DV's Bright off to Oregon State after taking JC route - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

DV's Bright off to Oregon State after taking JC route

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Posted: Friday, May 27, 2011 4:00 pm | Updated: 4:36 pm, Fri May 27, 2011.

Patricia Bright might have found the perfect spot to continue her basketball career at Oregon State.

The 2009 Desert Vista graduate has never put up big statistical numbers because of varying circumstances, but it has never changed her approach to the game.

Her effort and talent caught the eye of OSU coach Scott Rueck.

"I got a good vibe from the coach and that's why I picked them," Bright said. "He told me he doesn't care about stats. He liked how I could block shots and how fast I was for my size. I am kind of like a guard playing the post."

The 6-foot-4 Bright's journey to Corvallis, Ore., was not an easy one as Rueck will be her fifth coach in five years.

She didn't start her senior year for then first-year Thunder coach Rachel Proudfoot, and averaged 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, which was about half of her averages as a junior.

Bright ended up in Midland College in Texas where she averaged 4.1 points and 4.7 points and helped the team to the Elite Eight in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

After that she made her way to Pensacola State College where she helped the team to the NJCAA Final Four as she averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in limited minutes for a talented team.

"It was great experience playing that far into the tournament," Bright said. "We had a great team and it was fun to be around them. Coach (Chanda) Rigby made sure we were a family before we ever stepped on the court."

This time Bright expects to unpack and stay awhile and it is why she chose the Pac-12 team over programs like Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Louisiana Tech and other smaller programs.

"I've had so many coaches that I just want to get some place and stay," she said. "Coach Rueck is going to be a good fit and, hopefully, we can turn things around in a hurry."

Rueck is coming over from a Division III program, George Fox, to take on a program that went 11-20 last season, including 2-16 in the Pac-10, and was 68-85 overall the last five seasons.

He is excited to have Bright as part of the program.

"Patricia knows what it takes to be successful, as she comes to us from a top-notch junior college program and having played for Chanda Rigby," he said in a press release. "She is a long, athletic player, who has great speed and can play both post positions.

"Offensively, she has the ability to step out and shoot the three-pointer, as well as score with her back to the basket.

"She has a good feel for the game and has the size and athleticism to be an outstanding defender in the Pac-12. Patricia is a great person, a joy to be around and will flourish on and off the court here."

Bright, who leaves in July to start summer school, said it is about time that she shows what she can really do.

"I've been underestimated all my career," she said. "Everyone knows I can play, and how good I can be, but I never got that chance. My hope is I will be here. I want to go in and put in my work and start. We have to mesh as a team and this is a time for us to prove ourselves."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
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  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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