Kelly Brenner Interview

1. What was the feeling of winning the NAIA championship?

It was surreal. Last year, we made it to the championship, but we ended up losing. Being able to leave Iowa with the national champion trophy this year was amazing. We had all worked so hard to get to that point of the season again, but this time, we wanted a different outcome. When we got to stand on the court at the end of the game, with the confetti raining down for us, we realized that all our hard work paid off. It was a once in a lifetime experience for all of us.

2. What are some of your goals going into next season?

For me personally, I hope to continue to develop my skills as a player. I am always looking for different ways to contribute to the team, whether that be on or off the court. As a team, I think one of our biggest goals is to come back stronger. There are always things that we can do to become more developed and cohesive as a team. I know that one of the biggest things we are looking forward to is making another run in the conference tournament. We lost in the quarterfinals this year, which acted as fuel going into the national tournament, but next year, we hope to win it. 

 

3. What does your daily routine look like as a student athlete?

As an exercise science major, I have a pretty busy schedule. I have 3-4 classes a day, and then during season, we will have 2 hour practices each day. We also have 2-3 games a week. On top of studying for exams or doing homework, I also try to set aside time to get extra shots up in the gym. Being a college athlete has meant I have had to learn how to balance basketball, my studies, and my social life. It can be hard at times, but when I committed to Thomas More, I also committed to the busy schedule, and I have found a routine that works for me over the past two years. 

4. Major highlight and achievements from this season?

One of the major highlights of the season was obviously winning the National Championship. On top of that, I think one of my highlights was watching and feeling our team come together at the best time. We played at the top of our game during our championship run, and it was some of the most fun I have had in my many years of playing basketball. On top of this, one my biggest achievements was being in the starting lineup for the national tournament. It was something I had worked so hard for, so it was a great feeling to see all my hard work pay off during one of the most crucial times of our season. 

5. Advice for younger athletes?

My first piece of advice would be to have fun with whatever sport you are taking part in. Playing your sport should be something you look forward to. I would also tell them that they need to keep an open mind. Take advice that your coaches and teammates are giving you and use it to get better. Get extra time in at the gym or on the field to develop those skills and let them transfer over to the games. Lastly, my advice would be to learn how to manage the different aspects of your life. You canโ€™t let sports consume your life. Instead, manage time between school, sports, family, friends, and anything else you enjoy. Having a balanced life can contribute greatly to your success on and off the court.