Dani Kubik Wright won two state championships as a member of the Collins Hill girls basketball team. She played college basketball at Auburn and BYU and is now a community assistant coach at her alma mater, Collins Hill. She also gave birth to her first child three weeks ago this Sunday.
In this installment of "Getting to Know ..." staff writer Ben Beitzel talks with Wright about her newborn son, having a football coach for a husband and all the fun things to do in Utah.
BB: You had your son, Tyler David Wright, just over two weeks ago. Have things been a little different?
DW: It's absolutely insane. Lots of tired nights. It's great having him outside of me. He is just a blessing.
BB: With your husband, David, being an assistant football coach at Dacula what would you have done if his team was still in the playoffs?
DW: It was really bad because we had a false alarm on the Friday they were playing at Cedar Shoals and I had to take him away from that game and that was the playoff game that they lost and it ended up being the last game of the season. I felt horrible because I took him away from his football game, but we were expecting it.
BB: So he had to leave in the middle of the game?
DW: They literally got there and I called him. He literally got there and had to leave.
BB: Well, that is a good husband.
DW: (laughs) If he didn't, he would be living somewhere else.
BB: How did you meet this guy?
DW: He graduated from Collins Hill and his brother was the same year as me and played on the basketball team. He would come and watch the games. That is how I initially met him. It was awkward because he was in college and I was still in high school. We started dating more when I graduated high school. He was at Auburn. We kind of broke up when I went to BYU and finally got back to together and got married before my senior year in college.
BB: Both being Collins Hill grads, I guess it was inevitable that you would end up back in Georgia.
DW: Toward the end of last year we were debating, but for the most part we knew we were coming back.
BB: Why leave Auburn for BYU?
DW: There were some complications with me and the coach. Playing for him I didn't love the game anymore. I had met the BYU coach because I was recruited by him. I called him up and went out there and just had the time of my life out there. It was the smartest move that I have ever done in my whole entire life.
BB: So does Utah gets a bad rap as a boring place?
DW: (laughs) Yeah. Everyone looks at it because it is one of the top-10 driest colleges. We had fun. I thought so. We had a good time. We made stuff to do and what not.
BB: You recommend it as a place for people to visit then?
DW: Especially if you want to go skiing or something. It is gorgeous. It's cold though. That's the one thing I hated. You are like, 'Oh, I never see snow, it'll be great,' and you go out there and see all the snow and are like, 'I want to go home.' It's not even fun.
BB: Are you a skier now?
DW: Because of basketball I never did go. I was afraid I would break my leg. Finally, after my last game I went. My husband was trying to get me to do snowboarding. It hadn't snowed so it was hard snow and I was having no fun. I just sat on the snowboard and rode down so I could have some kind of fun.
BB: How did you get involved in community coaching?
DW: I was talking to Coach (Angie) Hembree. She is at Norcross now, but she was my coach in high school. I was telling her how I wanted to go into coaching and she talked to (Collins Hill head basketball coach) Tracey (Tipton) and she called me up and they had an opening. I was excited she asked me to be a part of that program again. So it was good news.
BB: What's it like coaching for the same high school team you played for? Weird?
DW: It is really weird. In my eyes I am still young. It is weird for them to call me Coach Wright. I am like it is just Dani. It is really, really weird, but at the same time it is really, really awesome. You have so much pride in what you did and coming back you want to do so much more.
BB: Well having just had the baby I guess you weren't there when they lost the other night to Duluth.
DW: No, I was there. I didn't help them. It was the first time we took (Tyler). They had music blaring. We are going to leave him with the parents from now on.
BB: What time was Tyler born?
DW: My water broke Saturday night at 11:30 and he came at 9:30 in the morning. Well, 9:28 if you want to be exact.
BB: That's kind of a long time.
DW: It was really nice. When my water broke I didn't have contractions or anything. I got some sleep and they woke me up and said it is about that time. I couldn't ask for a better experience. I was nervous because they have all those baby stories on TV and the women are moaning and crying. I was like, 'I am going to die' and when I had mine I was like, 'This is a piece of cake.'
BB: Are you happy he's a boy or holding out hope for a girl down the road?
DW: I did not want a girl. I realized I was a brat growing up. Ideally I want to have two boys and call it a night. I don't need a brat. I know I was a handful for my parents. You know what they say when you have a baby, it is going to be just like you. I don't think I want one that was like me.
BB: What do you miss most from before you were pregnant? Free time?
DW: I miss my old figure. That is the obvious thing for anyone. I was taking it for all it was worth. I ate whatever I wanted. I did miss running. That was the first thing I was excited about when he got out of me. Doing the little things on the court with the girls. Just being active again.
BB: You can probably still run just as far.
DW: Oh, no. I die.