Deichmann provides spark off bench for Mavs
Sharaya Selsor is a high-energy player for the Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball team.
Bruna Deichmann is high-energy squared, maybe to the nth degree.
“She’s such a great energy off the bench,” Selsor said recently. “She’s the sixth man of the year, most definitely. I would vote for her right now.
“She doesn’t just match the energy, she picks it up.”
Deichmann, a 5-foot-9 senior guard from Balneario-Camboriu, Brazil, transferred to CMU from the University of Alaska-Anchorage, despite reaching the NCAA Division II Elite Eight last year as a part-time starter for the Seawolves.
She spent her first two years at the College of Eastern Utah, so she’d gotten accustomed to snow and winter weather.
Reality check: It’s cold in Alaska. Really, really cold.
“I thought it would be an adventure to go, but I ended up not really liking it, even though we were very successful basketball-wise,” she said. “I wasn’t happy living there. It’s a little too different from Brazil.”
After high school, Deichmann knew she wanted to attend college in the U.S. and play basketball.
“I really wanted to learn English,” the psychology major said. “It’s not really taught in Brazil, like Spanish here.”
Deichmann speaks excellent English, with a hint of her Brazilian accent.
With her long, dark hair whipping behind her as she races up and down the floor, she’s determined to provide that spark the Mavericks need to win a championship in her final year of college basketball. If that means the senior needs to come off the bench, that’s a role she’s willing to play.
“You cannot start six players, so that is not a problem,” said Deichmann, who averages 23 minutes a game off the bench.
She fit in from Day 1, crediting her new teammates for making her feel welcome. That wasn’t hard for the Mavs, who are a close-knit group. It was even easier once they saw Deichmann play.
“I love guarding her in practice because that’s the best practice I can get every day. She has counter after counter after counter,” Sharaya Selsor said.
“She’s awesome,” senior forward Kelsey Sigl said. “She is what we need. She is that high energy coming off the bench that brings a completely different dynamic to our team.”
Deichmann is hard-nosed on both ends of the floor, is a solid ballhandler and has a hummingbird-quick first step. Plus, she can change directions on a dime to avoid defenders and create her own shot.
“I need to take advantage of my quickness, so that’s the best way I’ve found, to just take people to the basket,” she said.
That philosophy has helped her average 11.2 points a game, one of four players averaging double figures, for No. 25 CMU (6-0, 2-0 RMAC). The Mavericks play Western New Mexico (1-5, 0-2) at 5:30 p.m. Friday and N.M. Highlands (2-4, 2-0) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Brownson Arena.
“She’s someone that could start for us, but you want your sixth man to be able to come in and be able to have that energy,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said after her 15-point performance against Mid-America Christian two weeks ago, despite playing with strep throat.
Deichmann also pulls down 5.7 rebounds a game, has 14 assists and four steals through six games.
Not only does she bring her energetic game, but national-tournament experience to CMU, a program that has only one regional appearance, in 2002.
“I always tell them how hard we have to work in practice every day,” she said. “That’s what happened to (Alaska-Anchorage after winning the West Region). We were working hard, working hard and we got to the Elite Eight and got outworked by the other team.
“I tell them we are 6-0 but we haven’t accomplished anything.”
Deichmann, who is always chattering on the floor, laughs when talking about her high-octane brand of basketball.
“People think I’m a little crazy, but it’s fun to watch because I’m all over people,” she said. “Some coaches want me to sometimes slow down on offense because I’m so wired all the time, but it has been part of my game. I think it brings something different to the game.”
That something different is a sixth starter.
“I feel like with subs, you cannot bring the game down,” Deichmann said. “If they sub you and the game starts going the wrong way, the wrong direction, you’re not doing your job.
“You have to be prepared to change the game.”