WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - At New Hanover High School, Ayonna Cotten’s skills made her a great basketball player, but she was missing something.
“In high school, I wasn’t the type of person that talked on the court and [told] people where to go,” said Cotton. “I was just a laid-back player, and I had to work on that.”
After graduating, she committed to play for Cape Fear Community College with a list of things to work on.
“I wanted to develop and become more of a leader,” said Cotten.
During her two seasons at CFCC, Cotten improved tremendously, earning a scholarship to play for Division one school Mississippi Valley State.
The first time Cape Fear’s head coach, Lori Drake, watched her play, she knew she could help her.
“I remember talking to my coaching staff, saying that she may be a D2 product, maybe a D3 product,” said Drake about Cotten. “Then just the growth that she had from the time she stepped foot on campus here to her sophomore year. That’s the reason why she’s a Division One product now.”
Cotton left her mark on the Cape Fear program by helping lead the Sea Devils to back-to-back trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament. Moreover, Drake believes that Cotten is leaving the program a better person.
“No question the kid can play, she can hoop,” said Drake. “But her character as a person is tremendous now.”