Brink Wins CalHope Courage Award
STANFORD, Calif. - Rising junior Cameron Brink was named a September recipient of the CalHOPE Courage Award, receiving the honor Monday night at Oracle Park during a San Francisco Giants game.
The monthly award honors student-athletes at California colleges and universities for overcoming the stress, anxiety, and mental trauma associated with personal hardships and adversity. It is presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in association with The Associated Press, CalHOPE, a crisis counseling and support resource for communities impacted by public health emergencies, operated by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Mental Well-Being.
While Brink was helping lead Stanford to the 2020-21 NCAA championship, averaging 9.9 pts, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game, it seemed like a dream come true for the 6-foot-4-inch freshman. However, following the run to the national title during a worldwide pandemic, she shared publicly the mental health challenges of isolation and stress she experienced from a season spent primarily on the road. The native of Beaverton, Oregon showed incredible courage, sharing how the pressure of the season weighed on her, as well as her decision to seek professional help for her mental well-being.
Cameron's continued focus on her mental health helped her to improve last season, leading the Cardinal to another Pac-12 championship and a spot in the Final Four, averaging 13.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks in 35 games, while earning All-America honors by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and being named the consensus Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
"Being open about the importance of treating mental health, as well as the benefits of counseling, has made me want to be an example and a role model for other young people who may not understand that it's okay not to be okay," said Brink. "Hopefully my experience and openness about treating mental health will help others understand that seeking help is one of the most courageous things you can do."