Adrean Mabry is no longer apologizing for her play.
"I used to apologize all the time on the court," said Mabry, a senior on Wilde Lake's girls basketball team. "I was very tentative in 10th grade."
Mabry has come a long way since her sophomore season, which she spent in Nuremberg, Germany. She is averaging 13 rebounds and nine points for the Howard County champions, who visit Glenelg tomorrow in the opening round of the Class 2A South region playoffs.
"She's very important to this team," said Wildecats coach Kelly Storr. "She never quits, never stops. She knows what it takes to win. The rest of the girls look up to her."
Mabry entered Wilde Lake before her junior year when her mother, Shirley Miller, who is in the Army, relocated to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington. It took a while before Mabry felt comfortable with her new teammates.
"I was kind of scared when I got here," said the 5-foot-11 Mabry. "The other players knew each other. I was intimidated."
As the season progressed, Mabry grew comfortable with her surroundings and worked her way into the starting lineup, showing flashes of how good a player she could be. She attended her first camp last summer, where she worked on her outside shot.
"I went to camp and they told me I had to start shooting from the outside because I had a good shot," Mabry said.
Mabry feels confident shooting from the outside, but her home is in the paint.
"I just feel more comfortable inside," said Mabry, who scores many of her points off offensive rebounds. "I probably don't shoot as much as I should from the outside. Sometimes I pass up the shot because I just don't want to take it."
But Mabry will never pass up the physical matchups inside.
"She's the one that does a lot of the dirty work that other players don't want to work for," said Storr.
"I love to rebound," Mabry said. "Scoring is good, but I can deal with just rebounding sometimes."
Mabry rebounds well because of her strength, knowledge of the game and desire.
"She can jump and she boxes someone out and holds them just long enough to get the rebound," said Storr. "She's a good court player. She's smart."
She's also modest. Most of the time, she doesn't know how many points or rebounds she has gotten in a game. What is important to Mabry is how the team fared and whether she helped her teammates play better.
"She's very much a team player," Storr said.
Mabry, one of two seniors on the team, takes her role of captain seriously, but knows how to have fun, too.
"I'm a very silly person," Mabry said. "I like being funny. I can get serious when I want to, but most of the time I like to joke around."
Mabry spent the first 12 years of her life living with her grandmother in Pickens, Miss. Since then, she has lived with her mother in San Antonio, Texas, for two years, in Chester, Va., for one year and in Germany for one year.
A good student with a 3.3 GPA, Mabry would like to continue playing basketball in college.
"I would love to play in college, but if it doesn't happen that's fine," she said.
For now, she wants to help the Wildecats back to the state championships, where they won the Class 1A title a year ago.