Amaura Brandt has spent years on the USC Aiken women’s basketball bench. She’ll continue to do that during the 2012-13 season, but in a different capacity.
Brandt, the daughter of Lady Pacers coach Mike Brandt, has helped her father as a manager for close to 10 years. On Tuesday, the Augusta Christian senior signed a letter-of-intent to attend USC Aiken and play for the Lady Pacers.
“It will be a lot different as a player, thankfully,” Amaura Brandt said. “I’ll be on the bench but I’ll be hoping to get off the bench,”
Under NCAA regulations, coaches normally are not allowed to attend letter-of-intent signings, but Mike Brandt was allowed to be there for his daughter.
“It’s obviously a unique situation. I haven’t been to a signing in a long time,” Mike Brandt said. “It’s a big thrill for me. I’m very proud of the accomplishments she’s had. I think it will be a lot of fun to coach her and see her improve and develop as a young lady and as a basketball player.”
The Lady Pacers were 27-4 in 2012 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. They lose just two players off that squad, but Brandt isn’t worried about fitting in.
“I don’t know if it will be that weird,” Amaura Brandt said. “Maybe at the beginning it will be an adjustment for everyone to make. I think we’ll adjust fine and then it will be just like playing for any other coach.”
The Lady Lions might have the biggest adjustment to make. Brandt leaves as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,762), averaging 13 points, five rebounds and three assists a game during the 2011-12 season.
And being a part of the Lady Pacers’ program for so long already might give her a leg up, as far as learning the plays and knowing the way her father coaches.
“I don’t think she’ll really be a true freshman, having that experience of having been a part of it,” Mike Brandt said. “I think she’ll be ahead of a normal freshman.”
Brandt, who is Augusta Christian’s 2012 valedictorian, plans to major in chemistry, with the intent of doing something in the medical field.
Although she looked at other schools, USC Aiken was Brandt’s first choice.
“I want to play for my dad and as a Lady Pacer,” she said.