Hall of Fame Head Coach Debbie Ryan has seen some pretty spectacular players during her 33 years at the helm of Virginia women’s basketball. Cathy Grimes. Donna Holt. Dawn Staley. They won national accolades, set records in their time, and had their numbers retired. Yet none of them scored as many points as current senior Monica Wright will when the sun sets on her college career.
“[Wright]’s an incredible leader,” says women’s head coach Debbie Ryan. “You can win a lot of games, but there’s a right way to win, and Monica always does it the right way.”
In all likelihood*, Wright set the Cavalier scoring record on Monday night against Maryland. The game ended too late for press time, but Wright needed only 16 points to surpass Staley’s career tally of 2135 points. She’s on pace to finish her career as the ACC’s third-best scorer.
Staley, now the head women’s basketball coach at South Carolina, is sanguine about ceding the record. “Monica Wright is a good player who works hard to do what the team needs to be successful,” says Staley by e-mail. “That’s the way I played during my career at Virginia, so it’s great that that type of player is overtaking my record.”
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Wright’s assault on the history books is how consistent she’s been. The 5’11" guard from Woodbridge, Virginia, has started every game of her career. As a freshman, Wright averaged 15 points per game and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Last season Wright led the ACC in scoring, averaging 20.5 points per game, and made first team All-ACC honors. It was enough to put her on the national stage—this season, Wright was preseason All-America.
“She’s grown a lot,” says Ryan. Wright was quieter as a freshman, learning how to lead from point guard Sharneé Zoll. But Wright quickly took over as team roll model. “I thought that was kind of cool,” Ryan says, “watching her go through the paces of how to be an encourager, yet also having to be an enforcer, because she had never really been an enforcer before.”
Despite her leadership and prolific scoring, Wright still has some work to do to join the highest echelon of Virginia basketball. In particular, her teams haven’t had the postseason success of Staley’s teams. While Staley danced three times to the NCAA Final Four—and to the 1991 championship game—Wright hasn’t played in even a Sweet Sixteen. This season, Cavaliers are a solid 11-4 as they enter the conference gauntlet and vie for a place in the NCAA tournament.
Yet regardless what records, trophies or plaques she ends up taking home, Wright will have something at least as valuable: The esteem of her veteran coach.
“Everyone knows that her character is beyond reproach, and that to me is what makes her a great basketball player, that’s what makes her unique,” says Ryan. “I’m as proud of her for the person she is as I am for the player that she is.”
*UPDATE Tuesday, January 12: In the January 11 game against Maryland, Monica Wright scored 20 points, enough for the record, though the Cavs lost by one point.
It was no secret that today’s hearing on a petition to remove Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office was going to be continued, but that didn’t prevent more than four dozen people from showing up in Charlottesville Circuit Court, most of them Bellamy supporters. The petition with 527
In the latest twist of the saga of Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s controversial and racially charged statements on Twitter unearthed by Jason Kessler, a right-wing activist, Bellamy’s attorney has filed a response to the petition calling for his removal from office. In a press conference
Children resettling in the U.S. often bring with them the emotional trauma caused from exiting their country at a time of high stress. A local nonprofit supporting minority families wants to help people interact and provide services for these kids. For Kibiriti Majuto, a Charlottesville High
Local filmmaker, age 35 Though he only began teaching himself the art of filmmaking four years ago while researching his ancestry, Lorenzo Dickerson’s calling has always been storytelling. “I enjoy bringing awareness to stories that either have been forgotten or that people have never known
While Tom Garrett carried the 5th District with 58 percent of the vote, his popularity didn’t seep into the Dem-majority Charlottesville area. In office less than a month, the new congressman has had hundreds of protesters show up every week at his Berkmar Crossing office, to the consternation
When Interim County Executive Doug Walker presented Albemarle County’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 to the Board of Supervisors last week, unlike last year, it did not include a bump in the 83.9 cents per $100 real estate tax rate. Revenues are projected to increase $21,866,508, or 5.8
In a press conference today at City Space on the Downtown Mall, conservative activist Jason Kessler presented his case for the removal of Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office, along with a petition intended to begin the legal process, which is unprecedented in the city.
When the time is right, they crawl. Once a year, over the span of a couple warm, wet nights, a local population of more than 1,000 spotted salamanders makes the 100-yard trek from their forested homes to their vernal pool breeding grounds, crossing Rio Mills and Polo Grounds roads. Though they
When Charlottesville decided to keep the historic Jefferson School and its prime real estate as a community center rather than selling it for condos, a complicated financial structure was required to make the $18 million rehab of the 1926 high school possible. Four years after the renovated
“What I’m about to show you is keeping me up at night,” said former CBS correspondent and current UVA professor Wyatt Andrews at a February 9 seminar addressing the relationship between President Donald Trump, the media and “fake news.” And what he said might surprise you. At 1.2 million, the
Ruling that the search warrant that led to the arrest of former UVA film studies professor Walter Korte was invalid—and that the two images used as the basis for the warrant in fact weren’t child pornography—Judge Cheryl Higgins nonetheless allowed the admission of the photos, citing a “good
Sheriff ponies up Albemarle’s Chip Harding says he’ll write a check for $5,000 and has raised another $28K to donate to the Virginia Crime Commission, chaired by Delegate Rob Bell, to help study the effects of collecting DNA for misdemeanor convictions. Harding and Hannah Graham’s parents say
The husband of Sandra Marks, aka Psychic Catherine, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $5.5 million in restitution to the clients seeking spiritual solace the couple bilked. Donnie Marks, 43, who was charged with mail fraud and money laundering, appeared in the same U.S.
At its February 1 meeting, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors denied a rezoning request for Adelaide, a proposed 80-unit housing development in Crozet. The project is currently zoned for one single home per acre, and developer Kyle Redinger sought a zoning change to six units per acre,
Not in attendance at a civil case hearing February 2 in U.S. District Court were the four plaintiffs who are suing Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles. One reason for their absences, according to their attorney, is because their driver’s licenses are suspended. The case, filed by Legal Aid
The man and woman charged with stealing, maiming and torturing a pig to death were in Albemarle County Circuit Court for a motions hearing February 7. But first, the backstory. Last July, two Albemarle County Police officers picked up a pig in the Proffit Road area and took it to the
Last month’s City Council vote on a motion to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee deadlocked 2-2 and left the chamber in disarray for 30 minutes. The issue was back on the agenda February 6 after Councilor Bob Fenwick announced he was changing his abstention to a vote to remove the
Anyone attempting to drive east down Water Street over the past couple weeks has noticed a large traffic sign intercepting her mission—and some business owners in that area aren’t happy about it. Construction of a seven-unit mixed-use building at 550 E. Water St. (called 550 Water Street) will
Attorney Jeff Fogel has been in the thick of almost every civil rights action in the city during the past decade. He sued the city for its restrictions on panhandling. He’s sued Albemarle police on behalf of plaintiffs who say they were targeted by an officer because they were black. And he’s
Albemarle hates it and Charlottesville loves it. But neither jurisdiction saw Delegate Steve Landes’ budget amendment coming that could scrub a 1982 agreement in which Albemarle pays millions every year to Charlottesville for the privilege of not being annexed—even though the General Assembly