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Feb. 20, 2005

by Cathy Bongiovi Stewart

Senior Brandi Teamer has seen it all during her four years on Grounds. There have been many highs and lows during her career, but she’s learned from every experience.

“To bounce back quickly and to learn how to deal with adversity,” Teamer said her greatest lesson learned so far.

And bounced back she has. On the court, Teamer leads the Cavaliers in scoring for the second straight year. Earning National Freshman of the Year, ACC Rookie of the Year, and state Player of the Year accolades as a true freshman in 2002, Teamer has seen her role on the team change throughout the seasons.

“My role has changed a bit now that we have players who can score like LaTonya Blue, Jocelyn Logan-Friend, and Siedah Williams,” Teamer said. “My role has changed in that I focus on more than just scoring and rebounding. I focus more on the defensive aspect of the game. I try to be an all-around player.”

In December, Teamer, along with her teammates, finally returned home to the Chicago area to play.

“The first game, unfortunately, was nerve-wracking. I had probably close to 70 people there to see me play, and I didn’t want to disappoint them; I wanted us to come out with a win (against Houston),” Teamer said. “I didn’t play my best game, but the second game (against Northwestern), I made sure I tried to redeem myself and make sure we came up with a win. I didn’t want to let my friends and family down. They were looking forward to seeing me play. I wanted to give them something to be happy about.”

Teamer didn’t disappoint. The senior scored a season-high 24 points in the win over the Wildcats en route to All-Tournament Team honors.

Heralded by head coach Debbie Ryan in the preseason, Teamer continues to work hard in the post for UVa.

“I think Brandi is in the best condition of her career and should be ready to anchor us inside,” Ryan said. “Brandi can be a beast on the boards and score from inside and out. It’s important that Brandi be consistent and strong down the stretch. Brandi is ready to lead us back to the NCAA Tournament.”

Now with three regular-season games to go and the post-season rapidly approaching, the 6-2 forward from Joliet, Ill., is ready to make another run at the NCAA Tournament.

“As a team, we just talked about this the other day. Even though we had a couple of losses that were hard to swallow, we still can achieve something that some Debbie Ryan (coached) teams haven’t achieved in the last couple of years which is a 20+ win season,” Teamer shared. “Right now, that’s just my goal- to get 20 wins and make it to the NCAA Tournament. And also to try to make it beyond the Sweet 16.”

The first step is the 2005 ACC Tournament, which begins on March 4. Teamer’s favorite memory in a Cavalier uniform happened in the tourney’s quarterfinal round during her freshman year.

“When we won against Georgia Tech in the (2002) ACC Tournament when Telisha (Quarles) made the lay-up. It was a tough game,” Teamer shared. “We felt like we were going into overtime, and they had the momentum. So the last minute, throwing that pass, and the general rush I had when I saw her open. I said `I have nothing to lose.’ The game was tied, so let’s just try. I might as well throw the pass. Telisha’s one of the fastest players in the country. That’s my most memorable moment. I will never forget that.”

Another thing Teamer won’t forget is all the people she’s met at Virginia.

“My teammates and my friends and all the people I’ve met,” Teamer said. “It’s going to be weird, because you never know if life will be like this again. Everybody says it’s the best four years of your life. Hopefully, it’s not. Hopefully there are better years to come. But it has been an enjoyable time.”

Upon graduation in May, the anthropology major is looking at playing professional basketball.

“Right now I’m looking at playing overseas,” Teamer said. “With anthropology being a liberal arts degree, there’s so much I can do with it. I could also go into coaching. That’s an option for me now. I want to do something with kids. Whatever I do, I want it to be with young kids, because I have so much to offer them. I feel they respond to me so well, and I respond to them so well.”

Get to Know Brandi

Food: chili
Ice cream: butter pecan
Movie: Nightmare on Elm Street
WNBA Team: Indiana Fever
Actor: Robert Ingland
Actress: Sanaa Lathan
Book: Disappearing Acts
Children’s Book: The Cat in the Hat

My favorite opponent is …
Duke, because they always present a good challenge.

I’d like to switch places for one day with …
Donald Trump.

My advice to young athletes is …
always play with the boys in the off-season.

One thing I always pack for road trips is …
my cell phone.

I chose Virginia, because …
of the academic and athletic history.

I admire Debbie Ryan, because …
of all her accomplishments.

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