For many college students, four years is not enough time to accomplish everything they want to do. The feeling is even more impactful in the lives of student-athletes, who strive toward both academic and athletic achievements. As senior year comes and goes, some might wish they had more time.
Senior Kia Wright is no exception but the star guard of the women’s basketball team rectified the situation. She has officially announced that she will be returning for another year with the team.
“I wanted to come back because of the way this season’s going,” Wright said. “It’s not a good note to leave on.”
The importance of Wright’s return is not lost on her teammates. Victoria Hodges, who has not played because of injuries, says that playing with Wright next year will be exciting.
“I’m happy she’s coming back since I wasn’t able to play with her this year,” Hodges said. “It’s good because we’re returning all our players…and she’s a leader. She’s someone who’s going to be there for you. She’ll never stop giving you advice.”
While leadership is a quality that Wright has exhibited this season, it is something that she is still growing accustomed to.
“This year I’m a leader, and it’s new to me,” she said. “I’ve never been the only senior before. I got a taste of it this year and next year, I’ll be better.”
“Better” for Wright includes both leadership and playing ability. The team’s season is not over yet because of a berth in the Big East Tournament. Wright, however, already has her sights set on improving.
“I just want to have a good season next year,” she said. “I want to be twice the player I am now. I want teams to have to triple-team me. I know it’s in me. I just have to let it out.”Despite the fact that her sporadic performance was not totally her fault-injuries did play a big part-Wright does not use them as an excuse.
“I just pushed myself through [the injuries],” she said. “I realized that the world won’t give you anything. If you want it, you have to take it or else someone else will take it for you. If you want be great you have to have that mentality.”
Wright’s mentality will go a long way in determining the future of the team. As for Wright’s future, her goals are set on playing basketball even after her Red Storm days are over.
“Playing overseas is something I’ve thought about,” she said. “I would also like to play professionally in the WNBA and going high in the first round would be good.”
Playing professionally is a goal that will have to wait another year for Wright, but in the meantime, she will have the task of piloting a St. John’s team back to Big East prominence and on the way, she will continue to pass former players on the St. John’s women’s all-time scoring list. She is currently 10th on the list with 1,156 points and needs only 35 points to surpass Kerry Karst’s (1978-82) total of 1,190.
“I don’t worry about points,” Wright said. “I’m worried about winning.”
Up next for Wright and the team is the Big East Tournament.
The berth represents more to the team than just an extended playing period. With a tournament berth, they now have a chance to rectify last year’s regret of being bounced in the second round to lower-seeded West Virginia. For Wright, she can look forward to not only this tournament but perhaps another when she is back next season.