In April, Brianna Barker had signed a letter of intent to run track at St. Gregory’s University, but somewhere along the way her plans changed and she found herself staying put in Altus.
Although grateful for the opportunity presented to her at St. Gregory’s, there was something about staying home and joining another program on the rise, and with that in mind, Barker committed instead to joining the Western Oklahoma State College Lady Pioneers basketball team.
“In the beginning, I was initially supposed to sign with St. Gregory’s for swimming but the swim team canceled their program. The track coach noticed me and wanted to sign me to the team to compete on the team’s four-by-four, so I signed,” Barker said. “But after all of this, I decided to stay and walk on to the WOSC basketball time and use the two-year scholarship to WOSC that I received by being the first runner-up at the 2017 Miss Altus Pageant.”
Now, she is excited to be a part of the special resurgence taking place with the program thanks to Coach Eddie Broughton and his commitment to the women’s basketball team.
“I am extremely excited. Basketball has been a part of my life since I was about five years old. I will be playing alongside girls that I’ve played with since the age of eight with Paradize Jackson, Mariah Watson, and Kiandra Knight so it works out perfectly,” Barker said. “I’ve been working all summer trying to get back into the groove of the game and I’m super excited for a great season with the Lady Pioneers.”
It was not just the program itself that impacted Barker’s decision to shake things up but also due to the man running the program.
Broughton’s reputation is well known and his ability to turn a team who had only ever known defeat into a team that won almost three times as many games in his first year as the previous three years combined has made WOSC a destination many young ballers find appealing.
It drew players like Jackson, Watson, Knight and many others and now it has reeled in Barker.
“Coach B actually has a great background as a coach. I was just talking to him the other day and he told me about the success he had coaching the men’s basketball team at St. Gregory’s and all the records the team broke and how they finished as the sixth-ranked team in the country,” Barker said. “I hope that he can do the same for the Lady Pioneers. I am looking forward to being coached by someone with such an impressive background.”
Barker will play small forward for the Lady Pioneers and she brings with her to the team many great attributes that make her not only a terrific basketball player but a great teammate as well.
“I take forward leadership, humbleness, and motivation to do my best and to do anything else I need to do to help my team succeed,” Barker said.
She is looking forward to getting on the court and getting this season started. The roster is made up of mostly new faces with Shaelee Brown, Jai’Lynn Anderson, and Armani Rochon being the only veterans on the roster.
This new-look team appears to be on the verge of something great and Barker cannot wait to see what this team can do.
“There is a lot of talent on the team,” Barker said. “I believe we will be able to work well together and do well enough to get the job done.”
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.