Ciara Webb, Patterson, basketball

Q & A //

A team leader with a passion for the game

February 12, 2010|By Katherine Dunn | katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

Ciara Webb has played organized basketball only for a little more than two years, but she has already drawn attention from Division I college programs, including Northeastern, Rider, Massachusetts, Middle Tennessee State and George Washington. The Patterson junior point guard followed her brother Michael, a Patterson senior, into sports and built a solid foundation for her quick success on the basketball court with natural athleticism, lots of pickup games and years of playing soccer and softball.

A three-sport standout for the Clippers, she started as a freshman and now averages 19.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.6 steals and 5.4 assists. Last season, she led the Clippers (9-4) to their best finish in 18 years at 14-5. Webb has a 3.2 grade-point average and is vice president of the school's service-based Jonathan Ogden Club. She also volunteers at the John Ruhrah recreation center. She wants to play basketball in college and would like to become a sports broadcaster.

Question: How did you get started playing basketball?

Answer: I never really played basketball until high school. It was always softball and soccer. I just played basketball for fun sometimes. Then I came to Patterson and tried out and my coaches were like, "Yeah, you're really good," and I just started getting the most attention in basketball. Once I came here, I learned to like it a lot more. I like the game.

Q: Did you watch your brother when you were little or did they drag you to his games?

A: We played together mostly and it worked out perfectly because we're so competitive against each other. We just made each other better.

Q: How did basketball become your passion when you came to it so late?

A: I don't really know. I guess because it's so much more competitive than other sports and the contact is more. I like the contact, and I like the players and the coaches here.

Q: When did you start playing [Amateur Athletic Union basketball]?

A: After my freshman year there were a lot of coaches who were asking me to play, and I was kind of skeptical because I didn't know much about AAU except that it is really competitive. But one coach, I really like the team and I really like him, Coach Stretch from the Baltimore Starz. I've stuck with them.

Q: How do you draw attention from Division I coaches when you never played until you were a freshman?

A: Coach Kelley [Bagdasarian] does all that for me. I just play and she does all the hard work. I go to a lot of showcases. They're called Hoop Mountain Showcases, and there are many college coaches there. They're really fun, too. All you do is play basketball all day.

Q: What makes your team pretty good this year?

A: I do have people that help me out. A lot of people only see me on the court, but I do have people who help me out. The other guard, Donna Blake, she's improved so much since last year. She's helping out. It's not only me giving her assists, she makes me better on the court as well.

Q: What's the biggest challenge for you as a leader on this team? You're still kind of young at 16 to be the leader.

A: I know. Last year, I was kind of a leader, too, and I was like, "You know there are some seniors on the team and I'm a sophomore and I'm the captain?" But they respect me because I know the game well. It's easy because we're teammates. We listen to each other. They listened to me, and I listen to them. We don't think about grades when we're on the court - we just think about basketball.

Q: Do you like being the big fish in the little pond or would you rather have a chance to play in a bigger pond, like Western or Digital Harbor, where the teams get a lot more attention?

A: I do like it that people know who I am, and sometimes I would like to prove myself on a bigger, better team, but I like being the underdog. It gives us a better chance to prove ourselves against a better team. That kind of gives me more motivation.

Q: What do you do in the Jonathan Ogden Club?

A: Jonathan Ogden sponsors it, obviously, but we just help out other schools and we do stuff with the Special Olympics. We go to elementary schools and interact with the children and talk to them and read to them. Just to motivate them to do well. We go to Special Olympics every year and help out. We each have one of the kids that's participating, and we just walk around with them and talk with them and take them to their events.

Q: You didn't do the Polar Bear Plunge, did you?

A: I did do that actually. We didn't do it when it snowed, though. We did it on Friday when it was for high schools.

Q: What was that like?

A: I can't even explain it. I didn't know I could be that cold. I was dying. But it was a lot of fun. I like doing crazy things, and then I can say I did it for a good cause. I think I'm going to go back next year.


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