Kenny Osborne frequently enters an empty Carter Center on the campus of Concord University and hears the echo of a basketball being dribbled in the empty gymnasium followed by the subsequent swish coming from a made shot.
The women’s hoops coach at the school in Athens, West Virginia, has a pretty good idea that senior guard Danielle Catron is the one hoisting up jumpers in solitude.
“I don’t know how many times — in the afternoon and the mornings — she’s in there getting some extra shots in,” Osborne said. “That’s what a shooter and scorer is supposed to do. She’s a self-made player. She’s spent a lot of time in the gym working on her game.”
As Catron winds down what can be classified as a successful career at Concord, her work ethic has not waned in the least.
“My dad [P.J.] has always told me to never be complacent,” Catron said. “I just always want to be the best I can be. If I take a day off or a few days off, that’s not helping myself get better and not helping the team.”
She has certainly helped her squad, averaging 12.7 points and 3.6 rebounds for the Mountain Lions, who are 11-8. Her 31 3-pointers are tops on the team.
“With her ability to shoot the ball, [opposing defenses] always have to honor her,” Osborne said. “She makes us more complete with her ability to score from the perimeter.”
It was only natural that Catron’s 1,000th career point — scored against Salem University on Jan. 15 — came on a 3-pointer. She became just the 16th player in program history to break the 1K threshold.
“It was really special to me,” Catron said. “It wasn’t something I was focused on, it was just something that I had hoped for. … At the beginning of the season one of the write-ups [by sports information director Wes McKinney] said I was close. All my teammates kept telling me how close I was getting.”
Catron capped her high school career at Chilhowie by helping the Warriors win the 2014 VHSL 1A state championship and closed things out with 2,151 career points.
She’s continued to score at a high rate in college and has enjoyed every minute of the experience.
She pumped in a career-high 30 points and also hauled down 11 rebounds on Monday night in an 89-63 victory over Bluefield State.
“It’s honestly been amazing,” Catron said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s gone by way too fast. Honestly, if I could do it all over again I would. If I had an infinite amount of years to play I would. It’s just been a dream come true and a blessing.”
What are Catron’s future plans?
She recently applied for a graduate assistant job on the Virginia Commonwealth University staff. If that doesn’t pan out, she will likely pursue an engineering degree from the online program at the University of Alabama.
Regardless, she continues to put in the work.
“I’m just trying to play every game like it’s my last,” Catron said. “I just want to play each game to the best of my ability and live each moment to its fullest with my teammates. My dad told me the other day, it’s about the journey and not the destination. I’m just trying to relish every single moment.”