Meet Shayra Brown From The Women's Basketball Team
July 28, 2014
Chestnut Hill, Mass. -
Yes she is back. Shayra Brown, who is a graduate student in the MBA program at BC, will return to the court for the Eagle this season. The senior missed last season after injuring her foot in the first game vs. Stanford. Brown, who graduated in May of 2014, will add depth at the off-guard and small forward positions for the young Eagles in the 2014-15 season. She sat down with BC Athletics to discuss her busy summer and looked ahead at the upcoming season.
You missed last season, how hard was it for you to sit out the season and what did you learn?
Missing an entire season was quite difficult for me emotionally, mentally and physically. I did not envision my senior year to go down in the first game. I remember prepping and getting butterflies with each and every day. I would mark down the first practice - the last but first team workout - the last time I play with my teammates. I was excited for the season and sadly it ended against Stanford. Though I sat out the year, I also got the opportunity to learn the game outside of a players' perspective. I was always a kid that was a role player who led by example, not by voice. I was a shy and quiet kid that would work on the things I needed to improve on and if someone were to ask me questions I'd offer my advice. I would never aggressively offer constructive criticism. As I watched my teammates play without me, I could not bear to see my team lose the confidence and the flame that had burned through the hard work we put to prepare for the season. What I have taken away from this year is not only can I contribute to this team on the court, but off the court I found a voice and a new pair of eyes that enhanced my leadership skills. I was another resource to my sisters and when times were tough I found the confidence to step up. I also learned how my coaches narrow down their game plan for upcoming games. I learned to breakdown some scout film and became a helpful resource. It was interesting to learn why the coaches chose to play a specific way against our opponents.
What is your goal this season on the court?
My goal for the season is to make sure I put teammates and myself in the best position possible to be successful. What does that entail? Simply being the best player I can be. My main focus is being an all-around player, not just a driver. I was too easy to scout in past. Being a one-dimensional player is not how I see myself. I started working on my mid-range game to be a consistent shooter. I feel it will be a great addition to my game. I also want to make sure that my teammates hear me out and believe in me as not only a player but ultimately be a leader they can rely on. I am willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the team is successful.
This will be your fifth season at BC but fourth playing. What areas are you hoping to improve upon in your game over the summer?
I am still recovering, but doing more and more each day. As I said, I want to be a major threat and be able to knock down that mid-range shot consistently. In addition, I need to improve my defense, specifically my off ball awareness. Getting in help position is not easy. As a team we need to work on rotating and covering when someone gets beat. I feel my off-ball awareness is inconsistent and needs much improvement in order to be successful. This is a little but very important skill I need to get better in so that I can be in the best position possible to defend, help my teammate, recover to my player and rebound.
In your fifth season, do you see a difference in the team attitude? What has been the major difference year-by-year?
Absolutely! Our team attitude has changed completely. The biggest thing is our culture and attitude. Honestly, playing a Division I sport takes a toll on everyone physically and mentally, ultimately leading to breaking points. I am looking forward to my fifth season at BC. We have developed a culture where we will do whatever it takes. No matter how we look at it we are all here to achieve one goal - to win and be the best team we can possibly be. Whether it is in the weight room, on the court, conditioning, and even off the court, we know we are all there to pick each other up. We are all there going through it together and that is the change. Once we stopped feeling bad for ourselves as individuals and started looking at our teammates, your sister next to you, you recognize that it is not only you, it is US. And that is what I love about where this team is heading.
What are you doing this summer?
This summer I am working football camps, basketball camps, and babysitting. I also worked with Alumni Associations and engaged with BC alumnae over reunion weekend. I am also working out with the team in the mornings and taking a total of four graduate courses for my MBA.
Do you have any game-day superstitions?
I would not call this a superstition but I like to listen to music and relax on game day. I like the go to motto - you look good, you feel good, you play good. I love getting ready to put on my uniform because I love representing who I play for. Boston College is my home away from home and having the opportunity to put on that uniform one more time this upcoming season is a great feeling.
What music do you listen to on game day?
On game day I usually listen to some hip-hop, little rap and reggae. Pretty much any song that will pump me up but it changes every year. Currently I love the song "Love Never Felt So Good" by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. This song will be on my playlist this year.
You graduated in May with a degree in communications, what are your academic plans for the next year?
A week before my graduation I was admitted into the MBA program within the Carroll School of Management. I had started taking a couple classes as an undergraduate with the intentions of getting my master's in business after I graduated from BC shortly after the end of my junior year. I am full-time MBA student and on the path to finish the program by August 2015.
What advice would you give high school athletes about competing in college athletics?
Enjoy it while it lasts! I love the fact that kids are driven and excited to pursue their talents and have the opportunity to play at the next level, however, I would encourage them to stay humble, stay hungry, and make sure you take the time to enjoy your college experience. College goes by so fast and before you know it you will be graduating. I will encourage them to branch out, find friends in other sports, and engage with non-athletes and the college community as a whole. It will hold great value and self-worth as you grow and mature into the person you want to be. As student-athletes, we are deprived of some college activities and can occasionally feel disconnected with other students. Put yourself out there and network as much as possible both socially and professionally. It is a challenge to manage your time effectively and efficiently but I strongly encourage you to make a conscious effort because you have four years to capture a great experience and you do not want to miss a second of it.
What is your most rewarding part of being a member of the BCWBB team?
The most rewarding part of being a member of the BCWBB team is that I am not by myself. I have my sisters with me to get through anything and everything. Being surrounded by a group of girls, we are bound to clash at some point. The best thing is that no matter what, you know at the end of the day they still have your back. Being on this team is one of the things I cherish most. There is never a dull moment. I may get annoyed at times but I truly value this team and our friendships. When you have a team like these young ladies that genuinely loves you, has your best interest at heart and will be there for you to lend a hand on any given day that is truly something special. No one outside our team knows us like we know one another, and having one another helps.