Brett de Bear, Plymouth senior, is one of the greatest to ever play for the Albion College women’s basketball team. This season alone, she racked up 450 points finishing second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, had the top shooting percentage in the MIAA at 86 percent, and was selected to the all-league first team. The Pleiad interviewed de Bear to understand how she became so successful at Albion College.
The Pleiad: When did you start playing basketball, and what inspired you to play?
de Bear: I started playing basketball in the YMCA league in second grade. I don’t really know what inspired me to play. I just remember that after I started, I never wanted to quit.
What position do you play?
I play mostly a two or a three guard, but sometimes I get put at point guard or a forward. It really depends on where we need me to be. My responsibilities were to score and to guard the other team’s best player. When we had a lot of injuries (that) seem to set us back, that role grew even more.
Why did you choose to play at Albion College?
I had never even heard of Albion College until my junior year of high school when I started getting letters from different colleges for academics. Albion still wasn’t really on my radar until my senior year of high school, when I was becoming more serious about choosing a college. I set up a visit, and I really liked the players that showed me around. I met with professors in the education department, who continued to sell me on Albion. It’s hard to choose one thing that sold me, but I’m really happy with my decision.
Are you at all surprised by your success at Albion College?
I never thought I’d have this much success going into my Albion career as a freshman. It’s just not the kind of person I am. I was more focused on making a difference on the court and doing what I could with the role I was given.
What do you attribute your success to?
I put so much of myself into basketball my whole life, especially once I got to college. I think in order to be successful, you have to have the mentality where you want to be the best–where you will do anything to help your team be successful. You can’t only have yourself in mind.
What was your favorite moment over the past four years?
This is the hardest question for me to answer. I think my favorite team moment was when we beat Hope, at Hope, my sophomore year. It was one of the few times they have been beat at their home gym. It was a really big moment for us.
What advice do you have for any girl who wants to play college basketball?
My advice is to give it everything you have. Not everybody can say they played in college, and it’s something to be proud of. It takes a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it, and it goes by fast.
Who have been the most supportive people in your life in terms of your basketball career?
This is a really long list. Definitely my parents. I can always count on my dad to give me a coach’s advice, and I can always count on my mom to help me out when I feel too much pressure. Coach Carden has always been supportive. Since my freshman year, she has always put me in a position to be successful, and she’s always there to help me when I ask for it. I am really happy I’ve had Coach Katie Elder here these past two years to learn from. It’s been nice to have someone who came from Albion and who played on the team that won the MIAA championship. Finally, my teammates have been really supportive. I couldn’t be happier with the girls I have played with these past four years.
What life skills have you learned from playing basketball at the collegiate level?
One of the most important things I have learned is to do what you do because you love it. Once you have that in mind, there’s nothing that can stop you from doing your best.
Photo via gobrits.com