LOGAN — Playing college basketball was a dream for Utah State senior guard Rachel Brewster.
“It was just an amazing opportunity to go to school and play basketball at the same time and get a scholarship and all that kind of stuff,” Brewster said.
The guard from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, was a bit late in the recruiting process, and after talking to some of her coaches back home in Australia, she found out Utah State was still looking for a player.
USU head coach Jerry Finkbeiner and associate head coach Ben Finkbeiner had already seen Brewster practice after coming and watching another player. The coaches thought Brewster was younger, so they didn’t talk to her or try to recruit her. Her Australian coach then told them she was the right age and was trying to go to college.
“It was my only Division I offer, but I think it was a pretty good place to end up,” Brewster said.
Brewster came in and made an impact right away. She started every game except Senior Night her freshman season and has started all but 10 games in her 122 game career.
“I didn’t really have a typical freshman experience that most people here expect to have,” Brewster said. “I played a lot and had an impact in a few games.”
Brewster was named to the Mountain West all-freshman team after averaging 9.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in her first season. She posted 14 double-digit scoring outings and two double-figure rebounding games that year.
The success continued on for Brewster and she is one of only two players in program history to have recorded 1,200 points and 500 rebounds, while also adding over 200 assists and 150 steals. Brewster holds spots in the top-10 on several USU record lists including fourth in career scoring (1,275), fifth in games played (122), eighth in career rebounds (550) and ninth in career steals (154).
Brewster said she expected those accomplishments for herself and still feels like she could have done more.
“I’ve achieved a lot, but, personally, I think I could have done a lot more than what I did,” Brewster said. “But, then other people from the outside looking in are like, ‘What are you talking about? There’s so many things that you have done.’ So, I just have to look back and be proud of what I have achieved.”
Jerry Finkbeiner said Brewster has been a good player to coach during her time at Utah State.
“She’s a perfectionist, almost to a fault, but I like players like that (who) want to get the best out of what they have and what they bring to the program,” Finkbeiner said.
Despite her many accomplishments on the floor, it’s her accomplishments in the classroom that Brewster is most proud of. During her career, Brewster has earned Mountain West honors in the classroom every year on top of her honors on the floor.
“School is not my thing,” Brewster said, “so being able to make it through four years of college is a huge accomplishment for me. Being able to move over here from Australia and make it four years because a lot of people, they come over and they’re gone after a year. They go back home, so being able to move away from my family and my friends and what’s familiar to me is a really good achievement.”
The 8,484 miles between Melbourne and Logan wasn’t as challenging for Brewster as one may think. Brewster said it’s harder for girls who are close to family where they could visit them, but can’t.
“We just accept how far away we are from home," Brewster said. "We’re just far away, so we’re just used to not being able to go home. You just get used to having your own little home away from home.”
As a sophomore, Brewster earned honorable mention all-Mountain West accolades after starting all 32 games and averaging 13.4 points per game. She scored a career-high 22 points three times that season against Idaho State (Dec. 1, 2016), New Mexico (Jan. 25, 2017) and San José State (Feb. 22, 2017). Brewster recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds at UNLV (Jan. 7, 2017), and scored in double figures 24 times over the course of the season.
During her junior season, Brewster played in all 30 games and started in 28. She was second on the team in scoring with an average of 9.9 points per game, scoring in double figures 16 times. Brewster also averaged 4.2 rebounds after collecting five or more boards 14 times that year.
Brewster is averaging 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in her senior season after scoring in double figures 11 times and grabbing five or more rebounds 12 times. She tied her career-high 22 points in the 81-68 victory over Boise State (Feb. 23) and has scored in double figures in five of the last six outings.
“She’s provided a stable team member to her teammates,” Finkbeiner said. “There’s no surprises with Rachel. She takes care of her own business. She’s an academic. She’s disciplined. She’s a stable, rock-type of identity in our team.”
Before her Aggie career ends, Brewster wants to make it past the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Championships, something she hasn’t done in her career.
“I want to win the tournament,” she said. “That’s the achievement.”
Brewster is grateful for the opportunities playing at Utah State has given her. Some of her favorite memories have been the traveling the team has done, such as going to Mexico her freshman year and going Maui, Hawaii, her junior year.
“There’s still so many places that I haven’t seen,” Brewster said. “Seeing a lot of different places and traveling around with the team are my best memories.”
Brewster has also met some of her best friends at Utah State.
“I’ve met amazing people,” she said. “I have friends from all over the place now which is awesome. I love Logan. It’s a really nice place. I’m going to miss living in Logan a lot, honestly. It’s been really cool.”Comment on this story
Brewster is on track to graduate in May with a degree in exercise science and a minor in psychology. She will then move back to Australia to continue playing basketball and find a job.
Brewster is grateful for her time at Utah State.
“Thanks to everyone that’s been a part of it, everyone that’s been at our games,” she said. “We don’t get a lot of people that come to our games, and the people that are there every single game, they mean a lot to me.”
Brewster’s impact on and off the court will be missed.
“There will be hole when she leaves that will be big shoes to fill,” Finkbeiner said.