Nya South is a fast-rising incoming sophomore from North Carolina who is already on the radar of many Power 5 programs, in part because she can crush the ball like few others in her class.
But that’s just one aspect of her story that makes Nya’s journey compelling; another huge part of her life is her parent’s military careers which has seen the young athlete and her two brothers having grown up living in five states.
Her dad, Lieutenant Colonel Isaac South, recently retired from the United States Army after 23-plus years, including 20 of those in the Airborne Division. Nya’s mom, Lieutenant Colonel Phylisha South, is a JAG Officer for the U.S. Army and will be leaving for deployment to Baghdad later this month.
With most Americans focused on the civil unrest here in the United States, it’s important to remember we still have armed forces on foreign soil leaving behind families and friends—like Nya’s parents—and protecting our freedoms and rights.
And, oh yea, let’s not forget how good she is between the lines! She has some strong believers already including former Florida All-American and National Champion Lauren Haeger, who has been an assistant coach for Kevin Hinde's Team NC 16U team for the last year.
“"Nya is one of the best teammates I have ever been around,” Haeger begins. “She is always the first persons to volunteer for anything if her teammates need help or a hand with anything they are doing. She brings such a light to the dugout and doesn't really take herself too seriously in the best way.”
“As a player, Nya is one of the strongest young women I've seen at her age. I truly believe once Nya develops consistency with all of her skills and body, she will step into a Division I program and immediately make an impact. She owns her weaknesses and that helps her move onto the next play or at bat as quickly as anyone."
This is Nya’s story… and it’s a good one!
Name: NYA SOUTH
Hometown: Sanford, North Carolina
High School: Lee County High (Sanford, N.C.)
Club Team: Team North Carolina (Hinde) 16U
Grad Year: 2023
*** Basketball: varsity letter winner, academic all-conference, conference sportsmanship award, Lee County High School Girls Basketball Coaches Award, and Lee County High School Girls Basketball Academic Award (for highest GPA on the team with a 4.375 weighted GPA).
**** Club Softball: 2019 Fall Season Stats: .449 BA, .517 OBP, .756 slugging % and 4 HRs. First tournament for the 2020 Summer Season 1.000 BA. 2.500 slugging % (2-1B, 2-HR (1 grand slam), 5-RBIs, 2-BB)
Academic Honors: Lee County School Board Academic Excellence Award (for maintaining a 4.0 GPA or higher all year; 5th consecutive year); accepted into the Lee County High School Engineering Academy; selected for the Duke University Talent Identification Program
Coach’s Comments: “Nya has burst onto the scene recently due to her amazing offensive performances in top showcases around the country and is one of the top 2023's in her class. I have seen a lot of players around the country competing at the highest levels and I'm not sure I've seen a player in Nya's age group with more power than she has at the plate. It is fun to watch her hit, but she is very athletic which serves her well in the field too. Not only is she a gifted athlete, but she is an amazing teammate and student. She is very mature for her age and excels in the classroom too.” --- Kevin Hinde, Team North Carolina (Hinde)
Here, in her own words, is how Nya recounts her on and off-the-field experiences…
My softball journey began in Hawaii in early 2014. I was at the YMCA after school and my first coach, Coach Kellett Hussey, came up to me and told me that I would make a great softball player and that he would be taking me to practice the next afternoon.
I really had no choice but to play!
I am very thankful for him because without him I probably would not be playing softball right now. Getting to where I am today has not been easy. There were a lot of hard times and times where I wanted to give up, but, thankfully, my coaches and my parents have always been there to help me push through the hard times.
My mom is a lawyer (JAG Officer) in the Army and my dad was a Communications Officer in the Army as well. My mom is a West Point graduate and has served in the Army for 22 years. My dad recently retired after nearly 24 years.
My mom is deploying to Iraq this month and my dad will be taking care of my brothers and me while she is gone. Thankfully, my Team North Carolina family is there for me as well and will help ensure I am able to get to all our events this summer.
The biggest difference with having parents in the military is that I have spent a lot of time over the years with one parent or the other due to the fact that my parents have been stationed apart and deployed several times.
Given their work schedules, different duty stations, and deployments, I probably work more by myself than other people because both of my parents are not always home, and the one that is, has to split time between me and my two brothers, who also play baseball: Brandon (age 8)and Jacob (age 5).
*** Scroll down to learn more about Nya including what college camps she’s attended and what she’s looking for in her future school…