Humphries signs with U.Va.-Wise

Published 10:42 pm Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ashante Humphries of Nansemond River signs to play basketball for the University of Virginia's College at Wise as her parents, Trecia and Amir Humphries, observe during a ceremony on Wednesday at Nansemond River High School.

Ashante Humphries of Nansemond River signs to play basketball for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise as her parents, Trecia and Amir Humphries, observe during a ceremony on Wednesday at Nansemond River High School.

Nansemond River’s Ashante Humphries committed to joining the world of college basketball while attending the University of Virginia’s College at Wise during a signing ceremony on Wednesday at Nansemond River High School.

“It means a lot to me,” she said of the signing. “It’s a very special day.”

Her family, Nansemond River coach R. Calvin Mason and her Lady Warrior teammates were present to support her on the occasion.

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“It’s really a rewarding feeling to see all her hard work come through, all her dreams come true as far as going to the next level and playing basketball,” her mother, Trecia Humphries said.

Ashante described the selection process that led to U.Va.-Wise.

“At first it was kind of challenging,” she said. “It was between the two schools that I like the most, which was Bluefield (College) and U.Va.-Wise. But at the time, I didn’t visit U.Va.-Wise yet, and I’d only been to Bluefield.”

After a visit, the facility, the campus and the coach won her over. She expects to play point guard, just like at Nansemond River.

Though the Lady Warriors had a difficult 2012-13 season, Coach Mason recalled the team’s glory days from earlier in Humphries’ career when considering what she will bring to the U.Va.-Wise Cavaliers.

“Our best season, when we made the region and advanced to the elite eight, she was surrounded by a lot better talent, and it allowed her to display her skills,” he said. “She has natural leadership abilities, and she’ll do a great job there.”

Part of what made Humphries’ accomplishment so satisfying was the length of her basketball journey.

“She’s been playing basketball since she was 9 years old, so she’s been playing for quite some time,” her mother said.

Humphries played for an Amateur Athletic Union team in addition to school ball.

She said she has made it her goal to play on the college hardwood “since I was playing on (junior varsity).”

Mason first spotted her as a seventh-grader competing in the Future League. She joined the varsity team to stay as a freshman.

“I had opportunity to see her grow from that little seventh-grader who was just trying to stay above water to a senior where her leadership really carried a very young team, and she never complained,” he said. “She never got upset with them, she just tried to be the leader that I expected her to be.”

When identifying who introduced her to the sport of basketball, Humphries said, “My daddy.”

Her father, Amir Humphries Sr., offered his perspective on her achievement.

“As a father, anything that your kids are successful in is a great thing, so all I wanted to do was just see her succeed in anything, anything that she wanted to do,” he said. “It just so happened that basketball was a talent that she took on and became good at.”

He said that he never went to college, so to see her do it, and through a basketball scholarship, was fantastic.

Though U.Va.-Wise is about a seven and a half hour drive away, he said that they would try to see her play “as much as we can.”