Oklahoma Student-Athlete Spotlight: Derica Wyatt
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
          Release: 01/15/2014
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By Madison Huffling
Big 12 Campus Correspondent

Born in Missouri, but raised in Tennessee, brother and sister Devin and Derica Wyatt grew up Sooner fans. Their dad, Darin, a Konawa, Okla. native, instilled a love for OU in their hearts from the beginning.

Senior Devin is a manager for the women’s basketball team. He came to the University of Oklahoma his freshman year and has been here ever since.

“My dad’s from Oklahoma,” Devin said. “He grew up here and his entire family is big Oklahoma fans. Growing up around a family that loved Oklahoma sports made me want to come out here.”

Devin’s little sister, Derica, soon followed in his footsteps.

Derica averaged 18.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.2 steals in her career at Franklin Road Academy. She was named Tennessee’s Miss Basketball in 2010, 2012 and 2013 and was runner-up in 2011.  She scored 23 points and brought down eight rebounds in the state championship game as a senior. She was recruited by Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Richmond, among others, but choose head coach Sherri Coale’s Sooners.

Derica says Devin was a big part of her decision to come to Oklahoma.

“Devin and I were close during high school and when he left it was hard, but I knew if I came here, I would be with him again,” the 5-foot-10 freshman guard said. “It had a lot to do with him being here.”

“She knew coming out here; she had me to help her out with anything. I tried to stay neutral,” Devin said of Derica’s decision. “If she had any questions about it [Oklahoma], I tried to answer them, but I let her make her own decision.”

Having Devin at Oklahoma and him being three years older has eased her transition from high school to college.

“He’s definitely helped a lot. I’m kind of a homebody, so having him here really helps. The first few weeks of school, he told me where classes were,” Derica said. “It’s helped in life in general, not just in basketball.”

Devin is there for Derica, whether it’s for advice or just to talk.

“I’m always there for her if she has any questions, whether it be about homework or college or basketball. I just try to be that person she can come to for helpful advice.”

Coale said familiarity helps adjustment in any situation.

“Having familiarity in the gym everyday is a big learning curve. It has to be comforting,” she said.

Devin has managed the women’s team since his freshman year, three years before Derica committed in the summer of 2012. He is at every practice and every game.

“At games it’s good because I always like to have family there. My dad’s never missed a game, but now that he lives 12 hours away, he can’t come. Having Devin there helps,” Derica said.

Practices are a different story.

“Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. When I get scolded, it’s embarrassing, because your brother is seeing you get in trouble, but it’s cool that I get to share a big part of my life with him.”

Devin said he enjoys being around her in the gym.

“In high school, I was never there for practices, so I wasn’t there to see anything other than game time,” he said. “It’s interesting to see her in practice and see her develop as a player and continue to get better.”

Coale said Devin and Derica are mature.

“Devin’s been with us for several years and he’s very self-sufficient. He does his job, he’s very responsible. Derica’s very much the same way. They’re always on time, always doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

“They’re obviously very, very close. They both do their jobs, they’re both very mature kids,” Coale said.

Derica is averaging six points and one rebound in the seven games she’s played for the Sooners.   

“It’s amazing,” she said of playing at Oklahoma. “It has its ups and downs, but it’s a fun experience. I’m glad I did it.”

Derica said her teammates are like sisters and will help when Devin graduates in the spring.

“All of us are like sisters, we love each other like we would our own family. That’s always nice.”

Devin will graduate in May and once again, he and Derica will part ways.

“Awful,” Derica said of Devin graduating. “It’s going to be hard without him, but hopefully I can manage.”

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