After a freshman season that ended early with injury, Westminster Christian Academy sophomore Reilly Brophy is making up for lost time.
“There are no off days for me. Even when we don’t have practice, I am either working on my conditioning or in the gym getting shots up,” Brophy said. “Many days I stay after practice and shoot on the gun, getting up an extra 200 to 400 shots.”
Putting in all that work has paid off.
A 5-foot-6 sophomore point guard, Brophy has helped lead the Wildcats to a winning season with postseason district play about to begin.
She is averaging 9.3 points a game, collects four rebounds a game and dishes out just over three assists a game.
“This year, my team has been having a really good season. Personally, I am continuing to set and achieve goals to help keep our winning streak going,” Brophy said. “I am very lucky to have a coach and teammates who believe in me and my ability to improve.”
Kat Martin, in her first year as the girls head coach at Westminster, knew she had a good player in Brophy right from the start.
“When I first met Reilly, I had big expectations for her right away,” Martin said. “I put a lot of responsibility on her and set the bar very high. I often forget she is only a sophomore because of her ability to lead and handle pressure and the season. She impresses me with her consistency and maturity and ability to maintain composure and poise in every situation.”
Becoming a better athlete is important to Brophy.
“I am always pushing myself to be better than I am today. This season, in particular, I have been focusing on improving my leadership skills and getting my full confidence back. I do think that I have been able to meet many of the goals I have set,” she said.
A stress fracture curtailed Brophy’s freshman season. She noticed pain in her left foot right after the Wildcats’ first regular-season game in 2018.
“I had never been injured before, but as an athlete, you know the difference between pain and injury,” she said. “[I] remember being so ready to improve throughout the season. [She was averaging 10.6 points a game at the time.] Unfortunately, I only got to play in four games before I got injured. I was coming off my season high of 13 points against MICDS. However, that was my last game of the season.”
Brophy did not sulk about her situation. She immediately began to work.
“I worked every single day. Luckily, I was able to bike on a stationary bike, so every day during practice I would do a HIIT workout on the bike, along with an ab circuit to stay in shape,” Brophy said. “Once I was cleared to get back on the floor, I would spend at least an hour or two in the gym every day working on getting my shot back.”
Brophy said everyone was encouraging to her as she worked to get back.
“I could not have come back with the same intensity if it wasn’t for the support from my coaches, parents, and especially teammates, Brophy said. “I am so thankful for such an amazing support system.”
Brophy thrives in her position as point guard.
“I love that I am able to create for my teammates,” Brophy said. “I am able to utilize my communicating skills as I have to be the voice of my coach on the floor. I also enjoy the ability to read defenses and be able to execute what we have gone over in practice.
“Although being the point guard allows me to be more of a leader, I don’t think necessarily think that I am a leader because of my position, but more so because of how I want the best for everyone on my team. I make it my responsibility to cheer and clap during practice and encourage my teammates to do the same. I believe that encouraging my teammates not only gives them the confidence to succeed but also gives me the confidence to succeed.”
Martin likes how Brophy runs the offense. Her ability and confidence help make the Wildcats more productive.
“What I can attest to is the difference she brings on the court and her ability to make everyone around her better,” Martin said. “Her leadership, composure, ability to see the game and perform next level plays is impressive. She lets the game come to her and understands time, score, situations, and flow. She has the ability to create shots for herself and her teammates. She is able to score on all three levels and does whatever is required for our team to be successful. She has a great shooting range and can knock down a shot to put the team on her back.”
Brophy likes watching game films. She said it helps prepare her mentally for how she needs to play. She believes she has plenty of room to improve as a player.
“I definitely focus on being a shooting threat on the floor, and that is my biggest upside,” Brophy said. “Currently I am working on improving on my drives, and of course I am always working on improving my defense.”
Martin sees the time Brophy puts into her getting becoming a top-notch player.
“She wants to get better and so she dives into everything,” Martin said. “She reads, studies, watches film and is very hungry in her pursuit of excellence. She is very coachable and an extension of me on the floor. She is a truly great point guard.”
Schools are beginning to notice Brophy.
“Ivy League and Division I and II schools are showing interest, Brophy said.
Martin is not surprised.
“She has some NCAA D-I interest and the desire to play at the next level. She continues to perfect her craft and we see that paying off on a daily basis,” Martin said. “She will be doing some campus visits this spring and starting to really focus on the recruiting process and narrowing her options. She is very academically driven and has some very prestigious academic and athletic opportunities ahead of her.
“She cares for others. She is always offering to help or do little things; [she] thanks me after a workout or goes out of her way to assist and serve. She has a heart of gold but also a heart of loyalty and service. She is funny and makes me laugh. She is a joy to be around and to coach. [She’s] a very special kid. [I’m] honored to be her coach.”