Sep. 15—ROCHESTER — Vivica Bretton contemplated making a move down south for her college basketball career. She has relatives in South Carolina and Georgia.
Turns out that she is going east instead. Just 50 minutes east, but east nonetheless. The senior Lourdes verbally committed to Division II Winona State University on Thursday.
Bretton, a 5-foot-9 guard/forward known for her superb defense and an ever-growing offensive game, is thrilled with her choice.
“I loved the campus when I visited and I loved the basketball program,” Bretton said. “They recently got a new head coach (Ana Wurtz, a former WSU star player and Warriors coaching assistant), and she is amazing. She is super nice and a great communicator. Plus, when I went there for a workout (Wednesday), I just saw how their players responded to her and how they all worked together, both on defense and offense.”
Bretton, who’s been a member of the Lourdes basketball varsity since her freshman year when she played a key role on an Eagles team that was ranked No. 1 in the state, has been kicking around the idea of college basketball since sixth grade. It was her freshman and sophomore years, though, when she knew for sure that she’d want to play at the next level.
“It was then that I thought, ‘I don’t want my basketball career to be done in four years,’ ” said Bretton, who averaged 10 points on nearly 50% shooting last year. “I didn’t want that countdown to begin.”
Still, she is facing some countdowns. One is to the middle of November, when the Lourdes girls basketball season begins. The other is a countdown to putting on a Winona State uniform for the first time.
Bretton will go into this high school season depended upon once again to be the Eagles’ best defensive player. With the ideal mix of strength and quickness, that has forever been her calling card. But Bretton is also ready to mix in more offense for a team that graduated its best player a year ago, point guard CJ Adamson, who is now playing at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD
Bretton says she has put time into pretty much everything basketball related the last number of months. That definitely includes her offensive game.
“With CJ having graduated, I am going to have to step up as a senior,” Bretton said. “I am going to be counted on for multiple points per game. That’s what I focused on a lot this summer, such as how can I take whoever is guarding me one-on-one to the basket. I feel like this is the year that I’ll really start to do that.”
The WSU women’s basketball teams were just below .500 the past two years but 17-11 in 2019-20.