June 21, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Losing Cameron Brink, on and off the court, is huge loss for Los Angeles Sparks

'Something that Cameron Brink's teammates really appreciate about her ... is her understanding of what it means to be a WNBA player.'

On today’s episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, host Howard Megdal is joined by The Next’s New York Liberty beat writer Jackie Powell live from Barclays Center. The Los Angeles Sparks were in town to face the Liberty, a game which they would lose 90–83. Notably missing from the team’s starting lineup was forward Cameron Brink, who suffered a season-ending injury (a torn ACL in her left knee) during a loss to Connecticut on Tuesday.

Continue reading with a subscription to The Next

Get unlimited access to women’s basketball coverage and help support our hardworking staff of writers, editors, and photographers by subscribing today.

Join today

Megdal and Powell first discussed the areas where Brink had been excelling before her injury, and what impressed them most about the start of her WNBA career.

“I know you want to start with the rim protection, but I would just sort of say [her] versatility in general,” Powell said. “Curt Miller pregame, he spoke about many of her offensive gifts being underrated and I happen to agree. I think she is, I mean tonight, we saw the Liberty go up against the Sparks and Jonquel Jones had what, eight or nine assists? So I see that potential in Cameron Brink. She is an excellent passer. And she can hit threes. I mean, there is Jonquel Jones, Breanna Stewart type potential for Cameron Brink. But I’m not even talking about her defense, which is I mean, Defensive Player of the Year-level potentially right now, which is what’s sort of scary.”

Get 24/7 soccer coverage with The Equalizer

The Next is partnering with The Equalizer to bring more women’s sports stories to your inbox. Subscribers to The Next receive 50% off their subscription to The Equalizer for 24/7 coverage of women’s soccer.

“When Cameron Brink is on the floor, there was a quickness to the way in which she was able to close out, even on the perimeter shooters,” Megdal explained. “You know, that to me, there’s every reason to believe that Cameron Brink can come back healthy and be remarkably successful. We’ve seen so many players do it. Brittney Sykes had two torn ACLs and has come back to have an incredible career with athleticism as a key part of it. But the thing, and the sadness, to me, that goes along with it is the player always changes. Breanna Stewart after the Achilles injury was indisputably great and has won championships and MVPs since then, but [is] a different player. And so from that perspective, when somebody is so quickly grasping the defensive ability to play at an elite level in the WNBA, something rookies always struggle with, almost always, it was remarkable to me.”

Later, they discussed the impact Brink’s absence has had off the court. Megdal and Powell had spoken with Brink’s Sparks teammates postgame in Brooklyn on Thursday.

“It was really striking to see people from every corner of the sport coming to support Cameron Brink,” Powell said. “And the question I kept asking people was, what is it about her that people were making it a point and being intentional to, you know, support her publicly. And it was Layshia Clarendon, who said to me, ‘Jackie, she is authentically who she is, from day one, she has been just full of life, full of joy, not, you know, hiding anything showing us who she is.’ And there’s something really respectable and I guess, admirable about that.”

Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine

Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

“In talking to Sabrina Ionescu, she sort of said to me, she said, ‘You know what, it’s really sad that someone had to get injured for our community to come back together,'” Powell continued. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, you know, you’re right.’ But I think something that Cameron Brink’s teammates really appreciate about her and just her peers around the league, is her understanding of what it means to be a WNBA player. And that is something that not all rookies grasp right away. And that doesn’t just mean the professionalism on the court, it means their understanding of intersectionality, their understanding of their own privilege in certain situations. I’m sure many of you have seen the interview she did with Dime, where she displayed allyship in a way that was so powerful. And, you know, Layshia said to me pregame, he said, Cameron Brink knows how to be a white player in the WNBA. And that’s an important conversation that we don’t always have.”

Tune in to hear more about how the Sparks are adjusting to Brink’s absence on and off the court, and the players that could make a difference as they navigate this change. Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

Written by The Next

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.