A year or so into her high school basketball career, Tecumseh senior Bianca Quisenberry began to hear the whispers. So did her coach. And her parents.
The doubters said she wasn’t big enough. They said she wasn’t fast enough.
But Quisenberry kept working at her game. She found a friend in school custodian Todd Ridge who would come on his own time to the school and let her into the gym at 5:30 a.m.
“To me it’s a motivational thing,” Quisenberry said. “When people doubt me, it’s, ‘I’m going to prove you wrong.’ And in that way I’m going to better myself as a player and a person.”
Those early-morning shoot-arounds, the countless team practices, the games, the AAU seasons, etc., all came together one last time for Quisenberry at Wittenberg University on Wednesday. Quisenberry became the first three-time winner of the Pam Evans Smith Miss Basketball Award as the best player in Clark County.
Quisenberry, who has signed to play college ball at Cincinnati, rewrote the Tecumseh record books, scored over 2,000 points and helped rebuild a program that set school record for victories with 23 this season.
Quisenberry, who was named All-Clark County for the fourth time, led the Arrows to the Central Buckeye Conference title for the program’s first league title in 19 years. When she was an eighth-grader, the Arrows were 0-21. In her four years, they progressed from 7-14 to 14-8 to 18-4 to 23-2 and 10-0 in the CBC.
Quisenberry was a scorer from the beginning. Her scoring averages were 24.0, 27.3, 22.9 and 28.9. She was second in the CBC in scoring this year, second in rebounding at 11.2 and first in steals at 8.9 per game. As the point guard she also averaged 5.9 assists, shot 45.1 percent from the field and 81.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Quisenberry’s motivation to be a player who often took over games to ensure another victory meant that she had to overcome the nerves of a scared freshman. Arrows coach Danielle Thomas remembers seeing Quisenberry sitting in the locker room before her first game and hugging her knees.
“I’ve never been so nervous in my life,” Quisenberry said. “That first game during warmups I wanted to throw up. She had talked about me starting at the point guard, so I knew I had a lot to cover as a freshman.
“After the first couple games I was fine. I still get nervous during the national anthem, but once we tip off I’m fine.”
Quisenberry said that her faith is important to her, so she prays during the anthem.
“I feel like I wouldn’t be anywhere without God,” she said. “I pray before every game for just having the opportunity to just glorify him. It pushes me to be a good person and a good player.”