Junior Whitney Wright has enjoyed a solid start to the season and is one of two players to start every contest for the Roadrunners. The Springer, Okla., native already has set career bests in several categories and will continue to be a key part of the squad as UTSA looks for another Southland Conference title this spring. Wright recently took time out of her schedule to chat with goUTSA.com.
You’re one of the best shot-blockers in the conference and rank among the best in the nation. What’s been your mindset on the defensive end this season?
"My mindset this year has definitely been to slow down. In past seasons I’ve tended to pop out and try and jump on people and it’s gotten me into foul trouble. Being able to slow down and react to what’s happening instead of just jumping has been a difference."
What do you see as your role on the team?
"I’m an encourager. I like to make big plays, such as blocking shots, and sometimes I think that hypes my team up. I like being a big encourager. When someone is down I try to pick them up and if I’m having a bad day they do the same for me."
For you, what’s been the biggest difference between this season and last season?
"Chemistry. This year we have so much more chemistry than we had last year and it’s working for us. It didn’t look like it was going to help us at the start of the season, but as the year progresses we’re becoming more and more of a team thanks to that chemistry."
What’s it like to play for head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair?
"Coach Blair keeps a smile on our faces. She does silly things and we love to interact with her. She’s a great coach and we love that she’s our leader."
Is there a player in the NBA or WNBA that you model your game after?
"I’m a big LeBron James fan. I see all the energy he brings and all the passion he has for basketball and those things enlighten me to be the person I am on the court."
What is your favorite thing about UTSA?
"Definitely the people and the environment. San Antonio is a great place to be. I love all my professors and all my classes. I’m from the country, from a place with no stop signs to this big city life. It’s different, but I really like it here."
If you could trade places with a teammate for a day, who would it be and why?
"Probably Cori Cooper. Everyone sees how energetic she is on the court and she brings a lot of intensity to the team. If I could trade places with anyone on the team it would probably be her."
What do you like to do in your time away from school and basketball?
"Sleep! I sleep a lot honestly, probably too much. I like to watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy, too."
What is your degree and what do you hope to do with it in the future?
"Right now I’m majoring in kinesiology and I hope to be a physical therapist. I’m a junior this year and after the spring semester I’m going to decide which route I’m going to go with that."
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
"My nickname is “Grasshopper”. My dad used to call me that because I have long legs and I can jump higher than everybody. It’s really embarrassing, but that’s one thing that a lot of people don’t know."