Penn Hills’ Brisker commits to play basketball at Niagara

Friday, September 14, 2018 | 12:18 AM

When Penn Hills senior guard Adia Brisker was contemplating the college recruitment process, she wanted to make sure she had a deep relationship with those involved in the women’s basketball program.

Brisker found that impactful relationship at Niagara. After going on her official visit Sept. 7-8, Brisker made a verbal commitment via her personal twitter account.

“They weren’t worry about me being a number,” Brisker said. “They were into who I was and not even basketball. They weren’t just worried about my skills. They took the relationship further. I created a relationship with each coach on that staff.”

In 2015, Brisker’s brother, Tale’, was shot and killed. Ever since, Brisker has utilized his death as motivation to accomplish all her goals in the classroom and on the court.

During the recruitment process, Niagara coaches and officials reached out to see how she was doing.

Niagara, a NCAA Division I program in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, finished 13-18 overall with a 9-9 record last season.

Brisker, who is a National Honor Society member, was mulling an offer from Buffalo. As a junior, Brisker averaged 13.2 points for the Indians (13-9, 5-5 Section 2-6A).

Penn Hills’ season ended after a 31-30 loss to Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL Class 6A first round.

In AAU, Brisker played for the Western PA Bruins-Lewandowski with her Indians teammate Tayonna Robertson.

With her commitment to Niagara, Brisker can’t stop reflecting on the hard work she has put in to get herself to this point in her life.

“It’s emotional because it’s the next chapter in my life. You look back at how far you’ve come and how hard you pushed yourself to get to this point,” Brisker said.

“I’m proud of myself since I’ve come a long way with the loss of my brother. The loss of my brother brings encouragement, and it brings so much to the table. I know he’s with me, and I’m taking him to Niagara with me.”

The death of her brother has taught Brisker a lot of life lessons and forced her to grow up faster with the support of her mother, father and younger brother.

“If you never have pain, you never appreciate pleasure,” she said. “I’ve gotten stronger mentally. I push myself every day, and I do it for him because he was the type of person that would push me no matter what. He was always there for me and told me to have confidence in myself.”

With the college decision out of the way, Brisker is excited to focus on her studies and basketball. This season, Penn Hills will join Section 3-5A.

Latrobe, Oakland Catholic and Woodland Hills all reached the playoffs last season. The Indians will face Albert Gallatin, Laurel Highlands, Penn-Trafford and Uniontown.

“It’s go time right now. It’s my senior year right now. I’m doing what I need to do to win a state championship and a WPIAL championship,” Brisker said.

“We need to go out and flat out do what we need to do to get it done. I need to have that intensity and the will to go get it.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.


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