By Cameron Winston
Record breaking names can live on in the books and are remembered by performances that do not happen very often.
Riverside City College sophomore guard Dejah Wright is one athlete that will now have her name placed in the record books for breaking the women’s basketball single game scoring record at RCC with 44 points.
“It’s honestly surreal,” Wright said. “During the game I didn’t even know. I was just playing hard. People are coming up to me, people I don’t even know and are just like ‘you’re that girl.’”
It was not just a special moment for Wright, but also a special moment for her coach. The former record just so happened to be held by current head coach Alicia Berber, who scored 41 points in a single game. It was a moment Berber felt was a passing of the torch, and made her feel even more honored to coach Wright during the whole experience.
“Her confidence level has just gone through the roof,” Berber said. “Practicing has helped her, working in the spring and the summer. Working on her game has led her to where she’s at now.”
Wright has been on a roll since the start of the season making a big leap after her freshman season. In 2016, she struggled to score and make as big of an impact for a 19-11 Tigers team that reached the second round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) South regional playoffs. She came off the bench and averaged four points a game, shooting 31.6 percent from the field, and 28.6 percent from the three-point line in thirty games played.
Following her 44-point game against Grossmont College, Wright had increased her season average from last season. She currently leads the Orange Empire Conference in points per game with 20.6, and is shooting at an improved 41 percent in field goal attempts and 43 percent of her three-point attempts.
Wright fell in love with the game early on in her life, as she started playing when she was only four years old. That passion almost came to a halt during her days at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley.
She can only describe it as “interesting” as she had a frustrating time building a strong and respectful relationship with the coach.
“Don’t give up,” Wright said. “I was going to give up on basketball before I came here. Just don’t give up on what you love. If you love it and do it the right way and enjoy what you’re doing, then it’s going to work out regardless.”
Attending RCC has restored her passion for the game. She now has a strong relationship and friendship with Berber and her teammates that have given her confidence and enjoyment in the game again.
Wright has emerged as one of the leaders for this team, and has displayed it both on and off the court. In a way, she has started to take some players under her wing and has helped them transition to the college level just as some of the second-year players on the team from last season helped her.
“On and off the court, (Wright) has always been a leader,” Berber said. “Not very vocal but definitely by example. She’s a good teammate to everybody, and she creates a very good environment and culture for everybody.”