|Vincent shoots way to N.C. school |
|Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:00 pm |
|By MIKE HUTCHENS |
Press Sports Editor
Fittingly, the hay’s in the barn for Teddy Vincent.
After honing her considerable shooting skills in a barn — complete with foul and 3-point lines — the Westview girls’ basketball standout parlayed that work into a Division I college scholarship with High Point University that Vincent signed Friday.
The rising 5-11 senior post player picked the Panthers and North Carolina school over five other offers from colleges on the same level.
She’s started every game (64 total) for Westview the past two seasons and averaged 15.2 points and 6.1 rebounds her junior campaign when she earned all-district and all-region accolades for a squad that won 20 games. The Lady Chargers had 21 victories in Vincent’s sophomore season.
Admittedly “self-made,” that process began several years ago when her father Jack gave Teddy and brother John-Garrett the choice of a basketball goal in the barn or a swimming pool.
Indoor hoops won over water.
“We live on a hill, and when I’d shoot and miss sometimes, the ball would roll down the hill and I’d have to go chase it,” she laughed. “We picked the goal, and my daddy put it up when I was about in the fourth grade. At first it was just one of those on a pole because the barn was going to be for farming equipment, too. He ran over it (the goal), though, and I told him he was going to have to get his stuff out of there. I have a goal on the wall now and my mother painted all the lines and stuff for me.
“It’s just my safe zone. I love to shoot. In the barn, I can shoot in the rain, the sleet, the snow, the wind… I even have a little space heater in there for when it gets cold. No doubt, that’s where my journey started for me.”
Vincent said she first “got motivated about basketball” in the sixth grade. An honest assessment of her physical stature and skills, she insisted, prompted her to develop the work ethic that earned her multiple choices to continue both her playing career and education.
“I knew I wasn’t as athletic as maybe some of the other girls, and that I’d really have to work at it if I wanted to achieve my goals,” she said.
Westview head coach Sean Stephenson echoed those thoughts.
“She’s made herself into a player,” the Lady Charger skipper insisted in a glowing evaluation of Vincent’s character and skills. “She’s just a relentless worker. She’s so incredibly motivated. Her work in that barn speaks volumes and tells you all you need to know about how she’s driven.
“She will do anything you ask of her and more. We have to play her in the post because we don’t have anyone else, and she battles the bigger kids like (Obion Central’s Brandi) Goodman and others and never backs down. They (High Point) are going to play her at a two- or three-spot, and I believe that because she’s had to play with her back to the basket for us, it will help her when she gets there and has to play facing the goal.
“They (High Point) have gotten a good one.”
Vincent, who attracted the attention of college recruiters largely via AAU play in the spring and summer, visited both Stetson and Lipscomb University when deciding on her next-level choice. She also had offers from Navy, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Northern Kentucky.
She took an official visit to High Point — which won 20 games and played in the NIT last season as a member of the Big South Conference — in August after going there last season to watch a game and “look around” at the campus that is “around 10 hours from here,” she said. “I liked what I saw.”
Vincent will play for head coach DeUnna Hendrix at HPU after Hendrix was elevated from an assistant’s role when Panther head coach Jennifer Hoover left for the Wake Forest job after last season. Vincent is not concerned about that transition.
“I knew the assistant coaches, because the were part of my recruiting process,” she said. “They are going to play the same style and push the ball, just like they were playing beforehand.”
Named after her mom Jennifer’s father, Ted, who passed away after battling leukemia before Teddy was born, Vincent said the basketball scholarship was merely the “first thing on my goal list.”
“This was No. 1, getting a chance to play college basketball and getting my education paid for,” she said when rattling off other future objectives. “I’ve thought about possibly playing overseas one day, too, and then maybe getting into coaching.”
She’s proven to date, don’t bet the farm against her. Published in The WCP 11.20.12