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Super 5 girls basketball 2020: Norman High's Kelbie Washington continues to accomplish her goals

Norman High basketball player Kelbie Washington set a goal of becoming a Division-I player. Now commited to OU, she had a junior season that also landed her on The Oklahoman's Super 5 team.  [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Norman High basketball player Kelbie Washington set a goal of becoming a Division-I player. Now commited to OU, she had a junior season that also landed her on The Oklahoman's Super 5 team. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

NORMAN — Kelbie Washington has always set goals for herself.

When she started playing basketball at Norman High School, she had one in mind: become one of the few to play Division-I basketball.

Washington knew earning a major-college scholarship offer would not happen overnight. If she was going to accomplish her goal, she needed to work on her game more than everybody else.

As a junior, Washington has developed into one of the best players in the state, and she’s already verbally committed to play at OU.

She is also a member of The Oklahoman's Super 5 team.

“I worked out with a lot of people,” Washington said. “For sure Coach (Michael) Neal and a lot of others. It was just getting in the gym and waking up early when you don’t want to. (And) doing things by yourself.”

The Norman gym is shared by boys and girls basketball and the volleyball team. With a gym constantly occupied after school hours, Washington had to find other times to practice. That meant getting to the gym on Sundays or even before the sun rose on weekday mornings.

For Neal, it meant he had to do the same.

“I’m not going to get any rest as long as Kelbie wants to get in the gym,” Neal said “And that’s the expectation. She’s at a level where she’s self directed.”

Not only did Washington’s solo time in the gym pay off for her, but it also paid off for the team. With Washington’s help, Norman won the Class 6A state title in 2019 and was primed to defend the title in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the state tournament.

“We had such an amazing season; we only lost one game,” Washington said. “It hurts because I think we knew what would happen if we got to that state tournament.”

After winning a state championship and earning a D-I scholarship, Washington has a new goal in mind — making the Norman High Hall of Fame.

“I want to do what I can to just have the crowd remember who I am,” Washington said. “I want to get my name on the Norman High board.”

With her senior season still to come and career totals already of 1,083 points, 317 steals, 304 assists and 297 rebounds, Washington is well on her way to accomplishing another goal.

James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›

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