1,000 point achievement

Jamie Tanata

Jamie Tanata

South Dakota State’s junior guard and small forward Brenda Davis, scored her 1,000 career point in basketball on Jan. 16 against the big in-state USD rivals, making her the 22nd woman in SDSU’s history to achieve such an accomplishment.

“It was a relief,” Davis said. “Once I did get it, I didn’t think about it until after the game.”

“I was really happy for her. It was nice for her to achieve that goal at such a big game too,” Melissa Pater, who scored her 1000th point last March and has played with Davis for the past three years, said.

Davis is definitely a team player who puts the team before her own personal fulfillments. “I was glad it was over because then I could concentrate on what the team needed,” Davis said.

Scoring 1000 points in her college basketball career was something Davis had never planned on or was even aware of. She didn’t even realize how close she actually was to the 1000 career points until the game before.

“It wasn’t something I was aware of,” she said. “Winning and being where we are today is more of an accomplishment for me,” Davis said. “Pretty big dream, too big of a dream for me,” she said. “I look at us as being number one in the nation, that sets the accomplishments I’ve set for myself.”

Davis’s love for basketball didn’t develop until the year after she was a student manager for the TriValley basketball team when she was in fourth grade. “I fell in love with the atmosphere,” she said.

Davis’s high school playtime was utilized plenty, as she was a starter after the first few games of her freshman year for TriValley High School.

Head women’s coach for TriValley High School, Dean Luening said, “Brenda worked so hard and put a lot of time in the gym. A tremendous kid.”

Leuning said she would always work hard by practicing her shooting, conditioning, and running.

“She would stay a half-hour after practice until she felt she was shooting the ball okay,” Leuning said.

Coach Luening was unable to watch Davis reach the accomplishment of her basketball career because of a basketball game that evening.

“I was happy for her success and for her to reach that milestone,” he said. “The worst part was I couldn’t make it.”

Davis was the second leading scorer on her high school basketball team and was forty points off of the school record for scoring points. She still holds the state Class A tournament record for three pointers, capping eleven in one game.

Leuning said Davis was a very versatile player and played TriValley’s forward and guard. Her given success in high school has proven her well for the time she played at SDSU.

Leuning was not the only one that could see a developing passion for the game. Nancy Neiber, former SDSU women’s head basketball coach, said she’s watched Brenda Davis play every chance she would get ever since Davis was a freshman.

“I wanted SDSU to know how bad we wanted her,” Neiber said.

Neiber said that she saw a tremendous athlete in Davis and wanted to bring something special to the university.

“Davis had good statistics at a young age which was one of her athletic attributes,” she said. “As any team sport, she puts everything else around her,” Neiber said as described how her sportsmanship is also a great attribute to the team.

She is also a dedicated player off the court, as she shows up early for practice and stays after if there is something she feels she needs improvement on. These work ethics have carried over from high school to college. Aaron Johnston, SDSU’s women’s head coach, would watch Davis play during the summer when he was the assistant coach and saw something as well in her.

“The thing I remember the most, was her work ethic,” he said. “She played extremely hard.”

Johnston said she is a good leader and a good teammate that takes the time to meet the people around her. He said the one thing that makes up a lot of who she is a “genuine concern for what’s going on around her.”

“I give her a lot of credit and a lot of people look up to her as a teammate,” Pater, SDSU’s leading scorer, said.

Johnston said he as well was in the same boat as Davis and didn’t know about how close she was to scoring 1000 points until the weekend before.

“I didn’t notice she was that close,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me she didn’t know either.”

Johnston described her other personal qualities that make her a great team player such as her humbleness and selflessness for the team.

“She is more focused on the team’s success than her individual success.”

Johnston said from a coach’s perspective she is always the first one to come into the gym. He said her work ethic away from practice is why she’s a great player.

“Besides her refined skill level of being very athletic and strong, the hard work she puts in shows through her God-given talent,” Johnston said.

While juggling, being number one in three pointers and averaging 17.2 points per game in the NCC conference, Davis balances her academics, being a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (S.A.C) at SDSU without a problem.

“I really try to manage my time and try to get eight hours of sleep every night,” she said. “If I don’t, then I don’t have adequate energy for the game.”

Davis is currently majoring in biology and plans on going to medical school.

“It’s always been a dream to keep playing after college, but I also understand that when I’m done, I’m done.”

She said she always will keep finding ways to keep playing.

“I feel really happy to play at SDSU with such great fans, and such a great program.”

And SDSU is 1,000 times happy she came.

#1.887540:4045607808.jpg:bball.jpg:Brenda Davis, a junior forward on the SDSU women?s basketball team, scored her 1000th point Jan. 16 against USD. :