Helen Cox alum Brittany Hall displays courage in difficult times
Athletes at the college level have been exposed to competing at the most extreme levels.
From youth to high school to college, the stakes rise incrementally.
The spirit of competition drives many to great heights.
While competing at the highest level possible drives such athletes, the spirit to compete in the midst of extremely trying personal difficulty is rare and to be admired.
That admiration must be bestowed upon Brittany Hall of LSU-Alexandria.
The junior point guard from Helen Cox had a difficult week.
On Thursday, Jan. 3, Hall was informed that her grandfather had passed away when LSUA was in San Antonio taking on Our Lady of The Lake University.
On Saturday, Jan. 5, Hall suffered an injury to here eye in an 81-67 loss at the University of the Southwest at Hobbs, NM.
The funeral was Friday (Jan. 11) in New Orleans.
While Hall is, by all accounts, a tremendous competitor who never wants to let her team down, family comes first.
Hall made the difficult drive to New Orleans to attend the somber funeral of a beloved family member.
Naturally, Generals head coach Bob Austin understood.
Hall was dealing with an eye injury, anyway. There was no guarantee that she would play.
I have never quite understood the axiom “have your cake and eat it, too!”
What are you supposed to do with your cake? Stare at it without indulging?
Regardless of the interpretation, it is safe to say that Hall had her cake and ate it as well Friday. While the taste may have been more bittersweet, considering the circumstances, it is safe to say that she was able to celebrate a life well lived by a loved one while continuing to celebrate another chapter of her substantive life experience.
After attending the funeral, Hall went to an eye doctor to see if she could be cleared to play basketball. She then made a three-hour drive back to Alexandria to rejoin her team. The Generals were facing Huston-Tillotson in a conference home game.
By the time Hall arrived, LSUA was trailing 37-34 at halftime.
When her teammates saw her arrive, they were enthusiastic. They were compassionate. They were determined to help Hall and Hall was determined to help her teammates.
Despite the eye injury, despite the mourning period which was clearly still in progress and despite arriving in the middle of a game, Hall’s dedication to team and competitive spirit took over.
Hall played the second half, scored four points, pulled down five rebounds, dished out two assists and blocked a shot as the Generals rallied to win 74-68.
“Brittany is tough competitor through and through,” Austin said. “She really brings an edge to our team. It is said that it isn’t what happens to you but how you respond to those circumstances that reveals your true character. I think this past week is demonstrating to everyone what all of us in the LSUA women’s basketball family already knew about Brittany.”
Despite the eye injury, Hall saw clearly that she could pay homage to her grandfather and pay homage to her team.
“My support system was very understanding while going through the grievance of the passing of my grandfather,” Hall said. “My family knew it would be a few days before I can get home from a road trip to San Antonio and New Mexico. While on the trip, I suffered a severe eye injury which added fuel to the fire. After attending the funeral, my family gave me the option to stay or head back to Alexandria and being the competitor that I am, I chose to go help my team win a statement game, even while I was still grieving.”
Then came the remaining challenges.
“I then made the three-hour trip straight to the eye doctor and he cleared me to play,” Hall said. “Then, I headed to the gym. I truly appreciate my entire LSUA family, coaches and teammates for being with me during this emotional time period and I am happy I was able to make the impact I did.”
Hall did Helen Cox proud. She did Harvey proud. She did the entire New Orleans proud. She did the Generals proud. She did Austin proud.
Most of all, it is certain that her grandfather and family must be proud of a courageous young lady who experienced a very physically and emotionally draining week.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…