Mumford High’s Brionna Grimes names Kobe Bryant as the biggest influence on how she plays basketball, and it’s not just because of the Los Angeles Lakers star’s physical skills.
“He’s mentally tough, too, and the game is 10 per cent talent and 90 per cent mental,” said Grimes, the Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week. “I’m mentally tough sometimes. I get knocked off my square, but I always pull myself together.”
Grimes, a 6-0 sophomore forward, has kept it together through most of the season in averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks for Coach Kareem Hogan’s Lady Mustangs.
Last week, against Northwestern and Westside, Grimes turned in back to back stellar performances with 19 points in each game.
“I work with her every day and she’s a hard worker,” Hogan said. “She puts up 300 to 400 shots a day and she’s been working just as hard in the classroom to pull up her grades, She’s got the work ethic a lot of kids don’t have nowadays. With that to go along with her talent, she’s going to be one of the top players in the state by the time she’s a senior.”
Already, Grimes has college recruiters taking notice, which suits her career aspirations just fine.
“I hope to pursue my talent and play in college and then go to the (WNBA) league,” she said. “I love basketball and I hope to make that a career. But if that doesn’t work out, I want to be an architect.”
With two more years left after this season, Grimes is one of the building blocks in Mumford’s girls’ basketball program.
“Last year, she couldn’t put the ball on the floor, but this year she can put it on the floor, rebound, block shots, score, whatever you need,” Hogan said. “She’s the perfect complement to the twins (junior guards Raven and Raine Bankston).”
Grimes suffered a torn ACL prior to the season but she hasn’t shown any lingering effects. She’ll be counted on to continue to play strong if Mumford is going to continue to advance in the PSL’s Big D championship tournament.
“I’ve been doing well and the team has been doing good, too, so other than the injury, the year has gone great,” she said. “The competition in the PSL is pretty hard, but I know we can beat every team we face.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week Award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletic performers and is sponsored by local Detroit area McDonald’s owner-operators