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ARLINGTON, Texas – With less than 24 hours until UTA women's basketball takes the court for its first official practice of the fall, the countdown reached 40 days until tipoff vs. Incarnate Word on Nov. 11. We sat down with Lady Maverick No. 40, freshman Michaela Wright, for what life has been like in Arlington.
How did it come about that you were going to attend UTA?
Wright: "I came down to UTA and said there was no way that I was coming here, and I did enjoy talking to coach Gerlich but it was too far and there was a lot of different things that led to me thinking that way.
I came down with my parents and when I did visit with all four coaches, that was a big thing, I could really match with all of the coaches and that is something I didn’t have at the other places that I had visited. Here it was like each person had a role and were invested in you.
It was crazy how I was dead set and then was transformed by the people. When I got back and I talked to my parents and they said if the only reason is distance, then you should pick it because distance shouldn’t be a factor."
Now in Arlington, how has the transition been?
Wright: "It is a huge transition. It is definitely hard. I have a big family and being away from them is hard because they are very invested in sports and coming to games. They are coaches in their own ways in different sports so that is a big transition. I have been talking to Jennifer Parker about it as we are going through the same thing and that just seems to go with being a freshman. "
Once you make friends it is a lot better. The coaches are always there for you and checking in and they know when you're homesick and know what is going on."
Who has been a role model from the upperclassmen?
Wright: "Rebekah (VanDijk) has helped me out a lot. She has reached out to me and took the freshmen out just to sit down and talk. She was able to tell her story about her freshman year. It was the exact thing that we were going through with being away from home and the transition into Division I.
It shows you'll overcome it and after that year it gets better. Making friends off the team will really help."
How excited are you to open practice on Tuesday?
Wright: "I am so excited and can't wait to start getting into game mode and preparing for games and scouting reports. Just to pick up a ball more than sprinting, that is always something to look forward to. I can't wait for the higher level of play."
How has the difference been between high school and college?
Wright: "It hasn’t been too bad for me. Some people have a hard time transitioning. I was homeschooled for a long time so I had learned how to manage my time. My parents always taught me really good time management skills and it helped being a duel athlete. I was always playing two sports at a time. "
In Arlington, what have you liked to do outside of being on campus?
Wright: "We have been to Rangers games. At first when I got here in the summer I didn’t know a whole lot of people, but now I am kind of branching out. I like country music a lot so I plan on going to country music. I also really like hockey, so I am looking forward to going to some Dallas Stars games."
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