by nathan oster
Greybull High School senior Kendall Wright signed a letter of intent Thursday to play women’s basketball at Northwest College in Powell.
A three-year starter for the Lady Buffs, Kendall entered play last week among the top 10 in 2A in scoring, rebounding, steals, assists and blocked shots. She is also one of the classification’s most accurate free-throw shooters.
“Everything I’ve talked to her about improving, she’s improved,” said Coach Jeff Hunt, who has had her all four years at GHS. “Going into this year, we talked about rebounding — and here she is, leading our team in rebounding and we’re statistically No. 1 in the state in 2A in rebounding.”
Last year, Kendall was the unanimous choice for conference player of the year. “I think it was a pretty easy decision for our conference,” said Hunt. “She’s having another good season this year.”
The signing of the letter of intent to attend NWC was a significant step for Wright. She was a first grader when she picked up a basketball for the first time, and while she has also been a standout in soccer and volleyball, her heart is in hoops.
It was at basketball camp last summer at Montana State where she met the coach who ultimately convinced her to follow him to Northwest College.
Camden Levett was coming off a season in which, as an assistant, he’d helped guide Rocky Mountain College to its best season in program history. He had just been hired as the interim head coach at NWC when he met Kendall.
“I asked where she was from, she said ‘Greybull,’ and it rang a bell with me that Greybull was close to Powell. I mentioned that to her. Her eyes got big and she said, ‘Yeah, it’s right down the road.’ That’s how she got on my radar.”
The Trappers are having a rough season and sit at 2-16 overall, but Levett believes the building blocks are in place for future success, pointing out that he has a lot of freshmen in the program.
Levett believes Wright will help immediately, especially since the team’s two starting guards are sophomores, which means it’ll be a position of need for the Trappers.
“I like to go transition basketball and score and I think she can help us at the 1, 2 or 3,” — which is coach-speak for point guard, shooting guard or small forward. “I want players to run the floor and I know she gets after it on defense. She’ll be another good building block.”
Kendall has had a lot of coaches over the years — not just in basketball, but also soccer and volleyball — and each of them helped put the pen in her hand Thursday afternoon at Buff Gym.
She also credited her father, Ken Wright, who coached her traveling basketball teams as a kid and spent many a Sunday afternoon with her at Buff Gym, helping her develop as a player.
Kendall said she wants to become a dietician. Neither Northwest College nor Sheridan College, her second choice, have specific programs for that, so she’s just going to spend the next two years getting her generals and playing basketball. As a bonus, she’ll get to do it in front of her grandparents, Larry and Joyce Wright, who reside in Powell.
Kendall said she chose NWC because of Levett — “He made me feel welcome when I went there” — and because she likes the potential of the Trappers who will be returning next year.
Kendall is the daughter of Ken and Tami Wright of Greybull.