Freeport’s Sophie Brunner has accomplished a lot in her basketball career at Aquin and at Arizona State. She’s far from finished now that she has earned a roster spot in the WNBA.
She has made the Phoenix Mercury’s season opening roster. She won a job after two weeks of training camp and two preseason games even though she wasn’t drafted.
Following is a phone interview Eyewitness News had with Brunner Monday followed by reaction from students at Aquin High School. Also click on the media player to view these stories.
(Scott) How did you find out you had made the team?
(Brunner) “It actually was kind of weird because they made the last two cuts after the game (Sunday’s preseason game) and I wasn’t told anything so I was kind of like, ‘OK I don’t know if I made it or not.’ Then I got a text saying I can move into my new apartment so that’s how I kind of figured it out.”
(Scott question) What was your reaction?
(Brunner) “I was just in shock. It didn’t seem real, but one of the things that went through my head was all of the people that have helped me get to where I am today and everyone back home, so it was cool!”
(Scott question) After the way you played in the two preseason games did you think then that that, ‘Hey you know what. I think I have a shot. I think I can play at this level.’
(Brunner) Yea. I knew it was going to come down to me and another girl who is a great player as well, but I was just hoping I could make the most of my opportunity and get a chance and I did and I’m very thankful for it.
(Scott question) Did you ever dream about this when you we younger or is this something that just kind of happened for you?
(Brunner) “Oh yea I have since I was little.”
(Scott question) What has coach Sandy Brondello said to you about why they chose you to make the team and what role they might expect you to play?
(Brunner) “She says just keep being aggressive. Keep doing what you’re doing. We’ll just see how that goes from there and see what happens. It’s kind of a week-by-week thing and I’ve just got to earn everything I get.”
(Scott question) Now that you’ve made the team what’s your next goal?
(Brunner) “To stay on it (ha-ha). You know it’s going to be hard. I’m the twelfth woman on a twelve woman roster so just staying on it and working hard every day. That’s my goal.”
AQUIN STUDENTS REACT
Making a WNBA Roster ins a major accomplishment for any woman, but what are the odds of a player from a tiny school like Aquin making it? Aquins current high school enrollment is only 98 students. Brunner’s high school jersey number hangs above the gymnasium.
When news spread at school Monday that she had made the WNBA it was a big deal.
“We were all talking about Sophie and how crazy it is someone from a little 1A school is making it to the pros being WNBA,” says Aquin student Patrick Seas.
“This is one of the coolest things that’s happened around here since I can remember!,” says Aquin student Drew Broge. “It just shows that anything is possible.”
“Her reaching that level puts Aquin on the map and gives a lot of kids from this area a chance to go compete at a higher level than what they may have done if Sophie would not have made it,” says Aquin student Patrick Gustafson.