Q & A With Former Women's Hoops Player Kirsten Brockman
Feb. 15, 2005
GoHuskies.com: Why did you decide to attend the University of Washington?
Kirsten Brockman:'I chose Washington because I wanted to stay close to my family. That was a big part of it; I also loved the atmosphere. The girls on the team are probably what sold me on the idea of coming to Washington. They are such a good group of girls, fun people, quality people.'
GH: What other schools were you interested in?
Brockman:'My other top two were Pepperdine and Santa Clara. There were some other ones, but the ones I took visits too were those two and Washington.'
GH: How frustrating was it to be limited by a stress fracture right away?
Brockman:'Actually, I was healthy my freshman year. I didn't play much because I was a freshman, and because I didn't play my senior year of high school after I blew out my knee. I was kind of behind as far as playing goes, I really hadn't played for six to nine months. It was the spring of my freshman year when I got the stress fractures, that was unbelievably frustrating.'
GH: Describe the events leading up to the stress fracture.
Brockman:'I was frustrated with not playing. I had never before been a bench player, and I wasn't happy about it. So I decided that I'm going to work harder than everyone else to get that starting spot. Overtraining eventually led to the injury. The spring of my freshman year I was diagnosed with the stress fractures, so they put me in a wheel chair with plaster casts up to my knees. That was until about July, I had to have a surgery after I was out of the wheelchair. I redshirted the season after the surgery, and I tried playing again in the spring. I started having problems again, and they put me back in the boots. After another surgery, I tried to make a come back for my junior year. But, the first day of practice I was in so much pain I had to visit the doctors again. I found out that I had multiple stress fractures, and if I kept playing my feet would eventually shatter. So that was the end of it, then I retired.'
GH: What were you thinking during your rehabilitation?
Brockman:'The whole time I never thought, `this is going to end your career', I figured that I had made it through an ACL tear, and countless other injuries that I had recovered from. I thought it was just another bump in the road. I was not prepared for them to tell me that I wasn't going to be able to play anymore. They had said that I needed to keep that in the back of my head, they said that `you are dealing with a very touchy bone in your foot,' it was like a 17% chance that my recovery would work. It was very hard dealing with it; it was a rough year last year. I barely even remember that time; maybe it was just my subconscious blocking it out. The things that I remember are the good things, those are the things that stick in my head. When someone asks me about my basketball experience here, its kind of like well it didn't end the way I wanted it to, but I've made amazing friends, the program has done amazing things for me, June (Daugherty) gave me tons of opportunities, even after she knew that I wasn't playing for her anymore. Just being able to finish my school alone is such a huge gift.'
GH: What opportunities have you had since you have retired?
Brockman:'Actually, I got to study in London in the fall. So I studied abroad, and that is probably the coolest thing that I have done in my life. Studying abroad is something that I've always wanted to do, but if I had played I probably wouldn't have been able to do that. When I presented the idea to June (Daugherty), she just said `I think that is great, you need to do what makes you happy.' It was great, it was so, so cool.'
GH: What are your plans after you graduate?
Brockman:'I want to be a special event and wedding planner. That is part of the reason while working for Patti (Daves) in special events is so awesome. It is incredible work experience. My ideal would to be able to just go and travel, and have some experiences outside of school. But you know, you have to have a way to pay for that.'
GH: What are you going to miss most?
Brockman:'I think it would be what I miss the most now, the team aspect. I still see the girls regularly, and they are still my friends, but being a part of a team and being in a group where everyone has the same goal, where everyone is working for something bigger, than the individual, is special. This is the first time in my life where I haven't had that. Before the injury I'd been on a team for as long as I remember, and that is something I miss.'
GH: Did you have any influence on your brother (Jon Brockman) coming here?
Brockman:'I wanted to be careful with the way I talked to him. When I was senior there were a lot of people asking questions about where I was going to go. Obviously, his was probably ten thousand times as intense as mine was, it was ridiculous, it was absolutely insane. It is so cool for him, but I didn't want to add any more pressure. I let him know that I was going be completely supportive of whatever he wanted to do, but at the same time, I really like Washington, and I think that this is a great place, and I think that this would be a good team for him, and I'll answer any questions that he has. So we talked a lot about it, but I kind of tried to stay away from the, `Oh, you should go to Washington' approach, because I wanted him to do what was best for him. But I am absolutely pumped for him! I am so excited.'