Terianne Wolford relates there could be another Hall of Famer in her family in the future. At least, the former Nixa great is impressed with what she’s seeing in her 9-year-old daughter, Avah, while shooting hoops.
“She’s just starting out, but is ambitious,” Wolford said. “She practices 2-3 times a week and loves it. She’s tried a variety of sports and loves basketball and softball. I see a lot of me in her. But I feel like she’s way better than I was at her age. It seems she’s more athletic than I was and she gets physical. I didn’t do that when I was younger. I think she has so much more potential than I did.”
That’s high praise for Avah, considering her mom’s glory days in high school were about as good as it gets. A 2000 Nixa grad and 6-foot-0 center, Wolford remains the Lady Eagles’ record-holder with 2,267 career points and 663 single-season points. After leading Nixa to the 2000 Class 4 state championship and a 31-1 record, she was tabbed Miss Show-Me Basketball. A standout in volleyball, as well, she was part of the Lady Eagles’ 1997 team that made the Class 3 Final Four.
Nixa will salute the careers of Wolford, Hope Hunt, Ashlee Johns and Mark Overstreet by inducting them into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in between the Eagles’ jayvee and varsity games with Webb City on Friday.
Wolford feels it’s appropriate she, Hunt and Johns are going into the Hall together, after playing together on star-studded teams.
“It was an amazing group of girls,” Wolford said. “Sometimes, a high school will have one good player and the rest of the team just gives her the ball. It was not like that at all with us. Everyone was good and we were a fluid team. We had so many girls go on to play in D-I and D-II.”
Wolford went on to play at Mizzou and Hunt at Drury.
“I definitely stay in touch with them, some more than others,” Wolford said of her former teammates. “Hope just reached out to me by text and said, ‘Let’s catch up after the game Friday.’ I communicate with Ashlee regularly. When I took my daughter on a trip to Arizona, Emily Kendrick and I connected. When we catch up, it’s like we’re right back in high school again.”
Wolford would be a rarity today by playing both volleyball and basketball. For instance, Nixa has no one on its varsity basketball roster this winter who also was on the Lady Eagles’ varsity volleyball roster in the fall.
“Most of my time and effort was on basketball. That was my top priority,” Wolford said. “That caused me to miss some volleyball opportunities. But I loved both sports. It’s good to play a variety of sports, doing different things makes you a better athlete. Playing volleyball made me a better basketball player and playing basketball made me a better volleyball player.”
In addition to her Nixa Hall induction, Wolford was recognized by the Missouri Sports Hall Of Fame as a Filbert Five member in 2015. She’s been mindful to cherish such honors, after admittedly not fully appreciating her awards while still playing.
“I didn’t realize a lot of things when I was in the moment,” she said. “The best player in the state award, that never entered my mind. It’s a proud moment, as I look back. A lot of things like that, when you’re in the moment you don’t realize how special it is. Looking back, I wish I would have. But you didn’t think it is a big deal at the time because you’re still playing and you’re young.
“Being recognized by your high school is a big deal,” she added. “To know that a committee voted on this and my name came up and everyone voted for me, it’s great to be recognized.”
After Nixa’s 2019 Hall class was announced, Wolford was delighted to hear from former Lady Eagles coach Randy Towe.
“He sent me a card with a note congratulating me,” she said. “I was humbled by that. What a great guy.”
Wolford now lives in Rogers, Arkansas, and works in vendor sales for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. She’s married and also has a 5-year-old son, Barron.
She doesn’t foresee herself coaching any of Avah’s teams.
“I’ll work with her, but I’m not the coaching type,” Wolford said. “I’m not a patient type. I’ve told her she needs to do the fundamentals right and if she’s going to be good, she needs to have a good shot and play smart.”