By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– She was vocal about how nervous she was about the ceremony Wednesday afternoon during lunch as they waited for Athletic Director Heidi Hermansen to come in as she showed a shaky hand to a few of her teammates and friends in the crowd from the table.
Cascade’s Halle Wright isn’t afraid of the big crowds on the court, nerves are just apart of the game of course; but with the attention solely on her, the nerves were there in full force for this occasion as the library was filled with her fellow peers, family and coaches.
“It was definitely, I don’t know it was scary at first because it’s all my friends and all my peers but I just kind of got used to it,” said Wright. “All of these people are here to support me with love and it’s very scary that I’m taking the next chapeter of my life and so it was very exciting, I’m a lost for words right now.”
When Hermansen arrived, the ceremony of Wright signing to Division-1 Montana State University began and Wright started to relax as Hermansen and Lady Cougars Mark Stevens were up there with her talking about the senior.
Stevens talked about her dedication and hard work, recalling after losing the State Championship game in 2015 hearing and seeing Wright putting in work the day after losing to Sutherlin that year 45-40 in the gym at the school.
“It’s all for the love of the game. I mean I never really thought I’d be in a State Championship Game my sophomore year,” said Wright who had 23 points and seven rebounds in that State Title game her sophomore year. “I mean last year, it was one roller-coaster of a ride.
“But my senior year, all of these years added up to my senior year. It’s just kind of a build up about everything that’s happened throughout my past years and all the things I’ve learned, it’s all for the love of the game and it’s all the dedication that I’m going to put in.”
With her senior year here and her right on the doorstep on returning to full-go, full-strength from that knee injury suffered in the first-round game her junior year; it’s go time for one last hurrah.
One last ride with her team and be the leader she has been through the years of wearing the Black and Yellow of Cascade, before going to Bozeman, Montana after this year.
But in the meantime, the student of the game with the high-basketball IQ in Wright knows that she can still improve during this season even though she has already moved on to the next level beyond this year.
“I just got to continue playing my game and stay focused on what I really want and just stay focused,” said Wright. “I can definitely focus on my leadership and communicating. I like to lead by example, but I feel like if I’m more vocal and tell the girls what I see that they may not see and take-in what they see and what I don’t see, I feel like that’s going to make us a better team all around.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald