By Miranda Freeman
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
When the name Brynn Williamson comes to mind among the Iowa State faithful, chances are fans will have visuals of the net swishing and the crowd erupting after a 3-point make. The amount of clutch plays can’t accurately be quantified and neither can her impact on the Iowa State program.
Williamson, who hails from Kansas City, Mo., recently graduated with her degree in child and family services. Williamson is the only senior this year to graduate early and spends her spare time volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club off the court. Williamson is one of a rare few to collect her degree early and she credits the coaching staff and program as a whole for helping her along the way.
“Being here for four years helps you go with and trust the process," Williamson said. "It’s helped me be a better person on and off the court.”
Williamson believes that playing for Iowa State has also helped her overcome adversities and be accountable for herself.
“With my identity as a basketball player I want –and have to– portray a certain type of character. I have to do things the right way because when I do my best, it’s best for my team,” Williamson said.
As a 3-point-shooter, she was initially nervous about how much she could contribute to her team, but that didn’t last long.
“I was really worried if I couldn’t make a shot that I would be out of the game and I couldn’t help,” Williamson said. “I talked to my coaches about it and realized I can do more by working hard on my rebounds and my defense.”
With those tweaks to her game, Williamson has become a major role player for the Cyclones in 2014-15. She is now averaging 31.5 minutes per game, which ranks second on the team. After she scored a career-high 24 points in a game at TCU, it’s safe to say her hard work has been paying off.
“There’s probably not a player that we’ve ever had, certainly on this team, that’s in the gym as much as her (Williamson),” head coach Bill Fennelly said following Iowa State’s game against Fairfield.
Not only do Williamson’s coaches talk highly of her character and work ethic, but so do her teammates. Kidd Blaskowsky a junior at ISU and fellow 3-point specialist, believes Williamson is a great asset to the team and has become a strong senior leader.
“She is a great role model, and we motivate each other to do better when we are on the court,” Blaskowsky said.
This season is the last that the two will get to play together donning their cardinal and gold, but Blaskowsky is grateful for the three years they did have.
“It’s going to be hard with all three of the seniors leaving, but it’s just going to be another year of more opportunities for other players. Brynn is definitely leaving a good legacy here,” Blaskowsky said.
One aspect of being a senior leader Williamson finds important is working hard to motivate her teammates to become better players.
“You can’t hold their hands, you just have to be someone they see as a positive person,” Williamson said.
Williamson is known as someone who is easy to come to with problems.
“She is really easy to talk to,” Blaire Thomas said. “When someone is stressed, she knows to do the little things that help. She has helped me with my mindset when I’m on the court, and she keeps me focused.”
After her season is over, Williamson hopes to move somewhere warm, possibly Arizona, where she has family and begin a career.
“I want to stay involved with basketball in some way, so maybe director of operations or planning events for a basketball team; but the dream would be to invest in a Boys & Girls Club. I’m looking forward to instilling what I learned here,” Williamson said.
She is also excited about starting her new life as an ISU alum and no longer being a student athlete.
“After my jersey is off I want to make a new brand for myself. I want to be known as dependable, have a family, and a job,” Williamson said.
Williamson said she is proud of her team and knows they will enjoy continued success in the future.
“At ISU you live and breathe basketball, but it works for us, and that’s why this program is so successful and shows the success this year of my teammates,” Williamson said.