MINT HILL, NC – Independence High School girl’s basketball standout rising senior Braylyn Milton has made a commitment to attend the University of Cincinnati to play her collegiate basketball. As one of the state’s best players the selection of this program appears to be a great fit for her style of play and academics.
The Mint Hill Times recently reached out and interviewed Patriots basketball coach Lauren Galvani and Braylyn about the good news.
Interview with coach Lauren Galvani:
Q1. Why do you believe the University of Cincinnati is a good fit for Braylyn?
Besides the University of Cincinnati being one of the top colleges in the US and being in a great city, Cincinnati will be a good fit for Braylyn because on the court she fits their style of play. Coach Heard likes to play fast and in transition which is how we’re trying to play at Indy. Braylyn’s court vision is great in the open court so I think she’ll be able to work her way into the rotation. Off the court, Cincy will be a good fit because she has built a relationship with the coaching staff. Throughout the entire recruiting process, Braylyn’s biggest deciding factor has been her connection with the coaching staff and I think she feels most comfortable with them. Trust is a big factor between players and coaches, Braylyn trusts Coach Heard and she will push her on and off the court.
Q2. Under your guidance and direction, how would you describe her development and progress as a student-athlete and individual in your program?
When Braylyn was a freshman, I used to have to ask her to get in the gym to get up extra shots in the morning. She would always show up and work hard, but I had to ask. Throughout the years, Braylyn has asked or told me when she’s coming in to shoot. I think that speaks volumes because it shows her growth as a player and it also compliments that she’s worked for everything she’s earned. Braylyn has never been one to go half-speed in drills or take the easy way out and her teammate’s notice, while she’s working on getting better, it’s forcing the others to improve, too. At school, Braylyn stays on top of her grades and has good relationships with teachers. As a coach, it’s been pretty nice to have one of your “elite” players do things the right way.
Q3. As a former collegiate athlete yourself, what advice would you have for Braylyn?
When Braylyn gets to Cincinnati, my advice would be to not only trust the process but enjoy the process. Playing a college sport at any level takes some getting used to and isn’t easy by any means, but if you’re a true competitor and love the game, you’ll find a way to make things work. I want to see her work hard and compete, but I also want her to enjoy the overall college experience. With her still having her senior year of high school, I think the next few months will be important in not only tightening up her skills but for getting stronger in the weight room. When Braylyn puts on a bit of muscle, her game will go to the next level because she’s already fundamentally sound and smart with the ball.
Q4. What role do you envision for Braylyn on the team in her senior year at Independence?
Since Braylyn’s freshman year, she’s been a team captain. Her teammates look up to her, and as a coach, I look to her to be the coach on the court. I think Braylyn should have another big year for us. We’ve always leaned on her to score and play point guard, so she’ll be in a similar role again-but hopefully with some more help. I know Braylyn is big on “the team” and everyone in the program, so I’m excited to watch her, as well as the other two seniors. She’s experienced the struggles when we weren’t very good and played a big part in getting us back to this level of competing is rewarding; I know she wants to leave a lasting impression on this program.
Q5. What are your expectations of Braylyn and the team this upcoming season?
We’re in a tough conference with a lot of talent, but now we have crossed the road of finishing top 3 in the conference, I expect to do it every year. Same for the playoffs; I expect to make playoffs every year. I think we had a breakout year last season, so I’m hoping we can build off of our success. I think if we play hard and together, any team we face will be a winnable game. We lost 6 seniors, all contributed, so we must have some of our younger players step up and take on those roles. We will rely on our seniors this year (Braylyn Milton, Averie DiBenedetto and Gracie Breckenridge). All three will play ball in college and are working to making that possible, so I think they know the importance of their last season.
Interview with Braylyn Milton:
Q1. Why did you select the University of Cincinnati over other college offers?
I really enjoyed talking with the entire staff, the campus is beautiful and I really felt comfortable with making the decision. My mindset when making my decision was, “If it’s right for you, it’s right for you” and “When you know you know”.
Q2. How much has coach Galvani’s influence and guidance had upon your individual growth and development during your high school career?
She is an amazing coach, but overall, she is such an amazing person. She has done so much for me throughout my entire recruitment process and coach has definitely been a huge impact on the improvement of my game. She’s helped me gain confidence and create a high and positive mindset in being as she says, “the best player on the floor.
Q3. How do your parents and brother feel about your college selection? What role did they have in your final decision?
My brother Raja and Mom are really supportive of my decision. They’re super proud and just as excited as I am. They have really helped me through the decision making process and helping me figure out where I want to be the next 4 years. I really am thankful for them and coach Galvani and coach Chris for being such a huge part in helping me to make the right decision. I am so honored and blessed to have this opportunity. Senior season is going to be a big one, so look out!!