Whitney Gathright, a senior guard at Xavier University has been a key component to the women’s basketball program. Finishing her year breaking records, and making them, throughout her career it’s been a journey that is now coming to an end. Gathright decided to become a gold nugget in 2012 when she was recruited out of John Curtis High School. Gathright had other options of schools she could have attended such as South Alabama University, East Carolina University, and Nicholls State University, but she choose Xavier University. “I chose Xavier University to stay close to my family. Coach Browder and I established a great relationship early on,” Gathright said.
Gathright will be graduating in May 2016 with a degree in Business Management. After she graduates she plans to either continue her basketball career overseas or work in business management. Throughout her high school years there were many obstacles she had to overcome which caused her to take a break from the game she loved. Gathright experienced a torn meniscus the summer before her senior year. She described the injury as a major setback because a lot of schools that were calling to recruit her stopped, because “no coach didn’t want to bring a player in with a knee injury,” Gathright said. Her motivation and determination for basketball lead Gathright to be successful here at Xavier.
Throughout her career she averaged 12.8 points per game as a sophomore, and constantly throughout her junior and now senior year. As a senior, Gathright had the opportunity to score 1000 plus points. She was an All American for the GCAC conference 2015-2016 basketball season and also the Most Valuable Player 2015-2016. In November 2015, Gathright was the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Player of the Month.
“Whitney did not want to embrace being a captain. She was selected because she led by example,” said assistant coach Darrilyn Broussard. Although she was not an outspoken person, Gathright said she grew into that role. Her coaches told her she was a winner when she came here and that she had a winner’s mentality. Broussard said she wanted Gathright to show others how to perform at a better level at Xavier. Teammate Kelsey Singleton who has been with Gathright since their freshman year said she has seen a transition and growth in Gathright. Even as underclassman, Singleton said friends could see glimpses of her leadership because she was a point guard. Gathright run’s the team offense as a point guard by controlling the ball and being the playmaker. Singleton said it wasn’t Gathright’s time yet because of the seniors that were in front of them. When they became juniors, it was basically all on Gathright. “She was the one that kept everybody together she told them what they should be doing off and on the court setting examples for them,” Singleton said.
Closing out her senior year Gathright had challenges thrown at her that have affected her. Gathright said that in 2015 her mother had a massive stroke that almost killed her. “I figured if she was strong enough to overcome her sickness then I will be okay to finish out my college career,” Gathright said. The senior guard said her mother gets joy from seeing her play, which motivates her to work hard at every game, Her father also plays a huge role as he is her role model off the court, she said. She choose basketball because her father and brother always played it and it has now become a significant part of her world.