Cameron Brink Wants WNBA Vets to Get The Respect They Deserve

Cameron Brink sat down with Complex to discuss her transition into the WNBA from college, playing against some of the best players in the league, and being apart of a potentially legendary rookie class.

Basketball player smiles on the court, wearing a Los Angeles jersey with number 22
Adam Pantozzi / NBAE via Getty Images
Basketball player smiles on the court, wearing a Los Angeles jersey with number 22

In the middle of the MLB season, NBA playoffs, and NHL playoffs, the WNBA has arguably been the North American professional sport that has garnered the most attention and grabbed the most headlines currently.

With all-time great players at their apex currently such as A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart, and a game-changing rookie class featuring the likes of Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson, there have been no shortage of storylines and players to follow as the WNBA continues its meteoric upward trajectory. And Brink, a rookie of the Los Angeles Sparks and second overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, feels all of the positive momentum everyday.

“Yeah, it really does feel like history,” Brink tells Complex. "I do feel like when I step away from it I’ll see the bigger picture and the impact that my class is making."

But even with her rookie class garnering so much attention, she wants it to be known that the vets are the ones who have laid the foundation for their success and rise.

Basketball players competing during a game: Dana Evans of the Chicago Sky (left) and Katie Lou Samuelson of the Los Angeles Sparks (right)

“I think people need to wake up to the fact that there are a lot of veterans and women that are putting in work for us to be where we are today," Brink says.

The Sparks rookie sensation sat down with Complex to discuss her transition into the WNBA from college, playing against some of the best players in the league, and being apart of a potentially legendary rookie class.

This interview has been condensed for clarity.

For the readers out there who might not know, can you explain your new partnership with Mattress Firm?
So, I am a founding member of Team Sleep Well. I am amplifying the importance of proper rest and recovery for athletes. Team Sleep Well is connecting the top athletes with sleep experts, and the season is really long and I’m coming right off of my college season into the WNBA and also potentially three-on-three basketball with Team USA this summer. So I’m just trying to optimize my rest the best that I can.

Speaking of the quick turnaround from the college season to the WNBA, can you speak to what that transition has been like for you? Essentially jumping right into your WNBA season as soon as your college season ended.
This is all part of the process and how the W is built. We get to play in the summer while they play in the fall and winter but as rookies we have to come right in from our college seasons, and even this year is an Olympic year. So, hopefully if I’m one of the people going to the Olympics, we go straight from college to the WNBA to the Olympics and back to the WNBA to finish the season. 

So I think the biggest adjustment is behaving like a professional, treating your body like it’s your moneymaker, a machine that you can optimize and make sure that you’re not feeling like crap going into the next game. It’s a delicate balance but it’s doable.

Lauren Cox smiles while wearing her Los Angeles basketball uniform with the number 22 on the court during a game

With all of that basketball being played, have you hit a wall already or believe that you are going to hit one? And if so, how do you best prepare for it and push through?
If we are being honest, that’s just a realistic expectation. Everyone plateau’s, hits a speed bump, and I’ve definitely hit mini-ones so far. There have definitely been days where there are tears and hardships because it’s such an adjustment. But I think that’s mainly because I care, and even on my hard days I want to make an impact and put forth my best effort. So there will be days that are harder than others where I will hit a wall harder than others, but continuing to surround myself with the right people.

My teammates have been great. The coaching staff has been supportive. And just knowing at the end of the day it’s just a game and it’s not the end of the world.

Your rookie class has garnered a lot of attention and has added to the upswing that the WNBA has been on for the last few years. How does it feel to be apart of this moment and can you feel the energy in real time that surrounds the league?
Yeah, it really does feel like history. I do feel like when I step away from it I’ll see the bigger picture and the impact that my class is making. But what I appreciate is the fact that people are becoming more privy to these great veterans that we have in the league. Like, obviously Caitlin [Clark] is doing really well, I don’t care what anyone says, she is doing well. Angel [Reese] is doing well, Alissa Pili had a huge game the other night. Kate Martin is doing her thing with the Aces, so I'm really proud of all of us. 

But at the end of the day, I think people need to wake up to the fact that there are a lot of veterans and women that are putting in work for us to be where we are today.

Speaking of veterans, you recently spoke on how Tina Charles handed it to you earlier this season. Is there anybody else that you have played so far that you watched growing up and realized “wow, there is really levels to this?”
Definitely A’ja Wilson. She is unstoppable. Diana Taurasi for sure. She went off for like 31 points the other night against us and was cracking jokes and giving the refs hell the whole time. I just respect the hell out of her. We play Breanna Stewart and the Liberty coming up, and it’s so many amazing players. It’s just been inspiring, and I have a lot of admiration for them.

Have you caught yourself being a fan on the court when facing any of these stars that you might have watched growing up? Or have you not allowed yourself to be caught up in the moment and just go out there and hoop?
I think with hoopers, you always show respect where it’s due. Before the game we give hugs and props and dap somebody up. But then once the jump ball goes up, which I am going to win, it’s game on. So it’s jus the spirit of competition for sure.

Olivia Dunne, wearing a cropped tank top, light button-down shirt, and black skirt, poses with a smile backstage at a sports event

Pivoting from basketball to your pregame outfits. They have been going viral before every game and you are becoming one of the tunnel superstars early in this WNBA season. Is fashion something you are passionate about and would want to explore more outside of basketball?
Fashion and modeling are for sure one of my many passions outside of basketball. I’ve been this way since I was little, I would always beg my mom to let me wear skirts and a shirt out of the house even when it was 30 degrees outside. So I’m just staying true to myself and I’m happy to see people giving me love for it and I really appreciate that.


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