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Dion Wooley

Dion Wooley

Last year Dion came out of nowhere to win the NPCA Clasic II High School Girls Division. She was in Chicago to defend her title and we had a chance to talk with this delightful young player and future star.

NBN: Dion, last year you won the high school division rather easily, is the competition stronger this year?

DION: Yes, the tournament is better known now. Several players that had experience were here this year where last they weren’t.

NBN: What are your other interests beside pool?

DION: Sports. I played softball for seven years before pool.

I like people doing trick shots. I enjoy traveling, and almost anything athletic.

NBN: This is your last year of eligibility in the high school event, what is next?

DION: Work, college, marriage! This was my first pro event, and I don’t think I did too badly. I’d like to give pool a little more time. If it falls through, then maybe college and become a lawyer.

NBN: How did you get started in pool anyway?

DION: My mother played pool for a long time. She talked dad into buying a table. But dad didn’t like to play so mom talked me into playing and within a short time I was dragging her out to play pool.

NBN: How much of your time do you devote to practice:

DION: I play between 4 to 6 days a week, 2 to 3 hours a day.

NBN: Is 9-ball your favorite game?

DION: Yes, 9-Ball!

NBN: Did you pattern your game after anyone in particular or did you develop your own style? And who is your favorite player?

DION: I developed my own style because I never really had any lessons. I pick up a little from everyone I watch. John Shuput is my favorite player because he completely masters the table.

NBN: Will you start playing more tournaments as soon as you’re out of school?

DION: Yes. definitely if I could pick up a sponsor.

NBN: Most players have a plan; 1 year. 5 years, 10 years. In other words, where they will have their game level at these various points. What’s yours?

DION: I never really sat down and thought about it like that! But I think maybe about 4-5 years before my name will be consistent. Eventually I want to be the best!

NBN: Where might we be seeing you next?

DION: I think the McDermott Masters. I really would like to go to Red’s tournament, even if it’s only to watch!

This article originally appeared in the February 1984 issue of the National Billiard News and is reprinted with permission.