West Virginia women’s basketball senior guard Brooke Hampton has always had a love for basketball, and it all started with a supportive family back in her hometown of Colts Neck, N.J.
“I just really love being a part of (a) team,” Hampton said. “I have two older brothers and my mom and dad. Having two older brothers, they were always playing around with me. My family means everything to me.”
Although not a marquee name, Hampton has primarily come off the bench during her four years as a Mountaineer. This season, she’s averaged 3.9 points a game and 1.7 assists in 18.9 minutes.
“She reads a defense pretty well,” said WVU head coach Mike Carey. “And she’s probably our best player at feeding the post.”
Feeding the post has Hampton near the top of the Big 12 Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.4. She scored a career-high 18 points last season en route to a 61-56 victory over Villanova.
“She keeps a defense honest with her (jump) shot,” Carey said. “And because of that, when she does have that shot, (defenses) have to guard her. And that’s the thing with any player: if you look to score first and they pick you up, you have to be able to deliver the pass. And she does a great job of doing that.”
At 5-foot-9, Hampton often backs up fellow senior point guard Christal Caldwell. Together, the two make up a frontcourt that is No. 2 in assists in the Big 12.
“I’ve just been working on my passing a lot over the years,” Hampton said. “I’ve been trained to make decisions in pressure situations, so it’s helped me in the long run.”
Throughout the years, Hampton has been no stranger to pressure. As a sophomore, Hampton’s free throws with four seconds left sealed the deal for a road upset of No. 7 Notre Dame.
But it’s a position, she said, she actually enjoys.
“I like being in pressure situations,” Hampton said. “It builds you as a person even if (you’re not successful in the long run). On the foul line, after I made the first shot, I kind of screamed. It was just a sigh of relief. It gave me confidence for the second shot.”
As for the future, Hampton and the Mountaineers are currently holding a half-game lead in conference standings. During her tenure, Hampton has only made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but this team has the potential to reach farther.
“This team is one of the best teams I’ve ever played with,” she said. “It’s important to have team chemistry both on and off the court.
“Coming in freshman year, I didn’t understand the Mountaineer traditions. But being here for four years, I completely understand the ‘once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer’ slogan. The fans are just so different here. They’re so loyal. I just love being here.”