Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Courtside Conversations with Paul Johnson
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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Paul Johnson is employed by the UA as the women's basketball play-by-play announcer. He has 20 years of sports broadcasting experience, including the last six years as the voice of Arizona women's basketball. Every Wildcat women's basketball game this year will be broadcast live on KJLL 1330 AM, with Paul calling all the action.

Courtside Archives

March 20, 2004
March 15, 2004
March 11, 2004
March 2, 2004
Feb. 24, 2004
Feb. 17, 2004
Feb. 10, 2004
Feb. 5, 2004
Jan. 27, 2004
Jan. 20, 2004
Jan. 12, 2004
Jan. 5, 2004
Dec. 23, 2003
Dec. 11, 2003
Nov. 19, 2003
Oct. 20, 2003
2002-03 Archive
2001-02 Archive

I almost missed freshman guard Dee-Dee Wheeler. That is, she ran by so quickly during the team's recent Red-Blue Scrimmage that she became merely a blur! I thought to myself, "Wow, this girl can play!" Indeed, after just two weeks of practice, the general consensus seems to be that Dee-Dee Wheeler is the real deal.

Why should we be surprised? After all, Desire (Dee-Dee) Wheeler, the 5-6 freshman guard from Chicago, Ill., has been flying through life since she became the first girl to get a hit in the Junior League World Series in Florida. This is a young woman whose sports hero was Deion Sanders because "she played baseball and football too!" Dee-Dee lists Martin Luther King, Jr., as the person she most would like to meet, and she hopes to teach elementary school math. It is clear that this is not just an ordinary college athlete. Dee-Dee Wheeler is speeding through life, ahead of others her age.

On the basketball court things are no different. She played high school basketball at Chicago's Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. While at Dunbar, Dee-Dee was named to her conference all-star team three times and was a two-time All-Chicago pick. She averaged 27 points and 9 rebounds per game as a senior and, not surprisingly, was a MVP of the Chicago All-Academic team while being named as a member of the National Honor Society and to the Dunbar Honor Roll. Some women's basketball programs you may have heard of such as Connecticut, Rutgers and Duke recruited her. She chose Arizona because of the school's academic standing and because of its coaches. This is a very good thing for UA basketball fans!

Yes, Dee-Dee Wheeler is just a freshman, and yes, she will make freshman mistakes. But this girl will go hard from buzzer to buzzer, and her defense will have an immediate impact. Don't look now, but a girl by the name of Desire Wheeler may be Arizona's next basketball superstar. So, be sure you make time to watch her play, but be warned -- don't blink because that blur you see will be Dee-Dee Wheeler doing her thing for the UA women's basketball team!

See you on the radio!
Paul Johnson

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