Last week, St. Pius basketball standout A.J. Agers added her name to the ranks of the exclusive 1,000-point club. For a time, achieving the lofty milestone seemed in doubt, as was the rest of her senior season.
In a game at the end of November, Agers suffered a Grade II sprain with an avulsion fracture to her right ankle. It’s been a tough road back, but Agers says her rehab is progressing nicely. “I wish I could say I was 100%, but I am not at this time. It was my first true injury. I have been advised that I am making great strides and I am on the right path! I have a brace now that has taken some getting used to and I have some struggles with my speed and with lateral movements. My reaction time is a little slower than in the past. But every game I am improving and thankful to get to play.” After almost six weeks of rest, healing, and therapy, Agers made her return to the Lancers lineup, scoring 14 points in a tournament victory over Parkway Central.
The Missouri S&T basketball commit knew she had a shot at 1,000 points as the season began. “I tallied up my points needed towards the end of last season and I realized I had a great shot reach that goal. So every game I did the math to see where I was at. When I was injured I only had 55 more points to go.”
Playing last week against conference rival Grandview, Agers knew she had a chance to reach the mark. When it finally happened, it was not in the way she dreamt about. “When I envisioned my 1000th point, I was imagining a long range, 3- point swish but in reality, I was fouled on a layup and I was sent to the free throw line needing 2 more points. Luckily, I made both of my free throws to hit my 1000th point. I know it’s a huge personal accomplishment and to be one of 5 girls in St Pius history to reach this milestone is a great honor. When I got injured, I was worried I might not get the opportunity to reach it. So, I am very thankful.”
In her senior season, A.J. has taken on a more prominent leadership role. The Lancers currently have an 11-4 overall record and are 1-1 in conference play. Agers likes what she sees from this year’s team. “We have great chemistry this year which is very important. Our speed and defense are creating turnovers leading to points in transition. No one is selfish with the ball and we win and lose as a team. We share in the success and the blame as a team. My role as a senior requires me to be more of a positive leader and help by being more vocal. I want to help prepare some of our younger girls to transition into bigger roles next year when I am gone.”
Agers took pause to reflect upon the people in her life that helped her achieve her basketball goals. ”I want to first and foremost thank my mom. She was my first coach and taught me much of my foundation. My dad, Coach CJ Wright, Kevin Halley, Bob Simily, Jeremy Hedgecorth , Nicole Krodinger, John Simily, Jim Campbell, Andrew Hubbard, Tori Aubuchon, and Aaron Portell. All of my coaches have taught me about good character, perseverance, presence, and how to be humble. I appreciate every one of them for helping me become not only the athlete but the person I am today.”
Agers is averaging 16 points a game for St. Pius and is second on the team in scoring, even after missing time due to her injury. Her Lancers will travel for their next game to Crystal City on Friday, January 29th, in a JCAA Small Schools Conference matchup.