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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Brenna Saline- Definitely STUDENT-ATHLETE

People think that coaches/teachers are supposed to have an impact on the lives of athletes/students. But it also works the other way. Athletes/students can have a positive impact on coaches/teachers. For me, one of those athletes was Brenna Saline. She was one of the hardest workers we have had in girls basketball at Galesburg HS. No one outworked Brenna. 

When I look at back at some of the best and most enjoyable players I have gotten to coach, Brenna Saline would certainly be one of the players I would think about. She has a tremendous drive to succeed, and it is never just talk, she is willing to commit the time and effort to succeed. I am sure glad I got to coach Brenna.

Massey- Describe how things have gone for you as a basketball player at Missouri Western.
Brenna- Each year here I have learned a lot on how to become a better basketball player.  With this being my last year, I am hoping for a successful season.  We are off to a 4-3 start (2-2 in conference).  We believe we can be in the top 5 of the MIAA by the end of the year.

Massey- You were always a very good student. How have things gone for you as a student?
Brenna- As for the academic side of things, I have done pretty well.  I have a 3.93 GPA after 3 years of college.  Classes are a little bit more difficult and this semester has been a struggle because I'm taking higher level courses.

Massey- What are you majoring in? What are your plans for next year? What do you hope to do career wise?
Brenna- I am majoring in accounting.  Next year my plans are wide open.  I have been accepted into Western Illinois University's MBA program and will take the GMAT over Christmas break so I will apply to more schools after that.  However, if I find a job that suits me then I may enter into the work field and go back later to get my MBA.

Massey- What are your best memories as a player at GHS?
Brenna- There are many favorite memories I have from GHS.  The top moment, even though we lost, was my last game at Galesburg when we played Morton with over 2,000 people in attendance.  The atmosphere in the gym was the best I've ever been in and it was so fun to play with so many fans rooting for you.  Also all four years of playing I was always surrounded by amazing people.  I will never forget my teammates and coaches.  What made my experience playing at Galesburg so great was that my teammates were fun to be around yet worked hard on the court so we could be successful every year.  The fans were also the best in the state of Illinois so we always had a big advantage playing at home.

Massey- Of things you did in the summer, what do you think was the neatest thing you got to do in the summer with basketball in high school?
Brenna- I would definitely have to say going to North Carolina every summer was pretty neat.  It was nice to be able to just play basketball and hang out with my teammates.  I feel like that team camp brought all of our teams closer together.  Second coolest thing - when we got to go onto the University of Tennessee court on the way home from UNC.  Too bad we never could have actually WENT to the camp while I was there.

Massey- You started out playing on the varsity as a freshman in high school? What was good and what was bad about that?
Brenna- Playing on varsity as a freshman put a lot of pressure on me especially at GHS when that doesn't happen too often.  Learning the offenses and defenses were sometimes very overwhelming, but we had great leaders on our team my freshman year in Jenna Bicego and Andie Allison.  They made it a lot easier of a transition from junior high to varsity.

Massey- You had incredible motivation as an athlete. What or who motivated you?
Brenna- Winning is what motivated me as a player to work hard.  I wanted to go to state every year, and I would have done anything to get there.  Also in high school, I had always dreamed of playing college basketball and I knew the only way I could accomplish that is by working extremely hard because I wasn't tall or fast so I had to make up for those things.

Massey- You did not have a positive experience at SIU. It may be that you feel nothing positive came out of it. As bad as things were, has it made you a stronger person in anyway?
Brenna- That was the hardest situation I have been put in thus far in my life.  But, yes, it has definitely made me a stronger person.  I learned a lot about myself my freshman year in college.  I know I can get through anything life puts my way after being in that situation.

Massey- Hundreds of kids think they are going to be a scholarship player and probably thousands of parents think their kid should be a D1 player. After you experiencing being recruited, playing at D1, transferring, and now playing as a scholarship player-- if you were to counsel high school athletes/parents about recruiting and about playing as a scholarship athlete-  what suggestions would you have?
Brenna- The biggest warning I would give parents and athletes is that when it comes to recruiting it all sounds great; however, make sure both the parent and the athlete do a lot of research before deciding on a school.  There are many things that the coaches and players don't tell you about what's really going on behind the scenes.  Ask a lot of questions.  As for playing college basketball, it is a fun but a different experience than in high school.  The competition is a lot better - everyone is a good athlete.  You have to be willing to work harder than you ever have worked, and you have to that everyday.  I believe the biggest thing about being a student-athlete is being able to manage your time efficiently.  I am traveling at least twice a week, missing classes, working a job, doing homework, and going to practice and class.  It's a lot of things on my plate at once, but by managing my time I am able to get everything done.

Massey- When it comes to playing in college as a scholarship athlete, people don't realize______.
Brenna- How much time it actually takes up in your week during preseason and postseason (conditioning, individuals, lifting, and pick-up) and season (practice, film, games, and traveling).

Massey- What was your best class at GHS?
Brenna- Psychology with Massey.. HA.. just kidding! :) My favorite class at GHS was probably my Calc class I took with Mrs. Eisemann.  It was not because I loved doing math problems but because she was a great teacher who made class fun and was always willing to help.

Massey- My brother is a prolific reader. Any suggestions to buy him for Christmas?
Brenna- The only books I have been reading lately are biology, auditing, international marketing and trade, and individual income tax.  I don't think he would enjoy those too much.

Massey- What is worse- the fact we never went to Tennessee for camp when you were in high school or that we went to Tennessee for camp after you graduated?
Brenna- The fact that you went after I graduated was pretty bad, but suggesting it many times and getting let down during my four years was also horrible.  If I had to pick one or the other, not going while I was in high school was the worst.  I would have been on cloud 9 the whole trip to Knoxville.

Massey- Which would you rather do-- stand outside a TV store when it was -10 degrees and watch the Lady Vols on TV, or have a free trip to Hawaii to watch UConn play?
Brenna- I would stand outside in -10 degree weather to watch the Lady Vols on TV because I hate UConn with a passion.  Even though Hawaii would be nice I would have to attend the game, and it would ruin my trip.

Massey- What will you take from athletics as you go into a career? Are there lessons that you feel will be valuable?
Brenna- Athletics has helped me in so many ways.  I have developed a confidence level that I would never have had without sports in my life.  I have learned the importance of working hard to be successful and reach my goals.  I also learned how to get through adversity and be a leader.  I have dealt with so many diverse people and have developed the ability to work in team environments.  All these traits are a necessity in the working world.

Massey- What do you hope your teammates will say about you when you are done playing?
Brenna- I hope when I am done my teammates will say that I worked hard and left it all out on the floor.  Also I hope they say that I was a good person to be around both on and off the court.

1 comment:

  1. Brenna, thanks for sharing! You brought back a lot of memories, and Steve and I never did understand why Coach would wait to go to Tennessee AFTER your high school career was over. And, how great was if for you to see Pederson of Standford beat UConn? Didn't you play against her in Bloomington?