Sarasota High School senior small forward, Natasha Wilcox, first hit the basketball court at the age of 7. A former track runner, Wilcox says she uses her speed and aggression to her advantage on the court. This week, she tells the Sarasota Observer about growing up a tomboy growing up and drawing inspiration from her family.
How did you begin playing basketball?
My dad wanted me to start. He thought I’d like it, and I did, so I stuck with it.
What did you like about it?
I was playing at the YMCA, and it was co-ed. I was kind of a tomboy when I was younger, so I liked playing against the boys.
Do you still describe yourself as a tomboy?
I think a little bit. I’ve become girlier throughout the years, but I’m aggressive and confident on the court. I can be timid sometimes, but I like to attack the hoop.
What were your first impressions of high school basketball?
I was nervous for my first game. I was playing junior varsity, and I hadn’t started yet. I thought I was going to make a lot of mistakes, but I actually did pretty well.
How have you improved the most over the years?
I’ve improved my shot and my ball handling. I was never strong with my left hand, and my shot is more accurate now.
What has been your biggest learning experience?
Last year, we were down by a lot in our summer league, and we ended up coming back and winning. It taught me to always keep pushing in any situation. It’s always easier to take the easy road, but it’s better to push yourself and try hard.
What is your biggest strength? Weakness?
My biggest strength is my defensive ability. I usually average more defensive rebounds. My biggest weakness is still ball handling with my left hand. It could be stronger.
What inspires you?
My family. They taught me to never give up, and they’re always here watching my games. They’re very supportive. It makes me happy when I make them proud.
What can basketball teach you about life?
Don’t give up — try your hardest. It also teaches you to get along with people. We’re basically together 24/7, and, just like in a work place, you can’t have conflicts. It teaches you to talk out your problems so that they don’t escalate.
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