Every superstar has one game or one moment that puts them on the map. Georgetown basketball commit Modesti McConnell (‘22) is no different. In her first high-school game four years ago as a freshman, she scored 39 points and shocked everyone in the gym – that is, everyone except for herself. For Modesti, she had been building for that game her entire life. Every time she stepped on a basketball court, her eyes were locked in on one thing and one thing only: improvement. When asked where her passion for the game comes from, she answered, “I always want to be the best that I can be in anything I do.” She didn’t know at the time, but this game was only the beginning.
Modesti’s introduction to basketball happened when she was seven years old and had just moved from Virginia to her current home in Oklahoma City. It was Modesti’s cousin who first inspired her to pick up a basketball due to countless games Modesti would go to watch her cousin in action. Still to this day, Modesti is following in her cousin’s path of taking basketball to the college level. While a love for the game led Modesti to pick up her first basketball, it was the team aspect and the friendships she built that kept her tied to the sport. She mentions that some of her favorite parts of the game are meeting new people and mentoring others. This is evident each time she steps onto a basketball court when she makes everyone around her a better person and player.
There were many people who guided Modesti’s career onto its current path, but no one’s role in her success was as big as her mom’s. “Ever since we moved here, she’s been my mentor.” A former basketball player herself, her mom never stopped pushing Modesti to always improve – a trait that has rubbed off onto Modesti. Not only will her mom support her off the court, but she’s also a huge help on the court. They have spent countless hours either watching game film or training together. Modesti’s mom has pushed her to be great her entire life, and she’s starting to see that greatness unfold into big things.
While any college could see the talent Modesti has, that isn’t the only thing that led to the twelve offers she received. Modesti simply holds herself to a high standard on and off the court. She claims colleges care about the attitude you have on and off the court. If you want to be recruited, it is equally important to know how to talk to adults, put yourself out there, and have a great attitude as is shooting, passing, and dribbling. When a scout comes out to watch you play, their eyes don’t simply shut down the moment you step off the court. “Coaches want to see if you’re not on the court, you’re on the bench cheering on your teammates,” says Modesti. Modesti leads her team just as much when she’s off the court. Even when it isn’t about basketball, her teammates know, “they can come to her about things on and off the court.” Whether it’s cheering for your teammates on the sidelines, staying out of trouble, or speaking with respect to coaches, scouts, and other staff, there is no excuse for not having the right attitude.
While eleven other offers rolled in, Modesti always knew that Georgetown was the one for her. All it took for Georgetown to make their decision was a single email containing a few highlights, and they instantly knew she would fit perfectly into their team. A visit to the campus and the town only confirmed Georgetown’s choice. Georgetown provides her with welcoming teammates, a dedicated program, and wonderful DC food. She claims, “I always kind of knew Georgetown was the school [for me].” However, this success had nothing to do with coincidence or luck. She maintains that the most important thing she did to obtain her dream was, “always working hard and never settling.” Consistently persistent. This phrase was first coined by Derek Washington, a coach and trainer of Modesti’s, and the phrase means what it sounds like: always working as hard as you can and never taking no for an answer. No matter what your dream is, there is only one way to achieve it: outwork everyone.