Amaura Brandt spent many years on the USC Aiken women’s basketball bench. She’ll continue to do that for the 2012-13 season, but in a much different capacity.
Brandt, daughter of USC Aiken Lady Pacers head coach Mike Brandt, helped her father as a manager for nearly a decade. All that changed Tuesday afternoon when the Augusta Christian senior signed her letter of intent to attend USC Aiken.
“It will be a lot different as a player, thankfully,” Amaura said. “I’ll be on the bench, but I’ll be hoping to get off the bench.”
Normally under NCAA regulations, coaches are forbidden to attend letter of intent signings, but Mike Brandt was there in his capacity as her father.
“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 Amaura said she isn’t worried about fitting in.
“I don’t know if it will be that weird,” she 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. Amara leaves as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,762), having averaged 13 points, five rebounds and three assists per game during the 2011-12 season.
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.”
While at USC Aiken, Amaura, who is Augusta Christian’s 2012 valedictorian, plans to major in chemistry, with her eye on doing something in the medical field.
While she looked at other schools, USC Aiken was Amaura’s primary option.
“I want to play for my dad and as a Lady Pacer,” she said.