball legacy from here in Columbiana. To her family, if Skye takes even an ounce of the love, perseverance, endurance, faith and hope that you have put in her with her, she is bound to do great and amazing things.”

SCHS Principal Barbara Snyder also expressed her wishes for Knighten-Lilly.

“Skye has been a blessing to our school,” Snyder said. “We just wish you the best and look forward to hearing wonderful things about your future.”