Minutes after her jersey rose to the rafters, Brittany Chambers still couldn’t believe it had happened.
“Just so thankful to this city and this school,” she said. “They made all my dreams come true here, and I feel kind of silly that I’m receiving an honor because I just feel so blessed to have been here, to have played on this floor.”
Kansas State retired Chambers’ No. 2 jersey at halftime of Sunday’s 61-54 loss to rival Kansas. She’s the sixth player in program history to earn the honor.
When halftime arrived, the teams left the floor and “Hall of Fame” by The Script played in Bramlage Coliseum. It goes like this:
“Standing in the hall of fame…
And the world’s gonna know your name…
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame…
And the world’s gonna know your name…”
Soon, Chambers stood on the baseline watching a highlights package on the video board that contained some of the best moments of her four-year career in Manhattan.
The former guard said she couldn’t believe she made some of those plays, and joked it’s partially because now she’d be winded after playing five minutes. But she added she’s proud of those plays and what she achieved.
“It’s so weird,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to believe that’s me. I haven’t played in a while. It was everything to me. Playing here was everything to me.”
Chambers, the No. 22 overall selection in the 2013 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, was named an Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention after her senior season with the Wildcats. She finished her career as the third player in program history, and the fourth in Big 12 history, to score at least 2,000 points with 850 rebounds and 350 assists. As a senior, she set the school record for total points in a single season with 778, while her 21 points per game that year tied Kendra Wecker’s 2004-05 campaign for the best single-season scoring average in the Wildcats’ annals. Chambers is the program’s record-holder for 30-point games with six, and holds the school record for minutes played in a career (4,738).
Those are just a few of her school records.
She has 14 to her name.
Chambers said that her advice to incoming freshmen would be this: It goes fast.
“I’m very grateful to the people who pushed me so much, because I don’t have any regrets,” she said. “They pushed me to work as hard as I could every day, and I know that I gave it everything I had here. So I can look back on these memories with nothing but fond memories and happiness.”
After the highlight video, Chambers was introduced to the crowd. She walked out to center court, where she addressed the fans.
She told them how grateful she was, and eventually said that if she had the choice again, she’d choose to attend K-State every time.
“The fans, the people, the opportunity that I had,” she said, “I don’t think at a lot of places, you get to come in as a freshman and put in the time I was able to put in here. I was very lucky. In a time that I think if there had been older and better options, they would have taken them, so I was lucky to have been thrown in the fire and to learn on the go, and I think that propelled my entire career.
“I had so many times that weren’t great. Everyone remembers great moments, but I had lots of games that I was terrible. It was so nice to have people that had unwavering support in you and belief in you. It really kept you going.”
Sometimes in college sports, new head coaches don’t reach out to players who came before their tenure. Chambers, who played for former K-State coach Deb Patterson, said she’s thankful current coach Jeff Mittie welcomes her around the program.
“To kind of have (been) cut out cold turkey, it would have been really hard,” she said.
Since arriving for Sunday’s ceremony, Chambers has eaten at Taco Lucha and gotten drinks at Kite’s Bar & Grill. Her family has explored the campus a bit. When it came time for a reception on Saturday night, Chambers showed off the program’s facilities to her family.
It all led up to Sunday, when K-State made sure Chambers and her accomplishments would never be forgotten.
“I just think with time, you start to appreciate things even more than you did before,” Chambers said. “I was always appreciative, but years later I look at everything we got and the opportunities — people would just die for (those). And I’m just so grateful for it. I think it’s crazy that they’re giving me more because I’ve received so much from them.”