Oct. 20, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - CalBears.com caught up with Cal junior forward Reneé Wright to discuss the start of women's basketball practice, the team's goals for the season and her interests off the court. Wright averaged 4.7 ppg in 2003-04 as one of the Bears' top reserves but upped that mark to 9.2 ppg over the final six games of the season.
How have the first five days of practice been?
The first five days have been very intense. Everyone is working hard. There's a lot of heart, desire and determination to be the best this year. Coach Horstmeyer is doing a great job of working both offense and defenseThe newcomers have come in so prepared. The returners didn't really have to teach them. They were just ready and excited.
How was yesterday's scrimmage, in particular for the newcomers?
It was a good scrimmage. If the newcomers are fuzzy on something, they're not afraid to ask questions. A lot of times new people are scared to ask because they don't know what their roles or their places are. They don't have any problems asking. They knew the offense. They reviewed it and asked questions before the scrimmage during practice. So, it went well.
What are your impressions of the newcomers?
They're all very talented. We're very deep this year. They've come in very mature and prepared to work hard, to practice, to know the offense and to jump right in. We're going to have a great team this year.
What are your biggest areas of improvement?
I've definitely been trying to focus on my consistency. Coach has been talking to me a lot about being a consistent offensive and defensive threat, making sure that I'm working hard and am on the same page all of the time. Also, I'm working on my attitude and body language. I'm trying to stay positive through ups and downs. My shooting is also better. Coach has spent a lot of time working with me on my shooting form, and finally it's clicking.
What have you done to prepare for this season?
Last March, I had surgery to clean my right knee up. I had to get that in order. I've also had rehab, extra conditioning, extra cardio. That took me awhile. This past summer, we were here as a team working together at 6 a.m. every single day. I feel great heading into the season.
What are the team's expectations for the 2004-05 season?
Our expectations are high. But, most important, this year is different because we're trying to take it game by game. We have five main points we're trying to focus on this year - defense, rebounding, not being predictable, teamwork and finishing strong. If we focus on those five areas, the only people who can stop us our ourselves.
How are your academics?
I'm majoring in social welfare. After I graduate, I'm going to go to nursing school. School is going well. I love my classes. They're all so interesting. I'm finally into my major. My dad wants me to become a doctor, but I want to be a pediatric nurse. I want to work with children. I don't want to be a doctor because I feel you often can lose that personable touch. Nurses can have conversations with the patients and don't have to feel too rushed.
What are your interests besides basketball?
Listening to music. I've become interested in my faith and the spiritual side of me. I've been going to Athletes in Action, trying to get in touch with the Lord. Right now, spirituality and religion are my focuses.