Ciara Wright admits that she doesn’t handle surprises very well.
Her performance on the basketball court the past three seasons for Mount Tabor may suggest otherwise.
Wright, a junior, has been playing varsity since her freshman year. After starting the season in a reserve role, she was elevated to starting point guard after the first few games and has been there since.
She’s just not sure if she belongs there.
“I couldn’t believe Coach (Rick) Anderson had all that trust in me to give me the ball like that when I was a freshman,” Wright said. “There were a lot of really good upperclassmen on that team and it was just something that I wasn’t expecting. My sophomore year, I felt like I was taking the spot of one of our seniors on the team and felt a little guilty. And this year, I still feel the same. I know I need to shoot more to help this team be successful. I’m more of a pass-first point guard and that just hasn’t sunk in with me yet.”
Anderson said he knew immediately that Wright would develop into something special.
“You could see right away that she had the mentality to be a point guard because she had such a strong basketball IQ,” he said. “She had a natural leadership ability but has always been a little reluctant to take charge because she is so conscience of her surroundings. I still think her best basketball is ahead of her, and she has already played plenty of great basketball for us.”
Wright started playing the game when she was 11 and knew by the age of 12 that basketball was the sport for her.
Then came another one of those surprises.
She had been playing in a league at one of the area YMCA’s when her mother signed her up for a league at the D1 Sports facility owned by NBA star and former Wake Forest standout Chris Paul.
“We were supposed to have an all-girls league of seventh- and eighth-graders, but they didn’t have enough girls sign up,” Wright said. “My mom told me I was going to be playing with boys and I was the only girl in the league. Jordan (Hunter, who is a junior on the boys varsity team) was in the league, too. I don’t think they respected me at first, but I know I held my own.”
Wright also holds her own in the classroom. She is in National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, and is involved with Crosby Scholars.
“As or right now, I want to study physical therapy in college,” Wright said. “And I’ll definitely consider playing basketball if those opportunities present themselves.”