I am so happy your coach reached out to me to write a letter to you. It was fun to get to reminisce about Alexandria and my old jersey number. Nothing made me happier than being a Valley Cub when I was a child. I remember sitting in the stands with my parents in a packed gym as our varsity basketball team ran up and down the courts. Everyone was either screaming madly at the ref or cheering at the top of their lungs with red faces. Orange and black was everywhere. I don’t remember a conscious choice of wanting to play sports for Alexandria. I think it was always in my blood fueled by those first memories of going to basketball games.
I wore the number 9 for a few years before the number 15. I picked it out when I started playing softball, and for whatever reason, I thought jersey number 9 was awesome. I wore it for softball, volleyball and basketball during middle school. It turned out that I was pretty good at all those sports, and in particular, volleyball. This became a blessing and a curse as I had to play up. First I was in fourth or fifth grade playing with seventh graders. Then I was in seventh grade playing with seniors. Once I had to move up to varsity volleyball I lost my jersey number. Someone already claimed number 9. I had to pick number 15. (Sorry my number and I didn’t have a strong beginning.)
I didn’t really think much of jersey 15 at first. I just grabbed whatever number that was leftover, basically. As a seventh grader, I was more nervous about leaving my teammates/friends behind and playing with all the older and definitely more worldly girls. So I didn’t realize that jersey 15 was going to be more than a number. But it did become part of me. I broke records in volleyball. I helped take our school to three state championships. I smashed several girls in the face with kills and some people believe that I did it on purpose and out of spite (I did not). I was MVP of many tournaments and would later go on to be All SEC and hold records at Auburn to this day. Not just Brooke. Brooke #15.
Just as I played sports without much of a conscious choice. I became number 15, and I never regretted it. When I transitioned to play college level. My new coaches gave me the choice. I could choose from so many numbers. Endless possibilities! I could even go back to number 9 after all these years. I mean nine was awesome, or I thought it was when I was eight years old. However, there was no way I would even consider giving up number 15. And the coolest thing I learned later was my grandfather had always been number 15, even when he played football for one year at Auburn. What was more awesome than the number nine was following my grandfather’s path through high school then to Auburn. (Sorry if you are an Alabama fan!)
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that you picked a strong number. And from what I’ve heard, the number couldn’t be worn by a better player! People say that you remind them of me. You play like me and we even share the same personality. Ha! So good luck with the rest of the season! Cry if it is frustrating because sometimes it breaks your heart. Laugh a lot and have fun because you will never find a better group of girls than your high school teammates. Use your ability to play in college if you can because it will be the greatest experience of you life. I hope you heal from your injury I heard about, and just kick a lot of butt!
Thanks for sharing number 15 with me,