By Kathi Bliss
There is no question that Lockhart does certain things better than any other community in the country. We know how to smoke a brisket. We are quickly rising among the ranks of those who know how to simmer a pot of chili. We have one of the most beautiful courthouses known to man.
Where sports are concerned, the Lions are second to none in cross country, near the top of the heap in men’s and women’s soccer, and for the last two years, it has been proven that the Lions are a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron.
And Lockhart knows women’s basketball.
As the University Interscholastic League, the governing body of Texas high school athletics, celebrates its 100th year, a part of the celebration is the nomination of the UIL “All-Century Teams.” These teams are meant to recognize the best of the best – the most memorable and talented high school athletes to matriculate from Texas high schools.
When the nominations for the All-Century Women’s Basketball Team were released last month, two former Lady Lions had made the cut: Edwina Brown (‘96) and Kim Brandl (‘92).
Both powerhouse players during their high school years, both Brandl and Brown followed their love of the sport from the Lions Den to the Erwin Center, trading in the Lady Lions’ maroon and white for Lady Longhorn burnt orange. However, the two took significantly different paths after their freshman seasons at UT.
After being voted “Miss Basketball” by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches during her senior year at Lockhart High, Brandl played for the University of Texas for one (‘92-’93) season before transferring to Southern Methodist University in Dallas and sitting out a year before a successful three-year run.
During her years as a Mustang, Brandl was named to the SWC All-Conference second team (‘94-’95) and to the WAC All Conference first team (‘95-97). She is also currently the fifth-ranked all-time scorer at SMU, stacking up a career total of 1458 points in three years.
Additionally, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics and a master’s degree in Liberal Arts while completing her NCAA eligibility. Currently, Brandl resides near Seattle, and works for Microsoft as a senior programming writer.
She left competitive basketball after her college graduation, and said she played very little until last year, when she joined a competitive recreational league.
However, her membership in that league was cut short when, in the fourth game of the season, she ruptured her Achilles tendon – an injury that had to be repaired surgically.
“I think of my high school and college basketball experiences quite often,” Brandl said. “I cherish the many great friendships that began through basketball and have continued through the years. I feel very honored to be considered for the UIL All-Century Basketball Team.”
Brandl has been nominated to the All-Century team as a Forward.
Brown, on the other hand, found a permanent NCAA home when she left Lucky the Lion behind for Bevo. She played for the Lady Longhorns from 1996 – 2000, racking up a long list of accomplishments during her college years. Among them, Brown is a part of ‘Horns history, being the only athlete in school history to lead the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in the same year – a feat she accomplished twice.
She was also a two-time All American, a two-time Big XII All-Conference selection, a Big XII Conference Tournament MVP and winner of the 1999-2000 ESPN.com National Player of the Year award.
Brown left the University of Texas as the number-three draft pick in the WNBA in 2000. She played in the WNBA for five years, with both the Detroit Shock and the Phoenix Mercury, before deciding to continue her professional career overseas.
For the last six seasons, Brown has played professionally in Isreal for ASA Jerusalem.
Outside the professional circuit, Brown hosts camps and clinics in and around Austin, and has routinely returned to Lockhart at least once per summer for the last several years to host basketball programs for up-and-coming Lady Lions.
“This has been a special year for me, and God has truly smiled on me,” Brown said. “My Hall of Fame award with UT has topped my list for this year, but every award is an honor… [and]… as far as being nominated for this award, I am truly grateful.”
Brown has been nominated to the All-Century Team as a Guard.
The UIL All-Century Women’s Baskeball team will be chosen by popular vote, and the players receiving the most votes will be announced after the votes are tabulated. To vote for Brandl and Brown, visit the UIL’s 100th Anniversary Celebration website at www.UIL100.org, and click on All-Century Team.
Votes will be accepted until Feb. 13, 2010.