Becky Brown ’06 – Basketball

polImageExcerpts from the 2006 PVC Senior Student-Athlete Awards Banquet

“I guess I should start out by sharing with you the story of how I got to Princeton in hopes that I can some how fill the next few minutes with some insight into how I got to stand here in front of you tonight. My parents are here and can attest to my initial reluctance, no extreme reluctance, to playing a college sport. At my small all-girls high school, only one girl before me had ever one on to play Division 1 sports, and the idea was a little scary. My competitive streak came from playing full-contact Trivial Pursuit at family get-togethers, but it definitely translated to the court. Two courts and a field actually-I played three sports in high school. If you had asked me to pick my favorite of the three I wouldn’t have been able to, so choosing just one to play in college was like asking me to pick one dessert to eat for the rest of my life- Impossible! But low and behold, Coach Richard Barron called from Princeton, and even though I gave him the recruiting run around because I just didn’t know what I wanted, he had enough faith in me to offer me an official visit.”

“And because we all know that one visit to Princeton is all it takes, here we are today.”

“Our four years are already history, and I stand before you with a few more bruises, a few more muscles, and a lifetime of memories. We all share these memories, and while we might not know each other by name, the shared experiences of a Princeton student-athlete created a strong sense of fellowship and community that permeated our time here. We all experienced that feeling of dreading the walk back up the hill after a long practice, or the hour-long dinner because you were just too tired to move from your dining hall seat. We have all burned the midnight oil while our roommates and friends already spent their afternoon studying, and, perhaps worst of all, we have all missed out on watching Oprah everyday. But as our careers both in the gym and in the classroom come to an end, we must celebrate the accomplishments of the great Class of 2006.”

“The careers of our class of student-athletes have been record- breaking, and with 13 Ivy League championships this year we have certainly earned our fair share of bragging rights in the League. But with or without ever winning an official title, all of us bear the moniker of champion. While only a few here know how special winning a National championship feels, all of us in the room know what it is like to be surrounded by the best of the best on a daily basis. Let’s not forget that we are graduating from the best school in the country, and for the last four years we have been competing everyday not only on the field, but in the classroom with other students who didn’t know what it was like to walk a day in our shoes. Despite all the pressure that came with this shiny new pair of shoes provided for us by Clif, we formed a bond as the student- athlete class of 2006 that runs deeper. Tonight we are here to acknowledge what makes this bond so special, and for me it was the relationships with all of you that I have been able to form over my time here. So on that note I would like to thank each and every one of the student athletes here, both past and present. Your contributions have made my Princeton experience what it was- life changing and unforgettable. If we had succumbed to all of the fear and pressure of the recruiting process and somehow ended up somewhere else or if we had let the pressures of balancing a thesis and D-1 athletic schedule get us down, we wouldn’t be here tonight. But we succeeded and made it through our senior year. We were this year what the seniors 3 years ago were for us- role models for our younger teammates. We should all take pride not only in what we have accomplished, but also in the accomplishments of those that come after us, as their success will be a direct reflection of our hard work.”

“…While four years ago we were filled with nerves and anxiety about summer workouts, fitting in, and competing at the college level, we are now armed with the confidence and experience of a Princeton student- athlete to tackle whatever comes next- and because my future boss is in the audience right now, let me assure you all that this experience is considerable and worthy of full-time employment. But as we reach the end of our tenure as student-athletes and are forced to change our status to “alum”, we will all undoubtedly each face our own individual feelings about moving on: some sadness at leaving the place that has taught us so much, others excitement about the opportunities that will teach us more, and all of us fondness for the coaches, administrators, professors, families, teammates and friends who have shaped our experiences.”

“…As my first, and I suppose last, college speech now draws to a close I would like to leave the athletic Class of 2006 with a final thought- as we take in the next few days building up to putting on our caps and gowns, let us all take time to appreciate the families who are here to support us, the coaches we leave behind who wish us well, and the friends that we might not see as often but will never forget.”