By CORYANA SMITH, DAIJA JAMES and ZE’MIRAH HARRIS
It doesn’t happen every night — the mother of a Goldsboro High School basketball player walking to the middle of the floor during a first quarter timeout.
But nobody had a problem with La-Trina Bullock-Teachey doing just that during tonight’s varsity men’s game against Wallace-Rose Hill. For one thing, she is a former GHS basketball great. And more importantly, she was stepping onto the hardwood to honor Isaiah Wilder — the latest Cougar to reach the 1,000 career point milestone.
It was one GHS great and another — standing side by side as the young man lifted his 1,000-point ball above his head. And it was also a mother — gushing over her son’s feat with “1K” balloons in her hand.
“It makes me feel happy. He worked hard — real, real hard. He deserves it. That and much more,” La-Trina told the Pride. “I’m overwhelmed. I’m his biggest supporter. I’m just happy. Ecstatic, really. I only want the best for him.”
The school clown, the dunking machine, the beast on the court. And after tonight, a legend.
Knowing that the milestone was well within reach, we talked to Isaiah before the game and he said he feels really good about hitting 1,000.
“I never thought I would do anything like this, but it is happening,” he said. “I’ve been playing ball ever since I was 3 or 4. I have faced and overcome a lot of obstacles. I can’t believe it.”
His teammates — and Coach Croom — can.
GHS point guard Christian Bullock — who just so happens to be Isaiah’s cousin — told the Pride he feels “happy for him” and said “he definitely deserves it.”
“He worked hard for it and we’ve been playing together since the beginning, which was approximately 5 years old,” Christian said. “I always knew he could accomplish this because he’s a pure scorer.”
Croom agrees. His team, he told the Pride, is at its best when Isaiah goes off.
“I think the team, they are definitely happy for him. They understand that Isiah is a very important piece for this team,” he said. “They know that when he plays at his very best, we’re at our best.”
Best. That’s a word that seems synonymous with Isaiah. So when Croom reflected on his star forward’s latest achievement, he didn’t seem all that surprised by it. But he was in awe of it.
“It’s a big accomplishment. You know, there’s a lot of high school basketball players who don’t get the opportunity to accomplish something like this,” he told the Pride. “But a lot of players who suit up dream of doing something like that.”