CONWAY, S.C. - Former Coastal Carolina guard Pele Paelay (Derwood, Md./Magruder) was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 Continental Basketball Association (CBA) draft by the Minot (N.D.) Skyrockets, which was conducted yesterday. Paelay was the only player from the Big South Conference selected in the CBA Draft.
The first pick of the fifth round, Paelay had a solid career at Coastal, earning Big South Player of the Year honors as a junior and Second Team All-Big South accolades his senior year. He finished as the 10th leading scorer in Coastal history with 1,178 points in his career, 933 of them coming in his final two seasons. He also ranks in the top 10 in CCU annals in games played (t-8th, 111), free throws made (8th, 233), blocked shots (10th, 35) and steals (9th, 139).
As a senior, Paelay ranked seventh in the league in scoring at 14.8 points per game, helping lead the Chanticleers to a 20-10 mark, the first winning season in 13 years, and the squad's first berth in the Big South Tournament Championship game since 1993. He also placed 20th in rebounding at 4.8 per game, ninth in free-throw percentage at 74.4 percent (90-for-121) and was in the top-15 in assists, steals, field-goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage.
During his junior year, he started 28 of 29 games, leading the league at 16.8 points per game and 17.5 points a contest in Big South play. He also averaged a league-best 2.4 steals a game, ranking 27th nationally. His 70 steals during the 2004-05 season ranked sixth on the CCU single-season list. He posted a career-best 38 points on 14-for-23 shooting (including a career-high four three pointers), along with eight rebounds and two steals in a win at VMI (Jan. 10). The 38 points at VMI were a league-best and tied for the sixth-highest single-game scoring in school history.
A 2002 graduate of Magruder High School, Paelay averaged 17.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his senior season for the Colonels, earning Second Team All-Metro and All-County honors in 2002. He was also selected to play in the D.C. Capital Classic All-Star basketball game. As a junior, he was MVP of the state Final Four, leading Magruder to the state title. Paelay also excelled in soccer in high school where he was selected as the Washington Post D.C. Area Soccer Player of the Year as a senior.
The Skyrockets are new in North Dakota, as the franchise moved from San Jose, Calif., after the 2005-06 season.