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Archdeacon: Wright State transfer wants to make an impact, on and off the court

CJ Wilbourn

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

By Tom Archdeacon

He remembers their last night together.

“She kissed me goodnight and said, ‘Hey, I’ll see you tomorrow,’” C.J. Wilbourn said quietly. “The next morning I remember waking up, hearing the screams and the crying.

“I was just 8 years old and I didn’t realize what all was going on. I didn’t realize I’d just lost my sister.”

Christianna Michelle Wilbourn was just 18 – a senior at Normal Community High School in Bloomington, Illinois – when she died suddenly from an aneurysm on May 5, 2009.

“She was like a second mom to me,” said Wilbourn, a 6-foot-7 forward/center who joined the Wright State basketball team this season after spending the previous two years playing for Horizon League rival, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, where he started both seasons and was named to the league’s all-freshman team.

“My sister always looked out for me,” he said. “In the mornings she made sure my lunch was ready to take along to school. She was the best sister you could ask for.”

And that’s not just a younger brother talking.