Evansville natives represent hometown at USI

Pat Hickey

USI basketball players Evan Brinkmeyer and Anna Hackert consider it a luxury playing for Eagles. After all, they are the only two Evansville natives who suit up for one of their hometown’s college basketball teams.

Brinkmeyer, who redshirted last season, grew up near campus and says the proximity of USI to his house made the decision of where to play easy after graduating from nearby Reitz.

“I’ve grown up on the west side, two minutes from the university, so it’s awesome being able to play here in front of my friends and family,” Brinkmeyer said. “I’m real close to my family and friends.”


While Brinkmeyer grew up on the west side of Evansville, close to campus, Hackert was playing on the other side of town, winning a 3A State Championship under head coach Bruce Dockery at Memorial while going 28-1 and averaging double figures in scoring as a senior.

Dockery credits Hackert’s work ethic as being the reason why she was successful and eventually ended up playing for her hometown team.

“Anna truly loves the game and is a winner, which pushes her to work hard,” said Dockery. “Her work ethic not only pushes others to work hard, but she held everyone accountable.”

Last season, Hackert quickly made an impact as a freshman, averaging 10 points a game along with being among the top five in the GLVC in two statistical categories, shooting 53 percent. She also grabbed three offensive rebounds per game, which placed her fourth in the conference.

Hackert attributes her high school playing days for a fast start to her career as an Eagle.

“When you’ve been in a winning program, you know how to win and what it takes to win,” said Hackert. 

Although Brinkmeyer didn’t win a state title in high school, he enjoyed his fair share of success playing under head coach Mike Adams. Along with an SIAC Championship, Brinkmeyer averaged 21 points per game as a senior, earning All-Metro honors in the process while scoring a total of 501 points.

“Evan always brought a positive attitude and was a great teammate,” Adams said, “No matter what his role becomes at USI those attributes will serve his team well.”

That single season scoring mark is good enough for second place in Reitz history, only behind former Eagles player Cris Brunson.

Despite growing up on different sides of Evansville, Brinkmeyer and Hackert both share similar reasons why they chose USI and how they plan to utilize lessons they learned in high school basketball while playing at the collegiate level.

“When you are in high school, if you have success, you learn how to win,” Brinkmeyer said. “There is a certain way and once you win, you get used to it and learn to use that same formula as you keep playing.”

Neither player hides their feelings about friends and family being able to watch and follow them all season long. After all, to them, it’s one of the perks of playing in their hometown.

“It’s awesome because you have all these people who you know who want to see you play,” said Hackert. “I know my grandma wouldn’t be able to watch me if I went somewhere else.”