Within the friendly confines of Woodburn, a sophomore is working her tail off every night in the gym. For Aria Kent, this is a routine. While most are discouraged by the prospects of a losing season, Aria uses it as drive and motivation to not only improve, but as an opportunity to improve her team every single day. Aria talked to Elite Oregon Girls about her emergence as a leader for the Lady Bulldogs, transition, and what the future holds…
Emerging As A Leader
As a sophomore, you emerged as the future of this program, putting up solid stat lines every night even against the toughest state competition. Going from Freshman to Sophomore season, what changes did you have/make that allowed you to become a future face of Woodburn?
“Going from my freshman year to my sophomore year there was a big jump. I played on a club team that helped me better improve my skills and knowledge about the game of basketball. One major change that I made from freshman to sophomore year was my defense. By reading the offense I was about to make the other teams turn the ball over from my steals that costed in easy points.”
The On Court Team Progress
This season, Woodburn made some significant progress and put up a very good year in retrospect to past seasons. While it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs, as a team, what on and off the court helped y’all make so much progress?
“I think the chemistry this year made us a lot better team. The time off the court where we would hang out helped improve our bond,making it easier on the court to communicate about things without anyone taking it the wrong way. It also helped me get to know what they could handle on the court. As a point guard every person handles things differently, everyone has their strengths and bonding with them helped me know how I could successfully help them to exceed.”
The Challenges In 2020-21
Losing your sister Taiya, along with seven other seniors, could perhaps serve as a setback in 2020-21. Who do you think will step up for this program next season and fill the voids left behind by these seniors? Why do you think those players will step up?
“Yes, losing my sister and 7 other seniors is very hard. But there are also many more freshmen that I think will be stepping up next year. It just really depends who wants to step up because they will be the people working the hardest.”
Overcoming The Wild, Wild West
Playing in the toughest girls hoops conference in 4A, what are your goals and aspirations at Woodburn? What will it take for this program to make the state playoffs in the next two years?
“One of my goals at Woodburn is to make it to playoffs. In order to make playoffs we just need to be smart and play hard. At Woodburn our height is a disadvantage because we’re all pretty short so we just have to play 2 times smarter and 2 times harder than the rest of the other teams.”