12/06/2007 10:15 AM ET
Willits: A competitive family
I'm playing for the Angels these days, but my older sister, Wendi, remains the most accomplished athlete in our family. She owns 10 or 15 University of Arkansas records in basketball and a couple of NCAA records, too. She's only 5-foot-6, but she can shoot the daylight out of the ball.
After her college basketball career, she played briefly for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. It's pretty weird that both of us found our way to busy Southern California from our small town in Oklahoma.
After playing for the Sparks, my sister coached college basketball for a while. She has since moved on to coaching high school basketball because she prefers a less hectic schedule for raising her baby.
Growing up in Fort Cobb, my sister -- who is two and a half years older than me -- and I were very competitive. We used to run three or four miles in the seventh or eighth grade and we would race every time. From lifting weights to running, we were always competing.
I was born in Chickasha, Okla., and it's probably about 30 minutes from Fort Cobb. Fort Cobb is a town of about 800 people and my graduating class was right around 20 people. It's a very small area, needless to say. I can't say I know everyone in the area, but I do know the majority of them.
It is also a big hunting area. I live right next to a lake. There's tons of wildlife there; lots of ducks and geese, plus some deer. In the summertime, there's lots of water skiing out there. A lot of people go out there for vacations. The summer there is really hot. The lake is a great place to escape the heat, though.
I actually live within a mile of my parents. Both my parents live back home. My mom is a secretary and my dad works in real estate. My wife and I are building a house back there right now.
One of the disadvantages of living in a small town is that some people can be limited in the way they see things. They don't see much outside of the town, so their spectrum of the world is somewhat limited. The best thing is that it's pretty safe, a good place to raise children, and have them grow up there.
Reggie Willits, who currently resides in Fort Cobb, Okla., hit .293 with a .391 on-base percentage in his first full big-league season with the Angels. The fleet-footed outfielder also stole 27 bases and scored 74 runs.