Tyra Wright got a first-hand look at one of the cathedrals of college basketball last week.
Now a starter as a freshman at Charleston Southern University, Wright and the Bucs took on North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wright scored four points in an 85-54 blowout, but the experience is one she likely won’t forget.
“Being able to say I played on the same court as Michael Jordan is incredible,” said Wright, who was a four-year starter at WCHS. “Playing at Chapel Hill was a great experience. Before the game, we were able to tour the men’s facility and see the famous Jordan shoe wall. We also got to meet Roy Williams.”
The 6-foot-2 former Lady Pioneer is likely to make many more memories over her career, one that has gotten off to a quick start.
Wright was part of a five-player freshman class recruited by coach Fred Applin. The eighth-year coach hasn’t been shy about throwing his new talent into the fire, as Wright is one of three freshmen who have started the last two games.
Jumping straight into the starting lineup was part of Wright’s crash course in college. Making adjustments on the fly have been necessary since she stepped foot on the Charleston campus.
“The college experience was kind of rough to begin - trying to balance school and practice and then find study time. Over time is has gotten easier and now it is great,” said Wright.
The Bucs have started the season 0-4, with losses at home to South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman as well as a season-opening loss to Florida State, 88-36.
Wright went scoreless in Tallahassee, but she had six points and four rebounds in her second game.
She’s seamlessly fit in with her teammates, who have provided her a family away from home.
“The whole team gets along great. We all really fit well and know our roles. I fit in with the other bigs very well – we all bring different skills,” said Wright.
Even with Wright’s cohesion with her Buccaneer pals, there are still times when she wants to be back with her family.
“The biggest adjustment was being so far away from my home and family. I am very close with my family and being eight hours away is hard, but being able to Facetime and fly home on weekends off make it easier,” said Wright.
Local fans can tune into ESPN+ this December to see Wright. The Buccaneers are slated to play six games this month, five of which are scheduled to be broadcast on the streaming app, starting with a Dec. 7 matchup with Virginia-Lynchburg.