North State Journal’s 100 in 100 series will showcase the best athlete from each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. From Alamance to Yancey, each county will feature one athlete who stands above the rest. Some will be obvious choices, others controversial, but all of our choices are worthy of being recognized for their accomplishments — from the diamond and gridiron to racing ovals and the squared circle. You can see all the profiles as they’re unveiled here.
Triple-doubles are a rare occurrence in basketball, especially at the high school level where games are eight minutes shorter than in college and 16 minutes less than in the NBA.
But not for Sydney Austin.
They became so commonplace during her junior season at Ocracoke School that it was almost a surprise when she didn’t hit for double figures in three statistical categories. The 6-foot forward did it eight times, but that wasn’t her most impressive accomplishment.
On Jan. 17, 2016, she became only the seventh player in NC High School Athletic Association history to record a quadruple-double when she put up 22 points, 15 rebounds, 12 steals and 10 assists in a win against Mattamuskeet.
Austin led all 1A players that season in steals at eight per game as a senior in 2016-17 while finishing second in scoring (24 points per game) and rebounding (11 rebounds per game). She finished her high school career as Ocracoke’s all-time leader in scoring (1,770 points), rebounds (904) and steals (450), twice winning all-district recognition while earning all-conference honors in each of her four seasons.
In the process, she earned a spot on Ocracoke School’s wall of fame alongside her father, Wade Austin, who was a basketball star in his own right.
For all she’s accomplished on the basketball court, though, perhaps her most impressive athletic feat was her fourth-place finish in the high jump at the 1A state track in Greensboro in 2017. She jumped 5 feet even to earn the first state meet medal in school history. And she did it on just the sixth competitive jump of her life after taking up the event on a whim.
“Had she been able to practice, she might have won the whole thing,” her mother, Gwen, told the Ocracoke Observer newspaper.
Following her high school graduation, Austin went on to play two seasons of basketball at Cape Fear Community College. Her story is still being written with one more season of eligibility remaining at William Peace College.