Penn Hills grad Adia Brisker hits ground running at Niagara

Friday, November 22, 2019 | 12:28 PM

When Adia Brisker committed to play basketball at Niagara last fall, she didn’t think she would find herself in the starting lineup as a freshman.

However, when the Purple Eagles wrapped up camp, Brisker was part of the starting five for Niagara’s season opener at St. Bonaventure.

In her first game, Brisker scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds in 24 minutes as the Purple Eagles dropped a 71-67 overtime decision Nov. 7.

“I didn’t know how I was going to do,” Brisker said. “I ended up leading my team with nine rebounds. I had to get the jitters out, but once I got them out, I went out and played my game.”

Brisker, a Penn Hills alum, followed up her collegiate debut with a well-rounded performance where she finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds in 24 minutes in a 81-67 loss at home against Buffalo on Nov. 9.

Brisker was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rookie of the week.

“I feel like coming in as a freshman and being able to start was huge,” Brisker said. “It was an opportunity for me to grasp everything I have been wanting as I work towards my goals.

“It’s great to know that my family got to see all my hard work paid off and that I was able to come in and make an impact immediately. It means a lot that the coaches believe in me to make an impact on the floor every quarter.”

After the first four games, Brisker is second on the Purple Eagles (0-4) in scoring as she averages 8.8 ppg and leads Niagara in rebounding with 6.5 rpg. Brisker is shooting 81.8% from the free throw line.

The 5-foot-8 guard followed her performance against Buffalo with 12 points and seven rebounds in a 87-37 loss at Rutgers on Nov. 13. Brisker finished with four points and five rebounds in a 74-55 loss at Binghamton on Nov. 16.

“Most people aren’t where I’m at and most people didn’t work as hard to be where I’m at,” Brisker said. “I’m still hungry and I still want more for myself and my team.”

Brisker has utilized the 2015 shooting death of her brother, Tale’, as motivation to succeed. Recently, Brisker got a tattoo to commemorate her late brother.

“It reminds me every day that he’s sticking to me like glue,” Brisker said. “I know I can’t forget him. I have his face on my shoulder. It meant a lot with where I came from and what I’ve overcome over the past years. I keep the mindset that nobody is better than me.”

Brisker still isn’t satisfied, even with the early season honor. She has goals of receiving the weekly award many more times this year. She wants to be named MAAC’s freshman of the year and receive first team all-conference honors.

“It just means I need to go harder because every day I go in there, I know there is somebody that is trying to outwork me to get my spot,” Brisker said. “I feel like the process has sped up with the work I’ve put in.”


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