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NHS grad comes back for alumni game

ERIC J. SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Lorenzo Wright watches his wife, Alexine Profice Wright, play in the Natchez High School alumni all-star game Saturday. Lorenzo Wright coaches basketball at Gulfport High School.

NATCHEZ — Alexine Profice Wright and her husband, Lorenzo, got together through a conversation about basketball.

The Wrights, who were staying at Alexine’s family house when The Dart fell on Gaile Avenue in Natchez Saturday, returned to town to head to the court.

The former Alexine Profice, Lorenzo and their children returned to Natchez this weekend from Gulfport for the Natchez High School alumni basketball game.

Alexine graduated in the Natchez High School class of 1995 and played basketball all four years under coach Mary Jean Irving as small forward.

ERIC J. SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Alexine Profice Wright plays in the alumni game at Natchez High School Saturday night. Wright lives in Gulfport now where she is a school teacher. She is a 1995 graduate of Natchez High and a four-year Bulldog standout.

Lorenzo struck up the conversation about basketball years later at Gulfport High School where he is a basketball coach and Alexine is an English teacher.

“He asked me if I knew a Natchez High School player from 1994 named Timothy Hooker,” Alexine said. “(Hooker and I) played the same year in high school.”

Lorenzo remembered Hooker from the game 16 years ago. The conversation led to a relationship, and they married nine months ago.

Alexine said Lorenzo has been training her for the alumni game for three months.

“He’s been getting me back in basketball shape,” Alexine said. “I normally run, but this is different because I’m using my whole body.”

Alexine said they have been working on fundamental basketball drills like lay-ups, shooting and defensive skills.

“My kids are coming,” Alexine said. “They’re excited for me, but nervous too. They don’t want me to embarrass myself.”

Lorenzo, who has coached basketball for nine years, said working with his wife on basketball skills is like coaching any other kids.

“It’s natural,” Lorenzo said. “Whatever I coached the kids on in practice is what she and I worked on in the gym. Her strengths are shooting and ball handling. The biggest challenge was conditioning.”

Alexine said she was mostly nervous about performing in front of a gym full of people.

“I haven’t played in front of so many people in such a long time,” she said. “But once the game starts I will lose focus of the crowd.”

Alexine said she was most excited to see her old basketball buddies on the court.

“I can’t wait to reunite with old teammates,” Alexine said. “I haven’t seen some of them since we left high school.”

The game was Saturday night.