Grier takes talent to Abbey

Jul. 02, 2014 @ 08:04 PM

Brie Grier has always been intent on reaching that next level. Whatever level she’s played, she has always been determined to work her hardest to become the best basketball player she can be.

Now, following a standout high school career that culminated with a state championship at T.W. Andrews, she has signed with Belmont Abbey College to continue her playing career at the NCAA Division II level.

“It feels great to establish this type level and get to this moment,” she says. “I was always told: To be successful, you have to want to get to the next level. And me pushing every day in the gym with my dad, my coaches, my trainer, I felt I could do this – I'm ready for this next level.

“It's always been my goal. I've always said I want to play college ball. Still, in college, you still have to push, you still have to motivate yourself and others to be that better person and reach that next next level. And that's something I want to experience.”

Growing up in the New York City borough of Queens, Grier, the daughter of Sherise and Patrice Odom and Aaron and Amy Grier, started playing basketball at 4 years old. Her dad, immersed in the game, played into high school and was eager to teach her as well.

So, as soon as he could, he taught her to dribble with each hand, and her love of the game grew from there. After her family moved to North Carolina in 2006, she continued playing recreationally and soon started playing AAU with the High Point Stars.

All along her focus remained on playing basketball. She wasn’t interested in other sports, because they would take away from time on the court. So, she kept pushing herself throughout her years at Kernodle Middle, where she helped her team win the school’s first middle school title.

In high school, Grier, who also played for the Winston-Salem Stealers and Team Reign, played two years at High Point Central, a year at Ledford and a year at Andrews. She helped Ledford reach the 3A regionals before transferring to Andrews, one of the area’s top programs.

But the transition was challenging, being the new person on a team with high expectations.

“It was scary. I was nervous,” she says. “I thought maybe they wouldn't like me or didn’t want me or feel like they're going to take someone's shine. But it wasn't about that. I told my dad and Coach Shearin that I was here to help them get to where we want to be and get my education.”

As the season went along, she settled into her role on a very talented team. And she continued to learn how to become a better point guard, developing into more of scorer while also balancing her keen ability to distribute the ball to her teammates as well.

“She saw an opportunity when she got here to help make a very good team into an amazing team,” Red Raiders coach John Shearin says. “Some players would shy away from that pressure and that limelight. But she took the time, like a smart IQ kid would, and evaluated the situation.

“She didn't try to come in and try to make a name for herself. It's a very fine line, and that comes from her understanding of the game to see where her puzzle piece fit together. That's a very difficult thing to do. And for her to do it is amazing.”

Grier finished her career as the Most Outstanding Player for Andrews in the state championship game after making the All-Regional and All-PAC-6 teams. She’d also been selected all-conference twice previously and team MVP as a sophomore.

As she weighed her options, her top choices came down to Conference Carolinas foes Belmont Abbey and Mount Olive. But she liked her opportunities, both academically and athletically, better with the Crusaders, who reached the NCAA regionals last season.

“I love the team and how they work,” says Grier, who wants to study sports management. “Pulling in the freshman, making them feel comfortable. The coaches are excellent with what they do and how they are building the program. I love the school. They have my major. And I want to be close to home. So, that's why I chose them.”