Powercat Profile: Bri Craig

(Photo by Parker Robb | Collegian) In her freshman year last year, sophomore guard Bri Craig had to step up and take leadership when the Wildcats found their roster dwindling down to a mere seven players due to injuries. Her time on the court as a freshman has already paid off in her sophomore season, as she now leads her fellow teammates with her experience, confidence and energy.

Sophomore Bri
Craig was born to be an athlete. Craig comes from an extremely athletic family.
Her mother, Terri Craig, then Terri Parriott, played for the Nebraska women’s
basketball team in the early 1980’s while her father and uncle were members of the Nebraska football team. So with
sports in her blood, it is no surprise that Craig has become the athlete
that she is today.

Craig has been passionate about basketball since the young age of two. Attending all the Huskers women’s basketball games with her mother, serving as the team’s ball girl, and learning the game from her mother at a young age, Craig quickly develop her passion for hoops. Basketball, however, was not Craig’s only sport. Craig fell in love with soccer and had to choose between the two sports. With her mother’s support and perseverance, Craig chose to stick with basketball.

“You’d think Bri is a senior by the way she plays on the court,” Deb Patterson, head coach of the women’s basketball team, said. “Sometimes I forget she’s only a sophomore.”

Playing in 36 games, recording 34 starts, in her debut season, it’s no wonder Craig is viewed as an experienced player on the team.

“I love playing defense,” shs said. “I take so much pride in keeping my man in front of me. Defensive intensity is what drives me in the game.”

Although Craig finds it difficult to go hard every play, she said that having a good fan base and girls off the bench help her create energy in addition to the energy she creates on her own. However, it is her tenacity that helps her to not give up in a game, especially in ball handling, which Craig has self-proclaimed her biggest weakness.

Last season, K-State only had seven players, which was a tough time for the team. The team had a huge victory against Oklahoma State, which was a great moment for K-State, and Craig’s favorite memory as a Wildcat thus far. But last year was a learning experience for the Craig, and she was expected to play major minutes. Being out there, learning the game and having to correct her mistakes on her own when she couldn’t come out of the game, helped Craig develop a higher basketball IQ today. Craig brings a combination of game time experience and a thorough understanding of the role that her coaches expect her to play.

Last year not only made an impact on Craig as a player, but she made an impression on the team as well.

“Last year has definitely given her a big sense of confidence,” said freshman guard Kelly Thompson. “I think every freshman when they come in is a little nervous, but last year has made her a leader. She is a voice heard throughout the gym, and a player that all the girls look up to. She works hard on and off the court.”

As a Family Studies and Human Services major, Craig aspires to one day open up her own marriage and family therapy clinic, but until then she hopes to overcome her ball handling weakness, and continue her strength in defense will drive her to become the team leader she hopes to be by her senior year on the team.