Athlete thrives on action


Matthew Wilburn began playing basketball and running track and cross-country in sixth grade, so it was an easy choice for him to continue those sports when he entered Crothersville High School.

“I love all the sports I’ve done ever since I started,” he said.

Wilburn has received special awards in each sport, earning a free-throw trophy in basketball and mental attitude awards in track and cross-country, and being named most improved and most valuable runner in cross-country.

Wilburn said his favorite part of basketball is offense.

“I’m right-handed for basketball, but everything else is left-handed,” Wilburn said. “Coach tells me if I’m open to shoot the 3, and I like to drive because I’m really small compared to everybody else. I look for Logan (Brewer), Josh (Thomas) and Dylan (Wilson) on the inside. If I can’t get it, I look for Josh if he’s on the wing or (Lane) Wienhorst because he’s a good shooter as well.

“I like to be a catch-and-shoot type player. I want to try and get that (season) school record for 3s. I want both (game and season), actually.”

Wilburn’s high-point game this season has been 11 points against Medora, and he scored nine against Shoals. He made three 3s in each of those games.

He said he enjoys playing full-court defense.

“I’m usually the top guy when we press,” he said. “We call it 2-2-1. We try to trap them and gamble for a steal and get a turnover for us.

“I love the run-and-jump type of basketball. With our basketball conditioning we’re all in shape for that stuff. That really helps with the running.”

Wilburn said he realizes the importance of practice.

“I like winning and practices,” he said. “I love practices with the boys. I feel we have the best chance in a while of winning sectional,= and hopefully regional. We’ll go as far as we can with that. I think having Dylan and his size for our class really helps. Logan is the best mid-range shooter I’ve ever seen walk through a gym, so having them with us really helps.

“I love the home games. We’re undefeated at home (3-0). I love when the fans come out and support us. The away games are tough because it’s a different court, different atmosphere. My favorite away gyms are Orleans or Borden.”

The Tigers are 8-3, and Wilburn said the Tigers need teamwork to keep winning.

“We need team chemistry and to work together,” he said. “We need that the most.”

Cross-country has helped Wilburn stay in shape for basketball.

“I tried to run the first mile as quick a pace as I could,” Wilburn said. “Then, the second mile, I tried to follow through with it, as well as the third.”

He said his career-best was in the high 17-minutes or low 18s his junior year in the sectional. Wilburn ran his junior year at Brownstown Central and said his favorite courses were Jac-Cen-Del and Rushville.

He listed the mile and 800 as his favorite track events. He also competes in the long jump.

“The 800 is probably my favorite,” Wilburn said. “I love the 800. The start is really important. A couple of years ago at South Decatur I got shoved out and got disqualified. I try to pace with Lane because he’s also the mile runner and he’s pretty good with that. That’s his main event. I do the 4×400 relay; that’s my last event.”

Wilburn said you have to adjust to the weather in the spring and fall.

“I like to run in mid-fall when It’s not too cold or not too hot, and early spring when it’s not too hot, when it’s just starting to warm back up,” he said. “I like our track. I want to make all-conference this year, and go as far as I can in sectional.”

Whether he’s running on the trails, track or down the hardwood, Wilburn said that confidence is essential to success.

“You always have to have confidence,” Wilburn said. “In cross-country you have to know that that you don’t want to be the last one and try to catch up. In basketball you always have to have confidence that you’re shots going to go in. The same thing with track. You have to have confidence that you’re going to be able to catch that person if you’re not winning the race. Just believe in yourself.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Wilburn file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Matthew Wilburn

School: Crothersville High School

Parents: Paula Greathouse, David Wilburn

Sports: Basketball 3 years, cross-country 4 years, track and field 3 years

Athletic honors: Basketball, free throw award; cross-country, most improved, mental attitude, most valuable runner; track, mental attitude

Plans after high school: Attend college

Favorite food: Mac and cheese

Favorite TV show: Basketball games

Favorite movie: “Coach Carter”

Favorite teams: Kentucky Wildcats, Los Angeles Lakers


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