After The Whistle: Parkside’s Jackie Wright
SALISBURY, Md. – Jackie Wright has been a force in the Bayside, earning player of the year in the south as a sophomore while averaging over 21 points and 14 boards.
Fierce competition with her two sisters, 21- and 10-years her elder, helped Jackie to blossom from a young age.
“As I grew up it helped me a lot, because then it was like I know how to take that aggression, now I’m not just going to sit there and cry about it, like a baby.”
Aggression has become her M.O., and it’s no surprise that she looks to a baller like Brittney Griner for inspiration.
“It made me want to start flexing, so now I start flexing and I start getting in, like I be like “Ohhh”, getting in peoples faces and stuff. It just makes me feel good because I’m like the little version of Brittney Griner in a way.”
Basketball was not Jackie’s first choice, though. She says another girls sport was her original goal.
“I wanted to be a cheerleader, I wanted to be like to other girls. But then, when they got me into basketball everything just changed.”
Wright has faced challenges to her basketball career, like a back contusion she suffered a year ago, but nothing compares to the loss of her grandfather.
“He would kick his foot and point to his butt, and it used to mean kick butt, Jackie. And I used to go out there and I used to nod and I used to do my work.And then he would come and say ‘that’s my girl!'”
She still feels his support every time she steps onto the courts, because he is always there in spirit, sitting in his seat that she makes sure is always there.
“If you ever like go to a game and you see just a chair there, I just put a chair there just to have his presence there, just even though he’s not.”