April 27, 2011 by wcobserver
By Brent Harrison
GREENLAND- Dedication and determination are terms that can be applied to Ashley Riggles when she’s on and off the basketball court for Greenland. Her talents on the floor, as well as these character traits allowed the 6-foot Greenland senior to recently sign to play basketball for Southern Arkansas.
“Ashley is one of those girls that became who she is because of self drive,” Greenland coach Alan Barton said. “Ever since third grade she knew she was destined to be a basketball player because she always the tallest. Some kids rest on that, Ashley didn’t rest on it she capitalized on it. She said that if I’m going to be good I have to work at it.”
“Her strengths are she’s the first one in (gym) and the last one to leave (practice). She’s the one that’s going to put the most effort whether it’s a practice or a game. She’s just a good person.”
Riggles versatilty to knock down the three point shot, helped carry the Pirates to the State Tournanament the last two years. Named All-State (3A) as well as to the All State Tournament team, that resourcefulness may come into play on the next level.
“They’ve told me that they are going to play me at a two or three, (guard) sometimes at the four (post) but mostly at the two or three because I can shoot, Riggles said.”
While knocking down the trey and seeing over the defense because of her size may be strengths to her game, she and the Lady Mulerider coaches each see her penetration game as needing to be fine tuned.
“I need to work on driving with my left hand,” she said. “They said that we will work on that a lot so I can develop my game more.”
As the lone senior in the starting lineup at most times for the Pirates, Barton said Riggles displayed the leadership to successsfully take Greenland to the state level.
“Ashley had been on the senior high since her sophomore year,” he said. “ A lot of times when you are a sophomore you don’t see much action, Ashley was used a lot because she could shoot the basketball. She learned from the start that even the older kids relied on her being the offensive attack person and the one that would go do the dirty work.”
He said Riggles led Greenland, and will continue at SAU to lead by example.
“She learned from her sophomore year what a Lady Pirate is and what they are supposed to do,” he said “They don’t talk to get their message across, Lady Pirates do it by actions. If coach said to be there at 5:00 p.m. she was there at 4:15. Instead of complain she was the one that always tries to get the most and do the most of what she was told to do. Her leadership was by actions only not by words. She knew the tradition of the Lady Pirates and that is we have to get in the gym and work hard whether it’s negative two degrees, or one hundred and ten degrees.”
Barton said Riggles was the one for the Lady Pirates that always chased down the loose ball regardless of how far away they were from her.
“She’s a great kid and if you’re around her you have to like her,” he said. “Ashley learned to see the best in everybody. She never sees anything bad in a person.”
“She has good character and wants to make a difference,” he said.
“The one thing that coach (Carrie) Slaton from SAU said was I don’t know what kind of basketball player I am getting but I know my team’s character just went up.”
Riggles is the daughter of Norman and Joyce Riggles.
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