Bre Singleton | Decatur, GA
Former University of West Georgia Basketball Guard
Written by Malik Brown
"I played basketball all through my younger years and up to college. Now I do a little bit of everything. I do sports and entertainment, journalism, and also social media. I have a nonprofit organization as well.
I was introduced to sports by Space Jam, when I was one-years-old. I watched it as soon as I was of age, and could really understand what was going on. I fell in love with not only basketball there, but music as well, because the soundtrack was fire. I told my parents I wanted to play, and they got me a little hoop, and it was up from there.
I started experiencing anxiety surrounding basketball pretty early. I remember there was a point where I joined a really, really good basketball team, which was the Georgia Ice where they had former and current WNBA players on my team. I didn't know it then obviously, but I can tell you there was a difference in the level of play. I was fortunate enough to be on the team, but I knew that there's some people out here that are better than me. That kind of took a toll on me from a young age.
I always took basketball pretty seriously. I think from the time I picked up a ball, I wanted to be really good. I think from early age, I realized that I can maybe get to college, and that became a goal really early. Maybe around middle school I was like, “Okay, I might be a really, really good player.” From there. I just worked really hard, and I got on some pretty good teams.
Everywhere I went it, everybody knew me as Bre that plays basketball, Bre that's on the basketball team, and Bre the basketball player. It’s not that I didn't like it or that I wasn't proud of it, it just kind of became attached to who I am. That didn't allow me to get away from the title until I stopped playing because I really wanted to be known for other things. I had a bunch of different interests. I liked sports, music, journalism, and a bunch of different things. It was never all just about basketball for me.
I was one of those people who believe it or not, couldn't wait for basketball to be over. I couldn't wait for the next phase of my life and the next chapter, because like I said, I had been “Bre who plays basketball” for 21 years up to that point, so it was like a countdown for me. I was just ready to be somebody else and to do some other things. Once the last buzzer sounded, I was grateful for the experience, and definitely ready to get to the next chapter of my life.
Most people look back and regret it as one of those moments like where they think they’ll never get that feeling back again. I'm kind of glad that I looked at it this way because I don't have these moments where I wake up and say I wish I was still in this chapter of my life. I can fully embrace moving forward and who I am now. I look back on those times, and I think they helped me get to where I am now.
I came up with the idea of Free Game in 2018. At that time, I was doing radio. So after I graduated from University of West Georgia and played basketball, I went straight into radio. After that, I got furloughed when the pandemic started, and I had a bunch of free time. One of the things I wanted to dedicate my time to was the student athletes who might have been like me, and maybe they did want to go pro, or maybe they had aspirations to continue playing longer than I did.
I wanted to take that time to build a business or foundation that can help them be a well rounded individual, because I think I took that process more seriously than a lot of my peers. I was more prepared for when the buzzer sounded, and the ball stopped bouncing. I wanted to take the time to make sure that other student athletes were at least thinking about it, or had it in the back of their mind, because whether you like it or not, the ball stops bouncing for everybody at some point.
Being an athlete means that you have a body, and you're physically able to do anything. You can be an athlete whether you're in a wheelchair or you’re able to walk. As long as you can get up and be disciplined enough to complete some sort of physical activity, I think you're an athlete, and I think being an athlete is one of the more unique experiences that you can get as a human being because it teaches you so much, not only within the sport, but outside of it. The intangibles that you get, the dedication, the mental fortitude, the discipline, and the time management, those are things that you can't really replicate in certain situations in life like you can in sports."
Watch Bre'Ana's Interview
Creative Direction: Nia Symone / Tyrone McClendon
Director of Photography: Scoot Took It
GFX & Video Edits by: Ethan Garner
Story Written by: Malik Brown