As a Gamecock, my resilience has No Limits.

Shelbretta Ball

USC Women’s Basketball Player Knows How To Bounce Back

The feel of the ball as it leaves her hands, the familiar spin of its flight and the swish as it goes through the net have been a part of Shelbretta “Brett” Ball’s life since she was five. The 5-foot 8-inch sophomore guard inherited her passion for the game from two aunts who played collegiate, international and professional basketball.

“Growing up, I was surrounded by basketball,” Brett says. “I saw my aunts play major college ball, play as members of Olympic teams and play professionally. They experienced so much through basketball. I wanted to do it, too.”

During those formative years, Brett developed a never-give-up attitude and an overwhelming desire to succeed. She trained endlessly and perfected her signature “in and out” move. Recruited by numerous schools, the Mississippi native selected USC in order to play under head coach Dawn Staley and to major in criminal justice and journalism.

However, soon after arriving in Columbia Brett was ruled medically ineligible to play. “It was a devastating blow,” she recalls. And for several months being around the game was painful. “It cut me like a knife just to walk into the gym.”

But Brett didn’t back down. Relying on the same fortitude she used to face down superior opponents, Brett discovered a new game — a new way to contribute to the team. “It was hard to figure out my role,” Brett says. “But with advice from Coach Staley, I’ve found my place on the team.”

Now, armed with a video camera, Brett produces “Ballin’ with Brett,” a video blog providing Carolina fans with behind-the-scenes access to the team. The blogs document the women’s team from practice sessions and postgame interviews to study hall and travel.

With her basketball career on hold for now, it’s no mystery how she stays on top of her game. Brett lives by the motto: “Its not how you start the game that counts. It’s how you finish.”

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