One of the best basketball players to ever suit up for the Mercer Island girls basketball program recently completed a successful four-year collegiate career on the hardwood.
Kris Brackmann, who graduated from Mercer Island High School in 2013, saw her collegiate basketball career with the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas women’s basketball program come to a close, courtesy of a 77-66 loss to Trinity (Texas) in the second round of the NCAA Division-III basketball tournament on March 4 in Richardson, Texas. Brackmann scored 12 points and doled out five assists in the final game of her college career. Brackmann, who was one of six seniors on the roster, was part of a group that compiled a respectable 90-23 record over the past four seasons.
“It is really important to look back at the whole picture of our four-year career here,” Brackmann said of the senior class. “It was incredibly sad losing because [our basketball career] is over for most of us, but looking back we’ve had an incredible journey. We’ve gone to the NCAA tournament every year and usually we are the only team that represents our league (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) at the NCAA tournament, which is super awesome. I have really lucked out with both the success that we’ve had as a team on and off the court. This team has been so amazing. It was really a positive experience overall. I loved every moment of it.”
Brackmann said the finality that comes along with the last game of a senior season hasn’t quite set in yet.
“I think it will definitely hit me sooner or later. I have this feeling that I actually don’t want to be done yet and I want to keep playing. It is probably better than having the feeling where I’m so sick of it and burnt out. I’m definitely not burnt out. At this point, I think it’s actually good to have this feeling. I think that is a good place to be at,” Brackmann said on March 7.
The Mercer Island alumna is proud of her team from rebounding from a sluggish start during the 2016-17 season. The Athenas lost three consecutive games from Dec. 3-17 but won 16 of their final 20 games. They finished with an overall record of 20-9.
“During my sophomore and junior seasons it was kind of easy for us. We went undefeated [in league play] my sophomore season and last season pretty easily won our league. This year was kind of different. We had to work a lot harder even though we pretty much had the same team,” Brackmann explained. “The losses at the beginning of the season were totally unexpected and our morale was down at the beginning of the year. When we needed to come together, everything clicked. We finished out the season strong, we made a dent in the NCAA tournament, which was pretty awesome. I think it is a huge testament to the character of our team.”