Two local hoopsters to watch

Two Minneapolis Washburn High basketball players were singled out this November in Minnesota Basketball News' pre-season Top 100 player list. Six-foot-tall sophomore forward Ashley Viehauser and 6'4" senior guard Willie Wright were noted by the statewide basketball publication.

Dan Pratt, Washburn's Athletics director, said Viehauser is an up-and-coming star. "She's only a sophomore and she's received letters from several big schools. Next year, when she's a junior [when it's legal to recruit high school athletes], it's going to be insane," said Pratt.

Viehauser averaged 22 points per game last season, the second-highest scorer in the metro area. Her competitive drive was evident as a 9-year-old playing on a Kenny Park boy's team with her brother and coached by her father. "I didn't like it at first, because I wasn't any good, but as soon as I got better I started to like it," said Viehauser.

The15-year-old just sprained her foot playing in early December after she had recovered from a non-sports surgery. She says her foot should heal in several weeks, hopefully in time to play Washburn's hotly competitive match against top-ranked North High.

Wright has also attracted attention from major colleges, but the senior has yet to decide what he'll do next year. His coach at Washburn, Jason Moore, said that Wright is a solid player. "He's a good shooter, excellent ball handler, he's always defending the other teams' best player, playing two, three games within a single game," said Moore.