STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Burnet High School girls basketball players Paris Brinkley and Trynadee Greenwell are taking their skills to the next level.
Brinkley will play for St. Edward’s University in Austin, while Greenwell is on her way to Southwestern University in Georgetown. Both seniors signed their national letters of intent April 24.
Brinkley initially planed to major in broadcasting at The King’s College in New York City, but after helping the Lady Dawgs reach the Class 4A state tournament in March for the first time in program history, she jumped at the chance for a basketball scholarship.
“The state tournament gave me a platform,” she said. “I knew I wanted to keep going and pursue the next level.”
Her road to the college court wasn’t an easy one. The youngest daughter of Robin and Shay Brinkley had to come back from some painful injuries: a broken back, wrist, and both arms as well as torn knee ligaments and two concussions.
But none of that stopped her. She averaged 14 points a game this season for the 31-8 Lady Dawgs, whose season ended against Harden-Jefferson in a semifinal matchup.
“I think all the years I put into it have paid off,” she said.
Burnet girls head basketball coach Rick Gates found in Brinkley a point guard who liked to push court tempo and drive to the basket.
“She made great decisions for us as she’s coming down the floor,” the coach said. “She was what we needed. Before I knew she was coming, the point guard position was a question mark for us.”
Greenwell fell in love with Southwestern University after spending time with the program and meeting the coaches and players.
At Burnet, the left-handed Greenwell was a weapon on the left side of the court. Gates noted that opposing defenses tended to drift toward the right side during a fast break, often leaving Greenwell unguarded for an easy layup. She also was unafraid of getting the tough rebound or diving onto the floor for a loose ball.
One thing that’s not easy to coach is work ethic. Gates said Greenwell brought the same amount of energy to every practice, whether it was a day of studying the playbook or a challenging session of strength training and conditioning.
“She’s easy to get along with and is so happy,” Gates said. “She works her tail off. She makes things happen.”
The daughter of Dee Dee Gilstrap and C.D. Greenwell plans to major in kinesiology. She said she’ll graduate from Burnet High School comforted by one truth.
“I learned that I live in the best community in the state,” she said. “I’m very thankful I can continue doing what I love.”
Brinkley and Greenwell are the latest from the 2018-19 state tournament team to sign college national letters of intent. Teammate Emma Lewis signed hers to attend Southwestern University on April 17.