The Cavalier Daily
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Dynamic Wright soars in anonymity

One of the best athletes the University has ever seen will wrap up her decorated career during the next several weeks. Sadly, most Virginia students probably have not even seen this athlete play, much less know about this person's accomplishments. This athlete can probably walk across Grounds in virtual anonymity.

I can tell you, though, that after seeing her in person multiple times now, senior guard Monica Wright is someone you have to go see if you are any type of sports fan.

How do I know she is one of the best athletes in Virginia history? Well, even if you aren't a stats person, you have to appreciate what Wright has accomplished. She has increased her points per game average each season of her career: 15.1 points during 2006-07; 17.6 points during 2007-08; 20.5 points during 2008-09; and 22 during 2009-10. Against Maryland at home Jan. 11, she surpassed Cavalier great Dawn Staley's 2,135 career points to become Virginia's all-time leading scorer. Since then, Wright has been moving up the ACC totem pole and now sits in sixth place on the conference's career scoring list. She needs 18 points to pass North Carolina's Ivory Latta and enter the top five. Wright and Staley are the only two players in school history to record more than 2,000 career points, 700 rebounds, 300 steals and 300 assists. Wright's 22 points per game leads the ACC in scoring and she sits at seventh in the nation in that category.

Wright doesn't just score, though - she's the complete package. This season, the senior from Woodbridge, Va. is leading the Cavaliers in rebounding (6.8 per game), assists (3.1 per game) and steals (3.8 per game). Her 3.8 steals per game leads the ACC and is third in the nation. She's hitting 76.8 percent of her free throws and 31.9 percent of her threes.

The way Wright works to create her shots is amazing, even with every team's defense keyed in right on her this season. For the first time during Wright's career, none of her teammates are averaging more than 10 points per game, meaning that every team is gunning to stop Wright. And still, she continues to score, while dishing to her teammates and making everyone around her better.

Admittedly, I have not always done the best job during my time as a student of going to see non-revenue sports teams, but watching Wright play is a real treat. I have only gotten out to one women's basketball game this year - a 57-55 win against Georgia Tech Jan. 24 - but I plan on going to at least a couple more, and you should too. Not only is the team starting to play better, but it is entirely worth it to see Wright work her magic.

There are only five more women's basketball home games left during the regular season: Feb. 4 against Clemson, Feb. 15 against North Carolina, Feb. 16 against Longwood, Feb. 22 against Florida State and Feb. 28 against Virginia Tech. Do yourself a favor and go catch at least one of these games. You can thank me later.

It's a real travesty that so many people have not seen Wright play or don't know of her accomplishments. One of the "110 things to do before you graduate" for the Class of 2010 should be to go see this athlete play at least once. She's a senior; she won't be here much longer.

Wright is truly one of the all-time greats in both Virginia and ACC history. If you've already seen her play, maybe you'll want to check her out one or two more times to truly appreciate her greatness. If you haven't seen her play, make it a point to go see her so you can tell your children and grandchildren you saw one of the best athletes to have ever played at Virginia.


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Today, we sit down with both the president and treasurer of the Virginia women's club basketball team to discuss everything from making free throws to recent increased viewership in women's basketball.