Longhorns spotlight: Aubry Cook
Dec. 14, 2008
Rafiq el Arculli, Texas Media Relations
It has been a long ride through over the past four years for senior Aubry Cook.
Through the last four years, Cook has witnessed All-American players come and go, a coaching change and a team that has transformed into one with a team-first mentality. Through it all, Cook has stayed mentally tough and accumulated a vast amount of knowledge from the numerous coaches and players that have surrounded her.
"It's been a long road and we've come a long way," Cook said. "During my freshman year, we were just doing our own things and really just playing one-on-one basketball. But now, it's all about the team. It's important that we're all on the same page, no matter what."
In the cycle of collegiate sports, student-athletes join a sporting program in their inaugural year and immediately take on all of its long-standing tradition. As time flashes before their eyes, these student-athletes become better players of their respective sport, learning from older ones around them and from their coaching staff. Boys and girls transform into men and women by slowly gathering greater knowledge of their sport, their school, and most importantly, of themselves in the process.
As the cycle reaches its conclusion, student-athletes come full circle with what they are faced with. The young now become the old, and as the saying goes, the student becomes the teacher over time.
Cook acknowledges that it is now her time to teach the younger players of the team everything that she has learned through her years on the Forty Acres.
"I try to be a role model," said Cook. "I know that everything I'm doing, they are watching. I just try to coach them on different things and try my best to succeed at that."
Over the course of the summer, Cook has taken time to improve her own individual game while also refining her leadership skills. Entering the season, she knew that that the freshmen would have to have an immediate impact in order for the team to succeed, and has been giving the younger ones helpful advice to aid in their transition from high school to college.
"I've told them to just work hard every day, because each day brings a different challenge," Cook said. "In this game, anybody can get hurt at any given time and you never know when you might've played your last game of the season. I've told them to leave it all on the court every day, no matter if you're in a good or bad mood."
Cook acknowledges the importance of having a deep bench where any player can step in and have an immediate impact on the game. Through her understanding of this, she has pushed herself even harder to have a successful senior campaign.
"It's the characteristic of having a championship caliber team," Cook said. "It's important because one of our scorers may be off one game and the rest of us will be forced to step up. To know that anybody can come in and step up is just remarkable."
Cook's strong faith in the bench and their production has caused her own confidence to rise up to new levels.
"Teams can scout our starting five, but they also know that our bench has the ability to come in at any time and take over," said Cook. "With me, I always try to go in and make sure that I can do everything I can in the game. I have to give my team a boost in energy and make sure I work hard in all aspects. That's part of coming off of the bench."
Cook is on pace to graduate this year with a degree in education and youth and community studies and has high hopes of utilizing all the lessons she has learned from her time at Texas.
"I really want to get into the fashion industry, so I'm looking to moving to New York after I graduate," said Cook. "I want to take on something different and I want to challenge myself with whatever comes next."