As her team was tied with Barbe in the fourth quarter of the Class 5A state championship game, Destrehan coach Angi Butler turned to an assistant coach and asked if she should be more worried than she was. “She told me, ‘you probably should be, we’re tied up here,’” Butler said. “But why am I not worried?
“It’s because they don’t have a Cara Ursin.”
The Destrehan star rewarded her coach’s faith. Ursin finished the game with 27 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as she led her team to victory, sealing a perfect season wrapping up MVP honors for the senior and soon-to-be Baylor Bear.
Butler believed Ursin would deliver, and really, why wouldn’t she? The senior who goes by the nickname “Moon” has done nothing but that since arriving on Destrehan’s campus as a freshman four years ago. Ursin led her team to a state runner-up finish that year, and since that time, she’s led the Wildcats to a record of 120-8. She is a two-time Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year and was named Miss Basketball by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association last season. After averaging 28 points and 14 rebounds as a senior — and serving as the MVP of an unbeaten team — she seems likely to repeat as winner of both awards.
Allow Destrehan principal Stephen Weber, himself a former coach, to put Ursin’s accomplishments in perspective.
“I’ve told many people, and not taking anything at all from any other athlete that’s come through, but there’s been two athletes that have come through Destrehan High School that have been the caliber of the truly, truly elite. One of them was Ed Reed and I believe the other is Cara Ursin,” Weber said. “You just don’t see those very often.”
Ursin was flattered at the comparison to the almost certain NFL Hall of Famer.
“Yeah that’s amazing. Coming from someone like your principal … I thank Mr. Weber for that,” Ursin said. “Because he doesn’t have to say that. He works with so many kids every day, and I’m glad I made that kind of impression on him. Just to be compared to someone like Ed Reed makes me feel good and lets me know I’m doing something right.”
Butler called Ursin a “decade player,” the type of athletes that comes around once every 10 or 20 years.
“There’s not enough words to say about her,” Butler said. “We’re not gonna have another one like her. I’m just the fortunate one who gets to coach her. How fun is that? She motivates her team. She loves every single one of her girls. They just have so much fun together. She’s the type of athlete that can do whatever you ask her to do. And she’s not gonna complain, not gonna fuss, she’s gonna step up and perform.”
Ursin has proven to be an achiever in so many respects. A terrific student in the classroom, Ursin is also incredibly popular among her classmates. Her senior year and championship is accompanied by her selection as Destrehan’s homecoming queen last fall.
She will graduate and then head to Baylor later this year, leaving Destrehan as not only the school’s most accomplished basketball player, but the most accomplished of any St. Charles Parish hoops star.
“Not knowing I would come this far in basketball … I knew I was good when I was young, but I had no idea where this would lead,” Ursin said. “Of course everyone dreams of it. We all dream — but mine came true.”
Butler perhaps summed it up best.
“The difference between our team and everyone else … they all have stars, but there’s only one Moon and I got her,” Butler said. “You look at the sky at night and you see a million stars, but there’s only one full Moon.”