8 Things to Know About Cameron Brink After Her WNBA Debut

As the much-talked-about NCAA women’s basketball class of 2024 transitions from college life to the WNBA, there’s plenty of anticipation to see how they perform on the big stage. One player with hundreds of thousands of eyes on her is Cameron Brink, the second overall pick in the draft.

The former Stanford standout debuted as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks during the start of the regular season earlier this week. To see how she got to the big leagues, read on for some important intel on how Brink forged her path to the WNBA.

1. Brink comes from a basketball family.

Brink was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and her family moved to Amsterdam for three years when she was a kid for her parents’ jobs. They both worked at Nike—her mom in product management (where she worked on Hall of Famer turned coach Dawn Staley’s signature shoe) and her dad in supply chain management. The family then settled in Beaverton, Oregon, home of Nike’s headquarters.

Brink’s parents met while playing Division I basketball at Virginia Tech. Greg Brink and Michelle Bain-Brink bequeathed serious on-the-court skills to their daughter (Michelle was a member of the school’s 1,000-point club) along with some helpful height: Her dad is six feet eight and her mom six feet three, which allowed Cameron to reach six feet four.

As a young kid, though, Brink resisted the sport world. “I always wanted to be the black sheep. I was like, ‘I like art, I’m a girly girl,’ I never really wanted to associate myself with basketball until sixth grade,” she said in an interview with The Strong Girls Podcast. That’s when she attended a Stanford summer basketball camp and “started to take it seriously.”

2. She racked up impressive sports stats in high school.

Brink entered Southridge High School with her eyes on both basketball and volleyball and soon cemented herself as a force in both sports. As a sophomore on the varsity volleyball team, Brink was ranked 16th in the state and number one in her league for total blocks.

Then, of course, there was the basketball court. At Southridge, Brink led her team to three state championship games, which they won in 2017 and 2018. As a junior, she averaged 21.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. During her time at Southridge, she earned some big state honors, like the Gatorade Oregon Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019 and the USA Today Oregon Player of the Year in 2019.

3. In order to preserve her mental health, Brink transferred schools.

While Brink was thriving on both the volleyball and basketball courts, her day-to-day was fraught. Her classmates threw eggs and toilet paper at Brink’s house, and she dealt with a good deal of body shaming, according to Just Women’s Sports.

“I wouldn’t even say I was being bullied,” Brink told Just Women’s Sports. “Because bullying gives them too much power.” According to her mom, Brink’s family noticed “the joy of the game being sucked away.”

Brink decided to make a change for the sake of her mental well-being. “I just decided to remove myself. I knew I deserved better, so I left. And I’m happy I did,” she said.

Before senior year, Brink transferred to a recently opened school called Mountainside High. The fresh start suited her socially and on the court. Brink averaged 19.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game as a senior, and was named to the McDonald’s and Jordan Brand Classic All-American teams in 2020.

4. She was recruited by Stanford, where she became a defensive standout.

Talk about a full-circle moment: Stanford, the school which sparked her love for basketball as a middle schooler, made Brink her first-ever scholarship offer. Brink was already laser-focused on Stanford, so it was a natural fit to join the team under coach Tara VanDerveer.

During Brink’s freshman season, the team won all 20 games she started. They also clinched their first NCAA championship since 1992, eking out the victory by one point. Brink contributed 10 of the team’s 54 points in that game and led in blocks.

During her first three years of college, Brink set—then reset—the school record for single-season blocks, finishing with 118 as a junior, ranking number two in the country. As a sophomore and junior, she led the team in points, rebounds, and blocks.

Brink helped her team become Pac-12 regular season champions for four consecutive seasons and win the Pac-12 tournament in 2021 and 2022. In 2024, Brink finished her collegiate career with the most blocks in Stanford history with 424—a stat that helped her win the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

5. Steph Curry doles out some handy training advice.

Brink has a secret weapon that’s come in handy during her journey to the WNBA: Her godbrother is one of the NBA’s top shooters, Stephen Curry. Their dads played basketball together in college, and their moms were college roommates. The families remain close friends, and the Currys are Brink’s godparents.

At a press conference before Brink’s first NCAA tournament, Curry told reporters that he and his dad “spent a little bit of time with her [and] gave her some pointers” to develop her jump shot. He added that she’s “off and running” now and “it’s been awesome to watch” her develop as a player.

So when it came time for the 2024 WNBA draft, it’s no surprise that Brink reached out to him to share the moment. She Facetimed Curry minutes before it kicked off and later told reporters that her godbrother reminded her to “have fun with it.”

6. Over a million people follow her on social media.

Brink’s athletic dominance, fashion sense—she was recently featured in a Skims campaign alongside other WNBA players—and openness on social media made her a must-follow: She’s racked up nearly 800,000 on Instagram and over 300,000 on TikTok.

So it’s only fitting that Brink has benefited from the NCAA’s 2019 Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) ruling, which allows student athletes to make money from brand deals. According to On3, she’s made close to $300,000 through NIL partnerships (with brands like Estée Lauder and Sprouts) this year through April 16, which makes her the 10th highest-paid women’s basketball player in the NCAA.

7. Brink made history with a New Balance sponsorship.

Despite growing up in the Nike zip code and self-describing herself as a “Nike kid” thanks to her parents’ jobs, Brink accepted a sponsorship contract with New Balance in August 2023. According to a statement from the brand, she’s New Balance’s first sponsored female basketball player.

When asked about the sponsorship during a press conference after the draft, Brink assured reporters that she’s “converted” to New Balance, calling it “a phenomenal brand through and through.”

8. Which all leads up to: She was drafted to the Los Angeles Sparks.

During the WNBA draft on April 15, Brink was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks as the second overall pick in the first round behind Caitlin Clark.

Sparks owner and NBA legend Magic Johnson said he looks forward to adding Brink’s defensive skills and “high basketball IQ” to the team. He considers her an especially valuable pick since “she’s led the nation for the last two years in block shots and…she can shoot from the three-point line.”

For her part, Brink is thrilled to stay on the West Coast near friends and family. When asked about the legacy she wants to leave, she told reporters she wants to “continue growing the sport” and to honor the legendary players who came before her.


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