BrookeLynn Saxon signs

Albany's BrookeLynn Saxon, seated center, signs with Belhaven University while surrounded by the Lady Hornet basketball team.

ALBANY – Albany basketball player BrookeLynn Saxon found exactly what she was looking for at Belhaven University, and she said that’s a good thing, academically and athletically.

“I always wanted to play college ball, but after high school, I just decided I was going to focus on my education a lot,” Saxon said after signing with Belhaven earlier this week. “But then I knew that without basketball, it’s kind of hard to keep my head in school, so basketball’s just going to keep my mind straight. I had the opportunity, so I took it, and I’m really excited about it.”

Saxon made a visit to the campus in Jackson, Miss., which helped solidify her decision.

“I visited campus two weeks ago, and I really liked it,” she said. “It’s small but big enough for me, if that makes sense. It was great. I just like how it’s kind of like our school – small, and I knew that because of how small it was, it’s a lot of one-on-one work, and my education still comes first before anything, so I knew that that was better for me, so that’s basically why I chose that school.”

That was just part of the equation for Saxon, who was a second-team All-District 8-3A performer as a senior.

“I love the (Belhaven) coach (Steve Calder),” she said. “The gym was kind of small like ours, and I’m used to the gym, so I like that. I love the teammates.”

Saxon said her play on defense caught the Belhaven coaching staff’s eye.

“He (Calder) said that they need somebody to get on the ground and get the ball, and that’s what I do,” Saxon said. “He saaid (they need) somebody aggressive that will get the ball, get the passes and take some shots if they have to.”

Albany coach Stacy Darouse said that’s a perfect role for Saxon.

“She took that on as her role as her responsibility to lead our defense,” Darouse said. “If she wasn’t active on defense, then we didn’t get the steals. We were good on defense because it started with her. I just think she’s going to be a hidden gem. I think all three of these (Albany) kids that have signed, (Cassie Baygents, Haley Meyers and Saxon), their colleges are going to see the best of them because as long as they’ve been playing, they’re still improving, and I think BrookeLynn’s no different. I think she’s going to continue to improve, and I think she’s going to be a huge asset to Belhaven.”

Darouse said Saxon may be able to help the Lady Blazers in other ways.

“She’s going to be a huge asset to Belhaven because she can play point guard, she just didn’t for us because we needed her and Haley (Meyers) to be on the floor at the same time,” Darouse said. “She really has a point guard mentality in that she would rather make a pass to a teammate and let the teammate get the score than to take the shot. She’s going to have to balance that a little bit. She’s going to have to take more shots, but I think she’s a hidden gem because she can play both of those positions, and she’s probably one of the better athletes that I’ve coached. Even though she’s not very big, she plays so much bigger that she actually is, and I just think she’s going to help them right away.”

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