INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (February 5, 2016) – A major player for women’s basketball in the NCAA gave the Girls’ Basketball team from Pike High School a lesson they’ll likely never forget following a season they don’t want to remember.
It was going to be a promising season for the Pike Girls’ Basketball team. Two of the players had already committed to play basketball at D-1 schools. That is until January 15th, the girls’ big game against Ben Davis. Sportsmanship was noticeably absent from the court. The girls’ basketball teams from Ben Davis and Pike High Schools erupted in a mid-game brawl, with all of it caught on camera.
“We want always to make sure there’s some life learning lessons from bad situations,” said Anucha Browne.
Browne is Vice President of Women’s Basketball Championships for the NCAA and a Northwestern All-American basketball standout. She had a little one-on-one Friday with the Pike team. Busy in the midst of college basketball, Browne took the time to leave an impression on these girls, living at the most impressionable age.
“It’s important you don’t give up on them and that you take the time to invest in them and invest in their future and investing in their future is as simple as what I’ve done,” she said.
Browne wanted to make sure the girls knew that despite their season being cancelled, they could win every day off the court and make sure a brawl like January’s, never happens again.
“The penalty was spot on and I comment the schools for doing that because it’s too easy to say oh no, let’s not do it this way, but those kids will never forget the lesson they’re learning this time in their lives and it could very well change their life for the positive,” she said.
“They’re going to let it go, but we’re moving forward with self-discipline, self-control, leadership,” said Doug Schornick, Pike Schools’ Athletic Director.
Schornick and coaches listened in Friday as well. They knew though, Browne wasn’t the only one with a lesson. Two of the girls on the court during the brawl had already signed to play basketball at D-1 schools. Those same girls opted out of the fight that may have ended their future in the game.
“I don’t think you’re a division one athlete by mistake. Coaches look really hard at the character and those girls’ silent leadership that day paid dividends for them,” said Schornick.
After the day was done Friday, there was a promise from the team to now play with compassion and a promise from an all-star, to return.
“I don’t want them to just see me in and out so my pledge to them was I would be back here,” said Browne.
Browne did say she’d like to see the team in the stands in April when the Women’s NCAA Final Four kicks off in Indy.