You could say Brandy Blackburn wears three jerseys. She’s a third-year student, a sophomore basketball center and a freshman goalkeeper on the soccer field.
Blackburn is the only Lane athlete who will participate in both a fall and winter sport this year.
With the soccer season over, Blackburn’s looking towards the hardwood.
Blackburn said balancing soccer practice, basketball practice and 13 credits this fall wasn’t too hard.
“We get study hours, and coaches give us time to do our school work. It evens out pretty well,” Blackburn said.
When asked what a basic day in her life was like, Blackburn said, “For a while there, it was pretty much, get up, go to class, go to soccer. Then hurry up, go to basketball practice, do trainers after, come home, do homework, eat and then go to bed.”
Blackburn was born and raised in Payette, Idaho.
At Payette High School, Blackburn was a three-time all-state goalkeeper, and her soccer team won the state championship in 2009-10, according to Blackburn’s Lane athletic profile.
She started playing soccer in fourth grade and basketball in third.
Blackburn originally came to Lane to play basketball and was recruited by Lane women’s basketball head coach Greg Sheley.
“We recruited her, brought her out here for a visit, liked what we saw and made her an athletic talent grant offer,” Sheley said, “and she accepted.”
When first watching her play, the coaches were attracted to her reach and her height, and saw potential in her raw talent to develop and improve.
“From two and a half years ago, she’s way better mentally at understanding the game. Her basketball IQ has gone up,” Sheley said. “I think her confidence in herself has gone up and that, in turn, has allowed her to be confident on the basketball court, so she’s more than doubled her improvement.”
She redshirted her second year on the basketball team after she suffered concussions.
We are more conscious of head injuries now. If I get hit and there’s a headache, we instantly stop. I’ll sit out for a day if I get a headache,” Blackburn said.
Blackburn didn’t join the Titans soccer team until her third year at Lane. Sheley approved of her decision to go out for a second sport.
“We were all for it. We were there to support her in it. She wanted to give it a try so I felt that she had earned the right to give it a shot,” Sheley said.
Titans starting goalkeeper Samantha Schoene shed a light on what kind of teammate Blackburn is.
“I think Brandy was a positive impact on the team and brought her good work ethic to the team,” Schoene said. “She really helped me in practice, made me always be on my game, and I did the same to her. She was always encouraging and did a great job as goalie when she did play. She’s my all-time favorite back-up goalie.”
Sheley and Titans soccer head coach Dave Ellis both praised Blackburn for her achievements on the basketball court and soccer field, but agreed that the influence she has had on her teammates is just as important.
“She’s a really quality kid. That’s another thing that we really liked about her. She’s been problem-free — takes care of her business. I think she’s a great teammate and I think thats a really nice thing: We don’t have to worry about her. We don’t have to babysit her,” Sheley said.
“What Brandy brought on the field was always a big help and was obviously the key of getting her here, but the biggest thing about Brandy is just who she is as a person. She made practice more fun every day for all the team and the coaches. She’s mature beyond her years,” Ellis said.
Blackburn plans on furthering her education after Lane.
After this, I plan on finding another school … in either Oregon or Idaho,” she said. “Hopefully I can keep playing either soccer or basketball. I don’t know what I want to do as my career yet. Currently I am studying criminal justice, so anything in law enforcement I find interesting.”