Wroten wraps up picture-perfect career

Aaron Wroten guided the Tacony Charter basketball team to the playoffs, but he suffered an injury that kept him from playing in the game. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Aaron Wroten is a great shooter.

And it doesn’t matter how he’s doing it.

Wroten, a recent graduate of Tacony Academy Charter High School, had a great career playing for the Lions. But when he wasn’t playing games for the team, he was helping out the girls team by serving as the unofficial team photographer.

“I liked it a lot,” said Wroten, who lives in Lawncrest. “I liked it a whole lot. You see a different game when you’re taking pictures. I had a lot of fun doing it. It taught me different things about the game. And I was pretty good, I got some good shots.”

That shooting was just for fun.

But the shooting on the court, that was all about helping the team and preparing for the future. And he did both very well.

Wroten guided the Lions to the playoffs, but a shoulder injury kept him from playing in the postseason, and Tacony was eliminated in the first round. But he showed enough to earn a shot at playing at Delaware Valley University, and he also was named the Public League Male Student Athlete of the Year. Ireland Smith, of George Washington, was named the Public League Female Student Athlete of the Year.

“It meant a lot to me because it wasn’t just about being a basketball player, it meant you do well in school and you help out in the community,” said Wroten, who also runs cross country, takes honors and advanced placement classes and helps out with community service projects with the school. “School is very important to me. I know how important it is to study, and I tried my hardest, so to get this, it meant a lot to me.”

It also means a lot that he has a future at Del Val.

Wroten really wanted to continue his basketball career beyond high school, but he had a few offers to do that. But none of the offers were as inviting as Del Val’s, and he believes that it’s the perfect fit for him.

“When I visited there, they made me feel so comfortable, and they didn’t just want me to be a basketball player, they wanted me to do well in school and wanted me as a person, they really wanted me,” Wroten said. “That’s how Tacony was. I learned so much in high school and I really wanted to have the same kind of college experience. Delaware Valley offers that. It seemed like the best fit for me.”

He’s also happy to stay close to home.

His biggest fans are his parents, and he wanted to be close so they can see him. He also wants to be close because he wants to make sure his mom is in good hands.

This school year, his mom suffered two strokes, which caused her a lot of problems. She’s still battling hard to get back to normal. And as hard as she’s working, she has had all the support she needs from her boy.

“She just keeps saying to me she wants things to go back to the way they were,” Wroten said. “It’s hard for her. But she’s trying so hard. She’s going to rehab and doing a lot of exercises. I know it hurts her, but she is really doing well.

“She’s not there yet. She still has a lot to do to get better. She has some problems talking and still has problems getting around, but she’s doing a lot of exercises. I’m proud of her. And she’s going to get better. She’ll be much better soon.”

Wroten will be there for her every step of the way. And in college, he’ll learn even more about ways to help her get better, physically and mentally.

Wroten plans on majoring in psychology with the hopes of someday becoming a sports psychologist.

It will incorporate two of his favorite things, and will give him a chance to help those who really need it.

“A lot of people think athletes are just athletes and stars and they don’t need help, but they do, they need help, too,” Wroten said. “I knew I wanted to have a job where I’m around athletes, and then I started thinking about psychology when I was a junior. I know it’s a good job. You get to learn how to talk to people and how to help them.

“When I got hurt this year, I needed help. It’s hard when you have an injury and it keeps you from doing what you love. As a psychologist, I can help people when they have those problems.”

He’s looking forward to learning in college.

But he’s also looking forward to playing at the next level.

Wroten was a star in high school, but he knows making the same impact in college will take work. That’s something he’s prepared to do.

“I try to be good at everything, but I’m more of the leader-type guy who will play defense and help any way I can,” Wroten said. “I try to help my teammates and do things that help the team. I was a captain this year, but that’s always the role I try to take on. I know there are a lot of things you can do to help your team, so I just try to do the right thing when I’m playing and away from the game, too.”