Gryphons land Alexis Wright
Alexis Wright knew the University of Guelph would be her basketball home for the next four years at the end of her first visit to the school.
Following a day of touring the campus and facilities, the Grade 12 student at Centennial sat down to watch the team practice in the evening.
“Coach (Mark) Walton and coach Meg (Reid) weren’t even in the room and they were all ready to go and already working hard,” the said. “The level of compete that the girls had and the level of respect they have for the coaches was unmatched at any other visit. It was their dedication to get better even when no one was watching.”
The 17-year-old Welland resident felt an immediate connection with Walton and Reid.
“They were both really supportive and like the same type of play I have been used to in the past. And they were very helpful when I went for my visit.”
The 5-foot-8 player committed to the school at the end of November and is planning to do a signing ceremony during a Guelph home game on Feb. 25.
The present member of the Niagara Juel basketball team can’t wait to get started with the Gryphons.
“I’m looking forward to playing with girls who are very competitive and learning from them and eventually stepping into a leadership role somewhere down the road.”
The former member of the Niagara Prep Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association squad has a goal of earning as much playing time as she can and developing as a player.
“It’s to grow my guard skills because I will be playing more as a guard instead of the versatile role that I have been playing now,” she said. “Coach Walton said playing time will depend on how I play but I have a good chance of getting a decent amount of playing time in my first year. That is obviously a plus.”
Wright will have a familiar face when she goes to Guelph. Former Niagara Prep teammate Julia Colavecchia is in her rookie season with the Ontario University Athletics squad.
“I loved playing with Julia so it will be really nice to get back playing with her.”
After helping Centennial win a bronze medal at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AA senior girls basketball championships last fall, Wright is looking forward to the start of the Juel season this weekend in Hamilton. She has also been getting in the gym at Centennial in the morning to work on her shooting.
Wright has been pleased with how her game is rounding into form.
“I have been able to get my confidence back from the on and off of COVID and I have been able to get the consistency of my shot back.”
Her time with Niagara Prep in Grade 10 played a major role in her development. She was able to have success against some of the best players in Ontario.
“It was a really great experience playing with this girls and it was a confidence booster. It surrounded me with a lot of people with the same goals.”
Wright is planning to major in biology at Guelph with hopes of either going to dental school or teachers college.