By Jadon Frank
Briercrest women’s basketball is excited to announce the signing of Brooke Briscoe, a top recruit out of Kelowna, BC.
“Brooke is going to be a great fit at Briercrest,” head coach Chad Romanuk said. “She loves the Lord, wants to serve Him and wants to be in a place where others, especially her teammates, want to do the same. Not to mention that she is also a great basketball player. She is going to immediately have an impact on our team.”
“I am thrilled to add a player like her to our roster next season,” Romanuk added.
In June Briscoe will be graduating from Kelowna Secondary School, in Kelowna, BC, where she plays for the Owls. She has been both a standout athlete and student during her middle and high school years, receiving athlete of the year and highest academic achievement/student of the year in middle school. Since moving up to KSS she has continued her high standards by achieving honour roll/principal’s list throughout high school.
Obviously very intelligent and well-rounded, Briscoe’s passion for basketball started at a young age and has grown since.
“I started playing at the age of nine in the Kelowna Steve Nash League, but started playing competitively in sixth grade when I joined the KMBA (Kelowna Minor Basketball Association) U13 rep team. I played on the BC provincial team for three summers in a row, 2009, 2010, and 2011, which were all incredible experiences as I had the opportunity to compete and represent my province, learn from experienced coaches and make lifelong friendships. This past summer I played on the U17 Jr. Heat team based out of UBC-O in Kelowna which was also a unique opportunity as I was able to play club ball with other elite players around the Okanagan.”
Entering her final year of high school basketball Briscoe is excited to finish strong.
“My Grade 12 school season is just getting started,” Briscoe said. “This is my third year playing on the KSS AAA Sr. girls’ team. We are currently ranked seventh in the province and hope to progress throughout the season and improve from our 14th finish at provincials last year. While I am ecstatic to be joining the Clipper squad in September 2013, I have to admit I am sad my youth basketball is coming to an end. Years of practices, games, successes, memories, and learning experiences have led up to this point and my experiences playing basketball have played a huge part in shaping who I am today.”
“Brooke has been well coached and has also played at a very high level, both in 3A ball in BC as well as on the BC provincial teams,” Romanuk noted. “She will add a lot of experience and knowledge to our team.”
Briscoe’s father has had a great influence on her basketball career.
“My dad coached me from age nine to 15 and taught me almost everything I know, at least right up until the age of 15 when I reached high school and entered Grade 10 at KSS,” Briscoe said. “He has always been a huge influence for me on the court; he is the most supportive and motivational father an athlete could ask for and I have been so blessed throughout my entire sports career.”
As a well-rounded person, Briscoe’s passions extend beyond playing basketball.
“While playing basketball has always been a huge part of my life,” Briscoe said. “I am also actively involved in youth basketball in my community through the KMBA as a referee and coach. I’ve been officiating since the age of 13 and have been coaching U12–U15 girls since the age of 16. I adore youth and children so the opportunity to share my knowledge and impact younger girls in my community has been a huge blessing, and something that I will surely miss next year.”
Briscoe is also musical, playing both the piano and guitar, and is involved with her church, Trinity Baptist in Kelowna, as a youth leader for Grade 8 girls and participating in senior youth group. All of these passions are important to her, but family ranks at the top of the list for her.
“But I cannot describe myself and my passions without including my family; specifically my three siblings,” Briscoe said. “I have been extremely blessed to have an incredible relationship with my brother and two sisters; we are all Christians, play basketball, and are best friends. Together we have worked through family adversity and I think out of everyone I’ll miss them the most when I move out to Saskatchewan! I will also greatly miss my Mom and Dad…not sure how I’m going to manage without them!”
A pivotal part of Briscoe’s life has been her experience at Camp Qwanoes in Crofton, BC.
“My experience working at Camp Qwanoes has also contributed to shaping my identity today, specifically in regards to my spiritual journey,” Briscoe said. “I became a Christian and was baptized at the camp, as well as completing both the CIT and LIT programs. The friends I made and foundations I built there will last a lifetime as what I’ve learned there has helped me reach the point of surrendering my entire life and future to God and His will.”
Briscoe visited Briercrest for several days in November, which would be daunting for most high school students. She lived in the dorm, sat in on classes, met with enrollment staff, took part in practices and sat on the Briercrest bench during weekend competition. She even joined the team on a late night fundraiser after their game Saturday night, cleaning Mosaic Place until late at night.
This trip was the first opportunity that coach Romanuk had to see the 5’ 9” guard in person.
“One of the first things I really noticed about Brooke on the court was her basketball IQ,” the second year coach said. “She is able to understand not only what the team is trying to run on the court but more importantly how to accomplish it. She is athletic and skilled at both ends of the floor. She will also provide more height at our perimeter positions and will be a huge asset both on offense and on the defensive end.”
Her visit also solidified her commitment to travel over the mountains to attend Briercrest for fall 2013.
“I am beyond excited to be attending Briercrest next year and not just for the superb basketball program I will be able to be a part of,” Briscoe said. “I have had Bible college on my heart since I was 16, so am really looking forward to having the opportunity to learn about theology and my faith while working towards a business degree. The environment at Briercrest is so encouraging and supportive; I know it will be a great place for me to be challenged and grow in my journey with Jesus Christ, which is ultimately the most important thing to me.”