Student Athlete of the Week: Sam Brunelle

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For the past four years William Monroe's Sam Brunelle has been the Dragons heartbeat on the court.

"She has rallied a community together behind a sport that doesn't always get the most attention," William Monroe girls basketball Coach Jess Stafford said.

But this season, sidelined by a foot injury, Brunelle has found new ways for her impact to shine on and off the court.

"Good things have come out of this," Brunelle said, "You know you might not expect an injury like this to bring good things but it has."

While some could understand taking a break, Brunelle has stuck to Monroe's sidelines and practices throughout the season, helping to lead anyway she can.

"There was never a question of whether or not she was going to stick with us," Stafford said, "She's there everyday at practice, she does her rehab while we're practicing, on the bench she's the loudest voice."

"It's a different role and it's good for me because I've never really been in that kind of situation where you sit the whole game and you just kind of be very vocal, but that's improved for me," Brunelle said.

The time off the court has also allowed Brunelle to throw on the microphone to pursue her other dream of being a color analyst.

"I'm a very talkative, outgoing person and obviously with TV you got to be talkative," Brunelle said.

"She found a passion, so she's well-rounded, she's always taken her school seriously, so it's never been just basketball," Stafford said, who also taught the class where Sam got her introduction to broadcasting, "But when she found broadcasting she fell in love with it the way that she fell in love with basketball."

Despite only playing a couple games the honors have continued to flood in like becoming a McDonald's All-American, but the moments that really matter are the ones with her family and friends.

"Kind of saddening, but I've enjoyed the ride, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else rather than William Monroe High School," Brunelle said, "I know I'll always have a place to call home and even if I can't step back on the court as a player, I can step back on it just to come and watch the future generation."

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