4 Downs: Ashantee Wright
Sophomore has become leading presence on girls basketball, volleyball teams
PETERSBURG — Whether it’s volleyball or basketball, Ashantee Wright has been a leading presence for her team on the court.
Last year, Wright shone in a leading group of freshmen that helped the young but talented Crimson Wave girls basketball team win its opening round of the Region 3A tournament.
Wright has also stood out as a team leader through her play on the girls volleyball team.
Wright may be a sophomore, but she and her teammates have built up chemistry from playing together since sixth grade under Latoya Harrison, who after coaching them in middle school basketball is entering her second year as the girls’ varsity head basketball coach.
Wright talked about how she got into basketball, what it’s like playing with her teammates and how she gets ready for games:
FIRST DOWN: What got you into basketball?
Wright: At first it was like a competition thing, like everybody else around me played basketball...I tried to play and at first I didn’t like it, but then Coach Harrison, she taught me and showed me how to do things, and that’s what made me love basketball.
What’s the biggest thing, the X-factor, that’s kept you in the game? Wright: Working together with my teammates and being able to win, it motivates me. SECOND DOWN: What do you feel as a player you bring to the team and bring to the table to help the team win games? Wright: I know how to take information and put it
on the court and help my teammates out.
A little bit about your teammates: what do they bring and what makes them fun to be around?
Wright: It’s like everybody brings ... something different to the table. Janai [Houston], she’s a hard worker. Natalia [Collier], if she doesn’t get something right, she always works hard to make sure it gets right. Trinity [Price], she makes sure everybody’s together, makes sure nobody else is slacking…
Having played [with your teammates since sixth grade], what is that chemistry like?
Wright: Every single year we play with each other, our bond has grown stronger and stronger. [We] play basketball all-year-round, so it’s like we’re sisters and like nobody can break our bond.
Any fun team bonding activities that you [all] have done together?
Wright: We have sleepovers, sometimes we go to training together, we go out places together. We watch film together sometimes on weekends.
Playing volleyball, how does that help you stay conditioned and get in shape for basketball?
Wright: It helps me work on my ups; like when I’m blocking at the net [in volleyball], it helps me to be able to jump up like when I’m getting rebounds[ in basketball ]... and also it helps with talking, ‘cause volleyball is about talking and hustling. It helps my hustle and talking.
For you, what’s like a pregame ritual or activity you do to get ready for mainly basketball?
Wright: Well first, I’ve got to pray, because it helps. We always go around and be like: “What are we gonna work
on during the game?” and “What happened last game and that we need to improve that we’re gonna bring over to the next game?”
TURNOVER ON DOWNS TO YOU:
What [are your] favorite hobbies or activities outside of basketball?
Wright: I just like playing sports. I just like being active and playing sports. I just can’t sit there in the house and do nothing...
Petersburg Girls Volleyball and Petersburg Girls Basketball player Ashantee Wright.