Mount Hebron junior guard Brittany Bowen is loving life - and why not? In her third year on varsity and first as a starter, Bowen is playing a big role in helping the Vikings to a 15-0 mark.
Along with playing stingy defense and taking good care of the basketball, Bowen is averaging 12.9 points per game and has 38 steals and 27 assists for the season.
Bowen started playing basketball in third grade, and unlike some other sports she tried when she was younger (soccer and tennis among them), basketball stuck with her because of the game's pace and different facets. Bowen maintains a 3.5 grade point average and wants to study physical therapy in college. Now, her focus is on more victories for the Vikings. When Bowen is not studying or playing basketball, she enjoys spending time with her family. She has a younger brother, Jalen, and a younger sister, Micky.
How has your role changed in your three varsity seasons?
In my freshman year, I definitely didn't have a big role. It was just, "Know what you're supposed to do," and it was a lot to learn being on varsity. Last year, I played a bigger role, and it really helped being on the team my freshman year, knowing how everything works, understanding the coaching style and what they expect from you. This year, starting, my role has increased. It was good because it wasn't all thrown on me at one time.
How does it feel to still be undefeated this late in the season?
It's really exciting. We haven't really talked as a team and been like, "Yeah, we're going to go undefeated this season and do this and do that." It's just kind of been one step at a time, working hard and knowing what we need to do. And each game we win is exciting because we know we really worked for it and aren't expecting it.
Defense has long been the trademark of the team's success. What is the key? Definitely working hard and knowing where you're supposed to be. Our coaches don't talk to us about needing to be able to score this way or that way. It's about playing hard on defense because there are going to be games when we have poor shooting nights. Like the Atholton game [a 48-28 win Jan. 11], we did not shoot well in the beginning of the game, but we were playing tough defense, and that's what we pride ourselves on. If we're not playing good defense, we're not paying well.
After losing four starters from last year's team, what was the mind-set going into this year with so many new starters?
I think it was a lot of not even thinking we lost four starters. We didn't go into the season thinking, "Ah, man, what are we going to do? We're missing half our team." It was just, "OK, it's my turn to step up, and I trust my teammates. They're ready, and they're going to play well." It wasn't really about what we lost but what we have and what we all have to do.
What do you enjoy most about basketball?
Having goals that you know you can accomplish, but you know are going to take hard work, so that when you achieve them it's that much more satisfying because you know it didn't come easy.
What was the best advice you've ever received? Two things. One of them would be, "Whatever happens, move on from it." It's over, you learn from it, and whether it's good or bad, you can't change it. And I guess the other one would be, "Don't do things because of what people tell you, do things which you think are right and what you think should be done."