Whether she's on a basketball court, tennis court or in a classroom, Tonya Wigfall performs with equal success.
Her basketball prowess earned her status as an All-Met performer on the H. D. Woodson High School girls' basketball team last winter. At 5 feet 9 inches tall and still growing, she averaged 20 points and eight rebounds a game while she led her team to an undefeated season. Wigfall, who plays a forward, was described by one coach as the most fluid and graceful player in the Interhigh League.
If she is a gazelle on the basketball court, she is a tiger on the tennis court; she describes herself as a "net rusher." Wigfall is ranked as the number one junior female singles player in the Washington area, and one of the top young players in the country. She made it to the semifinals of the National Junior Tournament in July.
Despite the hours of tennis and basketball practice, Wigfall has managed to maintain a 3.6 overall grade point average.
"Academics come before everything," the 17-year old senior said. "I take great pride in achieving academic excellence."
Wigfall puts in six hours a day practicing basketball. To sharpen her tennis game, she practices twice a day, three times a week. In between, she lifts weights and jogs, leaving little or no time for a social life.
"I really love playing sports," she explained. "I started playing basketball when I was nine. I picked up tennis later as something to do. Although I have improved in tennis a lot, I feel that I am more advanced in basketball."
Bobby Johnson, Wigfall's tennis coach, disagrees. "I personally think that Tonya has more potential as a tennis player," the former coach of Howard University's tennis team countered. "I realize she's All-Met in baksetball and all, but I really believe that she can become a first-rate tennis player is she applies herself."
Maryland's Pam Shriver is the tennis player Wigfall admires most. "She is mentally tough and always consistent," she said.
Wigfall has prepared herself for the day when she may have to make that crucial decision between basketball and tennis. "I could choose both," she said, "but realistically I will choose only one and that will be basketball. I know that some people may think that I am making the wrong decision, but I have to make the one that will be most comfortable for me."
For now, Wigfall is working hard to improve her basketball and tennis games as well as preparing herself for college and the inevitable scholarships that an athlete of her ability can expect.
Wigfall has already had scholarship offers from the University of Pennsylvania and from Old Dominion in Virginia.