It’s a family affair for freshman guard Victoria Morris as she makes her mark at Old Dominion
LAS VEGAS – When Old Dominion freshman guard Victoria Morris takes the floor during her team’s two games in Las Vegas at the 2017 Holiday Hoops Classic, she will feel right at home. While she hails from Cincinnati, she will be hearing over two dozen familiar voices cheering for her in the stands. A caravan of family members made the trip from the Midwest to Las Vegas, some enduring long flight delays Wednesday morning so they could see Morris play.
When asked about her family’ presence, Morris glowed with pride.
“It’s fun,” said Morris about having so many relatives in town. “It makes me want to player even harder. It reminds me of my high school games, how they would always come out.”
Even though she is a first-year player, Morris has become the backbone of ODU’s offense as the team’s leading scorer. While ODU has had some hard times so far this season, in part due to a myriad of pre-existing factors before new head coach Nikki McCray-Penson arrived, there is light at the end of the tunnel as the young Morris begins her college career.
Her take on how she can contribute to the team: “I think I communicate well…just knocking down shots and getting the team going offensively. When we’re knocking down shots, we can be pretty tough to guard.”
She was the first official commitment for McCray-Penson, signing less than a month after the school hired the former South Carolina assistant who helped coach the Gamecocks to a national championship last season under Hall of Famer Dawn Staley.
McCray-Penson, with a stellar list of accomplishments in her own right as a two-time Olympian and former WNBA player, has the tall task of rebuilding a team that saw attrition with former players transferring before she arrived and former commits changing their minds and deciding to go elsewhere. With that depletion of talent, she is beginning to replenish the coffers with Morris and has highly-rated commits on tap.
When Morris looks at the legacy of ODU’s guards, she has big shoes to fill. She has yet to meet ODU legend Ticha Penicheiro but knows of her legacy and is eager to prove herself and contribute in a positive way to help elevate her team. She says she thinks about those former ODU players all the time.
“Coach always says we’ve got to go back to the roots of Old Dominion culture and just try to bring women’s basketball back,” Morris said about the path to putting ODU back in the spotlight.
In the meantime, Morris can revel in the fact that no matter how she plays, her family will always have her back, even traveling across the country in big numbers to give her support. Overall, she is simply ecstatic about the opportunity to play ball at a DI institution.
“This is my dream.”