Creekland Middle School eighth grader Victoria Oglesby was selected for the All Gwinnett County and All Western Division teams for the second year in a row and has already received full scholarship offers, despite not even being in high school.
Victoria has been playing basketball for a long time. Her father Perryn Oglesby, who coaches her on the travel Amateur Athletic Union team the Ribbon Warriors, said he’s been coaching her since she could hold a basketball — since she was four or five years old. She’s a great shooter first and foremost, with excellent strength and power. But that’s not the only area where she shines.
“She’s a creative shot-maker,” he said. “She has NBA range on her jump-shot, which is rare for high school and college players.”
She’s extremely strong for someone her age and is by no means a “skinny Minnie.” She’s able to power through contact with other players.
The all-county and all-western honors she received were voted on by the head girls’ basketball coaches in Gwinnett County. Both years she earned the awards unanimously, the first player to do so.
All this has made her extremely attractive to colleges. She’s received full scholarship offers from Clemson, East Carolina University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Most of the traditional top 25 women’s college basketball programs are recruiting her hard. Schools that have expressed interest in her include Kansas State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Georgia, the University of California at Los Angeles, Northwestern University, and Ohio State. Perryn expects many more offers before she even starts ninth grade.
“They’re coming in almost daily,” he said.
Many college coaches will follow her as she travels with the Ribbon Warriors. Although it’s still early in the process, the two of them are working on building relations and getting to know all the different coaches and programs.
Victoria herself likes all the attention.
“It’s a fun experience,” she said. “I [want] to soak it in right now.”
When asked about how she’ll make her college pick, she said it depends on how the coaches feel about her and what she feels about the college and the staff. She wants to go to a school with strong academics—she’s a straight-A student and a member of the gifted program.
However, it’s important to her to find the program where the people love her the most, because they’ll support her on and off the court.
As far as what she’ll study, she would like to study sports medicine and broadcast communications. She’s always been interested in sports medicine and as an athlete herself she could relate to those under her care. And she’s always loved what analysts and broadcasters do.
Victoria also has hobbies off the court. She enjoys drawing and listening to music as well as working out and spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite NBA player is LeBron James and her favorite WBNA player is Maya Moore.
Other people in the community have noticed her talent.
“Victoria is the hardest-working kid I have ever coached,” said Creekland Head Girls’ Coach Amanda Heil. “Her love and desire for the game will take her many places.”
Robert Alfonso, associate editor and writer at hoopseen.com, has seen Victoria work out with her father or play against her brother between travel basketball games held at the Suwanee Sports Academy where his website has its headquarters.
“She’s obviously a player on the rise,” he said.
He doesn’t want to put enormous expectations on her, but for a player her age, she’s committed every day to improve her abilities and be the best player she can. She works on her craft, not just sharpening skills she already has but also improving areas where she’s weak. She’s a student of the game and passionate about basketball.
Although Alfonso won’t compare her to other players, he said she is the most determined middle school girl he has seen in a long time, and he’s been living in Georgia since 2004. He said he won’t go so far as to say she’ll be the next Maya Moore—an award-winning women’s basketball player who has played in both the United States and China—because anything can happen between now and when she graduates high school, but she just might be.
As far as making scholarship offers to middle schoolers is concerned, he’s been a sports reporter for 17 years and he’s seen offers made to middle school boys. A coach once told him these kinds of offers would soon be made to girls, so he’s not surprised.
“Over the last few years the NCAA has been trying to do away with it, but colleges will hear about and still get information on young athletes,” he said. “They don’t go out to look for them.”
With technology like the Internet and text messages, it’s much easier for colleges to get information and learn about potential players.
Recently posted by her father and coach on our Facebook Page:
Please keep Victoria in your thoughts and prayers as she prepares to head to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to train and compete with some of the best high school players in America with a chance to earn one of the 12 spots on the USA 17U National Team. So Proud of My Baby Girl!!!”