Breon Gunnels got her full ride.
Surrounded by family, coaches, and teammates, Southeast High School senior Breon Gunnels secured her lifelong goal on Nov. 11 by signing a full ride basketball scholarship to the University of Northern Iowa.
“It was like a dream” Gunnels said.
Gunnels wasted no time showcasing her talents during her high school career. In her first game as a freshman, Gunnels recorded a triple double with 27 points, 18 rebounds and over 14 blocks. Last season as a junior, Gunnels averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Gunnels models her game after some of the greatest basketball players in the world, including WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Candace Parker. However, it’s her mother to whom Gunnels credits all her success. Latrina Brantley-Gunnels also played college basketball on a scholarship and has imparted many of her experiences to her daughter.
“I think the most important thing I’ve helped Breon with is her basketball I.Q. When you’re mental about your decisions, it allows your game to flow so much better. I think that is her biggest advantage.” Brantley-Gunnels said.
Gunnels agrees that her mental edge is the most important part of her game.
“I would say the (mental aspect) is the best part of my game. I am never intimidated by the crowd or the other team.” Gunnels said.
Now that she has officially signed her scholarship, Gunnels says people believe her level of play may decrease during her senior season. However, Gunnels says she has never been more excited to play and is determined to make this her most dominate year yet.
More importantly, Gunnels wants to win games for her team and represent her school in playoff competition. Gunnels and the Knights had their best season ever last year and want to continue that level of team play.
“I want to build on last year’s success. We won the conference for the first time ever.” Gunnels said.
Gunnels admits she is nervous to face the caliber of players in Division I basketball, but is confident in her abilities.
“It’s a little scary, but I’ll be ok. I just have to bring out different aspects of my game and continue to work hard” Gunnels said.
Brantley-Gunnels is not only proud of her daughter’s scholarship accomplishments but also admires how she set an example for future Southeast athletes.
“I believe Breon has paved the way for future Southeast athletes to follow in her footsteps and show them it’s possible.” Brantley-Gunnels said.