Wright is playing to win it all for the third consecutive year as she wraps up her last few games with the Lady Hornets before graduating this May.
The forward/guard began playing basketball at just age 6. After becoming anxious to develop new skills, Wright joined an organized basketball team at 12-years-old. She used to “hang with the guys” and watch her brothers have fun playing ball as she studied some of their moves. Not to mention her mother was a ‘hooper’ when she was younger, so basketball runs deep in the family.
“I spent several days just watching my brothers and cousins play basketball outside in the backyard,” the Detroit native said. “My cousin Robert actually used to play around with me and beat me and from there on we always played each other and the love I had for basketball just came naturally.”
Some professionals Wright watched growing up were Candace Parker, Seimone Augustus, Lindsey Whalen, Sue Byrd, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and many more.
“I also enjoy watching clips of basketball players from the old days,” she said. “I watch players who are before my time a lot on YouTube like Larry Bird and of course Michael Jordan.”
The senior’s confidence began to grow as she got older and having a heavy support system in her family, friends and coaches who believed in her, which helped her become a stronger athlete.
During her freshmen year Wright proved to be one of the best forwards since the 2010-2011 season. Wright played in all 30 games as a freshman averaging 26.6 minutes per game, 9.3 points per game (the second best on the team) and averaged 6.3 rebounds.
“Words can’t even describe how much growth I’ve seen since freshman year,” Wright said. “The growth is really amazing and I’m still growing, not just on the court or with basketball but as a young woman of God. I’m not perfect at all but my goal is growth, and I’m growing and learning.”
Alabama State women’s basketball program made history as they won back-to-back SWAC Championships. They came out on top last year with a 55-51 win over Southern. Wright was last year’s Tournament MVP.
“The accolades are nice and all but I don’t get so caught up in that,” Wright said. “They do motivate me to go harder and to want to be the best but I don’t make it about accolades. I love basketball and I’d still love it if I wasn’t getting any award for it.”
She may not get caught up in the accolades, but SWAC.org believes her performance deserves recognition. Wright was named the SWAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on January 10 for her performance over the ninth week of the regular season.
The athlete scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for a double-double in Alabama State’s 73-64 win over Jackson State on Jan. 4. Wright also scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds in ALST’s 74-62 win over UAPB on Jan. 7. Wright concluded her week with a 20 point and 12 rebound performance for her second double-double of the week and second of the season in a 79-73 overtime win over MVSU on Monday.
Wright currently ranks fourth in the SWAC in rebounding, grabbing an average of 7.1 boards per contest.
Although this year got off to a very challenging season only winning 2 of 12 games (up to January 2) Wright didn’t let those loses discourage her, in fact she used it as motivation.
“When the team is down and not playing to the best of our ability, I make sure I’m level headed and not getting all frustrated so I can motivate my team and get us all back together and on the same page,” she said. “I really just tell myself to not give up and step up and be the leader and the player I know I can be. I tell myself it’s going to be okay and to get it together!”
She explained that after a loss her and her teammates don’t hang their heads, they take the time to discuss what they did wrong and what exactly they could have done differently. No matter how large the deficient may be, they always end with talking about the positives and what they learned from the game.
“We always bounce back,” Wright said. “That’s just in us. We go in practice the next day and work harder than we ever did and we compete like crazy.”
They bounced back alright! After the 60-45 loss against Grambling State University on January 2, Wright led her team to their fourth consecutive victory with a 52-37 win at Alabama A&M University January 14.
While at ASU Wright has gained so many supporters, including Head Coach, Freeda Jackson, who supports her and the team each game and teaches them about working hard on and off the court.
“It’s all about the mind,” the player said. “Coach told us that everything you do is a mindset. You can do whatever your mind envisions. If you believe it you can achieve it and be successful. You have to train your mind to be positive and tell yourself you can do things and be great at it and be the best at it.”
After graduating Wright hopes to go overseas and play basketball, make it to the WNBA, work as a traveling nurse, travel to several countries, and help those who can’t afford medical treatment.
The Lady Hornets are off for a week, returning to action Saturday, January 21 at 3 p.m. against Alcorn State in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.