Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball graduate student Kendall Bresee recently chatted with PressBox about how she and her brother Bryan, now a defensive end at Clemson, pushed each other growing up and more. The 5-foot-10 Bresee averaged 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game last year, earning Northeast Conference Player of the Year and NEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for her efforts. The Mountaineers are coming off a season in which they won the NEC and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

PressBox: How did you become interested in basketball?
Kendall Bresee: I think growing up, my family’s so competitive and very sports-oriented. My mom played basketball in college. My dad played football in college. My dad was my coach since I was 5 or 6, and my mom also coached. I think being in a competitive, sports-oriented family, I think that’s how I really became interested in basketball and realized I loved the game from a young age.

PB: Your brother, Bryan, is a defensive end for Clemson. What was your sibling rivalry like growing up?
KB: He did play basketball in high school [as well]. He was actually very good. It was insane. It wasn’t just with my brother. I have two other siblings. Everyone is so competitive — even just running out of the car to see who would get inside the house first. Every little thing we made into a competition — who could run up the stairs first. In the beginning, I was fine, I could hold my own. But then he got to be 6-[foot]-5, 300 pounds, and at that point I could outrun him for like a mile but he could beat me at anything else.

PB: How did that drive you competitively?
KB: Having him as my brother, there’s no one growing up that it could be better with. He’s a No. 1 recruit, he’s at Clemson University and he was always there pushing me. I always saw how hard he was working and how many times he got in the gym and how many days he got in the gym. I saw that and I realized I had to do that to be better and push myself. We worked out together a lot, especially over quarantine and still trying to beat him, whether it’s in a sprint or how many curl-ups I could do. Having him around just made my competitive drive much [higher].

PB: What did having you as a sister do for him competitively?
KB: I think I probably annoyed most of the time. I think he probably got pissed off with how competitive I used to be with him. But I think I really pushed him, [including] me trying to get him out on a run. He hates running. Football players usually do sprints. Basketball players are more long distance most of the time. I remember in quarantine, I got him out to run a mile and he just hated me. But he tried to keep up with me and he did a really good job. Just trying different things and trying to keep each other good and active, especially in times like when the quarantine hit.

PB: Why did you choose to come to the Mount as a transfer?
KB: I transferred from George Washington University. I committed to GW very early and the coach that I committed to ended up leaving, so it wasn’t the right fit after that. I visited a few schools during my transfer period, and when I got here just the coaching staff and the campus and all the staff — not even on the athletic side, even in the school — it’s just a very homey feeling. Everyone’s super close. Everyone’s very supportive. And also, I wanted to stay close to home. Having my family at the games is one of the best feelings. Picking a school or a place that they were still capable of coming to my games on the weekdays was very important to me.

PB: What is your favorite memory at the Mount so far?
KB: Winning the NEC championship last year. Last year in itself was so difficult and hard for everyone. Just having that glimpse of happiness and excitement, it trumped it all — all the hard things and everything that we went through that year trumped it all.

PB: What is your favorite thing about the Mount and Emmitsburg?
KB: I think my favorite thing about Mount St. Mary’s is just how homey and close it is. Everyone is so supportive here. Everyone’s always there for you. Emmitsburg, it’s a small town and I really love it. Everyone just kind of knows who you are. Everyone loves the games. Everyone around just loves coming to the games and supporting you. That’s one of my favorite things about being in Emmitsburg. I love the small-town feel.

PB: Who was a player you looked up to early in your college career?
KB: I think when I got here a player I looked up to at the Mount was Juliette Lawless. She just always came in and worked so hard and was so competitive every single day. She really led our team my first few years here. She was a great leader.

PB: What advice would you give to younger players?
KB: Keep your head up and keep pushing. You know it’s going to get hard, but just keep your head up. It’s worth it at the end.

PB: What are your goals for after basketball, whenever it ends?
KB: I want to continue to play basketball, but right after basketball [I want to] travel and just kind of live life for a year. I think being in college basketball is an amazing opportunity. It’s awesome and you get to see new places. But you’re always going somewhere and it’s a business trip everywhere you go. I would love to after this year be able to travel and just kind of see new places on my own time.

PB: Why did you choose to take the extra year of eligibility as a sixth-year senior?
KB: I chose to take an extra year because my teammates are amazing. Most of them stayed. I think two or three left. I love my teammates and I wanted to run it back with them, and then also my coaching staff. They’re just amazing. Having Antoine White as the head coach this year, me and him have been very close throughout my four years here. With him being the head coach, there was no way I could’ve walked away.

PB: What can fans expect to see from the team with a new coach in Antoine White?
KB: Very high-intense games and everything. He is such a positive coach. He just wants what’s best for everyone. I think people should expect a lot of fun basketball, a lot of fun playing, just all of that. Just very fun and intense. It’s going to be a great year.

Photo Credit: David Sinclair

Issue 271: October/November 2021

Luke Jackson

See all posts by Luke Jackson. Follow Luke Jackson on Twitter at @luke_jackson10