Basketball is a lifestyle. Like any sport, it finds something inside of you and creates a driving force that is a combination of passion, energy, talent and devotion that make up an athlete, and Georgetown’s Rebekkah Brunson and Mary Lisicky live it everyday. As the 2002-03 season begins, these two women display the passion, energy, talent and devotion that is needed to succeed on and off the court.

Forward Rebekkah Brunson comes from Oxon Hill, Md., part of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. A junior in the College, she is currently studying both sociology and psychology, and hopes to get into forensic psychology. On the court, however, she is capable of performing any job required.

As a child, basketball did not interest Brunson. Her height got her started in the game, and she now stands at 6-foot-3 inches tall. As she played more, however, she got to like the game, and found she had a talent for it. At Oxon Hill High School she was a first team All-Met selection her senior year, averaging 20.5 points 15.2 rebounds. She also played for a few Amateur Athletic Union teams that traveled to tournaments during summers, including the Oxon Hill Roadrunners and the Beltway Lady Cougars.

She decided to come to Georgetown after spending a lot of time on the campus and getting to know the people on the Hilltop. “I was familiar with the area and the coaches, and my AAU coach used to bring me up here to play in some preliminary games. I got to know [Head Coach Patrick] Knapp and some of the players, and it was just an easy adjustment to make,” Brunson said.

Knapp said both Georgetown and University of Maryland wanted Brunson. “We recruited Becky pretty hard, and she decided to come here and we’re very happy to have her,” Knapp said.

Once at Georgetown, Brunson settled into her role as a forward. As a freshman, she started all 30 games. The Big East named her Rookie of the Year and she became the first freshman to win the rebounding title, averaging 9.2 per game. She led the league with 13 double-doubles, and her 14.8 points per game average placed her second on the team. Brunson also was able to travel to Germany and play some games after being selected for the Big East All-Star Team.

Sophomore year brought disappointment for Brunson. After developing a stress fracture in her right lower leg, she had to sit out nine games. When asked if the injury would continue to plague her this year, she said she should be good to go for the year.

“I’m getting there, I’m working on it, but once we get into the Big East games, I’ll be fine,” Brunson said.

Despite her stress fracture, she led Georgetown in points and rebounds per game, 15.1 and 8.5, respectively. She was also named to the Big East’s Honorable Mention Team and received co-MVP status as a Hoya for the second year in a row. “I’m pleased with what I’ve done,” she said. “So far, so good. No complaints.”

On the court, Brunson plays intensely and aggressively, and is known as one of the more athletic players in the Big East. She said she works hard when she plays, and tries to outwork her opponents.

“I just play hard. I don’t really see myself as the most athletic person out there, and there are plenty of athletic people, so I have to try to work harder than the next person,” Brunson said.

Knapp said that Brunson’s game relies on her constant movement. “She’s always moving, and consistently knocking down the 18-footer now,” Knapp said.

As for her future in basketball, Brunson says she does not have any plans. “We’ll see what happens, but if I don’t play after college I enjoyed playing while I did,” Brunson said.

Mary Lisicky, a sophomore point guard, hails from Whitehall, Penn. The youngest of eight children, she started playing basketball at an early age because all of her brothers and sisters played.

“It’s been a family thing. I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old in the backyard with everybody,” she said.

At Whitehall High School she holds the scoring record with an average of 17 points, eight assists and three steals per game. She received a Street and Smith All-American Honorable Mention and a USA Today All-American Honorable Mention, as well as a spot on the USA Select team, which played in Paris. She also played AAU with the Philadelphia Bells.

Lisicky is in the McDonough School of Business and, while undecided at the moment, plans to study either accounting or finance. “My father is a CPA, and my family always has always had something to do with math,” she said.

Lisicky decided to attend Georgetown because she fell in love with the university, the area and the program, and because of the influence a relative who used to play for the team. Like Brunson, she had played AAU tournaments at Georgetown, and Knapp had seen her play before. With the help of her relative, Lisicky met the coaches and they offered her a scholarship.

Knapp recalled the day Lisicky committed to attend the school. “I was sitting watching the Connecticut vs. Duke men’s Final Four game, and Mary called me at halftime and committed,” he said. “That was the summer of her junior year.”

Since Lisicky has come to Georgetown, she has made quite the impression on both her team and school. In her freshman year, she started every game and played more minutes than anyone on the team. She set a Georgetown record for most three-pointers in a season with 76, and tied for first in three-point field goals per game in the Big East, averaging 2.76. With Brunson, Lisicky was named Co-MVP of the Hoyas. She shot .774 from the field and scored 331 points, second on the team.

Knapp said that Lisicky is a good player who uses her head to make good choices. “She’s a good ball-handler, has a good assists-turnover ratio and solid three-point shooting,” he said. “On defense, she plays smart, good position defense.”

“I’m the point guard, so I’m the general. I set up the plays. I definitely look to [Brunson] because she’s a scorer and a threat to everybody,” she said.

Lisicky says she has much confidence and pride in this year’s team. “I have a feeling about this year’s team for some reason. The chemistry is good and so is the way we’ve been working in each practice. I don’t know. I just feel good.”

Knapp expressed similar enthusiasm toward his team. “I’m excited about the potential this team has, and no matter what you saw against [the Hungarian National Team], in a few weeks, we’ll be ready.”

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