Mikaela Wright has started on the Collegiate varsity basketball team since the seventh grade. She went over the 1,000-point mark late last season and was voted by coaches to the All-Seventh Region second team. This season the 5-foot-6 junior is averaging 16.2 points and 4.5 assists for a 8-6 team that won the Seventh Region All “A” tournament for the second straight year.
You score a high percentage of your team’s points — 17 of 25 against Bryan Station, 29 of 41 against Southern and 23 of 40 against Bourbon County. What is your mind-set as a team leader?
I understand I have to score for my team to win. It’s pressure, but I’m used to it. I try to make my team better, but when I have to score I do that.
What has been your best memory while playing basketball for Collegiate?
When I got my 1,000th point against Fairdale on Jan. 25 (2013). I had 24 points in that game. My 1,000th point came on a 3-pointer. I’ll shoot the three any time I’m open.
Did you play AAU ball last spring and summer?
I played for the Focus. Javonna Layfield, Aundrea Matchen and Brandy Ray of Ballard and Madison Raque of Eastern were on my team. We played in North Carolina, Atlanta and Lexington. I scored 28 points in one game.
Coach Willard says you can play at the next level. Where would you like to play in college?
I want to play for the University of Louisville. I like Bellarmine, too, but I think I’m going to U of L. I want to study pre-med and become a pediatrician.
How did you get interested in the medical field?
I went to an Area Health Education Center at UK for four weeks last summer. We went to a lot of clinical rotations and shadowed a bunch of doctors.
How do you spend your free time, especially when snow days cancel school?
On the three days we’ve missed school this year, I’ve done my homework. I also watch a lot of basketball on TV. My favorite team is U of L, women and men. I look up to players like Angel McCoughtry, Tia Gibbs and Antonita Slaughter, and Shoni Schimmel is so good. I’ve got an account to watch the WNBA. I also watch the NBA and like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
Do you ever wish you had attended a larger high school and played basketball there?
Sometimes, because here it’s harder to make the team better and you get more exposure in basketball at a larger school. But education will take you farther than basketball, and that’s why I stayed.
MIKAELA WRIGHT UP CLOSE
* Collegiate * Junior * Field hockey, basketball * Wright has a 3.4 GPA and belongs to Mu Alpha Theta, a math honor society, and participates on the math team. She has a class in accelerated pre-calculus. She plays point guard in basketball and left back (a defensive position) in field hockey. * Mikaela lives with her mother, Karla Wright, and sister, Karissa, an eighth-grader on the Collegiate field hockey and basketball teams. Her brother, Michael Wright Jr., 27, lives in St. Louis, and her father, Michael Wright Sr., lives in Pittsburgh. * “Mikaela is a dynamic point guard who has led our team for four straight years. She’s our captain for the first time, which has led her to be more of a leader on the court. She has to make sure everyone is on the same page. She’s our No. 1 option and the main focus of the opposing team. She sees box-and-one and diamond-and-one defenses all the time, which makes her statistics even more impressive.”School: Year: Sports:Student-athlete: Family: Coach Scott Willard:
— Bob White