Brynna Maxwell
Gig Harbor High School & Gonzaga University
Gig Harbor’s Brynna Maxwell has had a dream career in high school and college basketball. And the dream isn’t over.
Now a graduate student at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Brynna has helped her team this season to a 26-3 record (16-1 West Coast Conference), a rank of No. 18 in the nation in a recent poll and an almost-certain bid to the 2023 women’s NCAA Tournament. 
It seems so recent that she and her Gig Harbor High School teammates were taking the South Sound Conference by storm. The Tides, with Brynna averaging a state tournament record 27.7 points a game, won the 2018 state 3A championship. Brynna, then a junior, was named the state 3A player of the year.
While in high school, Brynna built a resume that included three All-State honors, three Tacoma News Tribune all-area honors, TNT player of the year in 2019, Washington Ms. Basketball in 2019 and MVP of the 2019 All-State game between the 4A girls and the 3A girls, when she scored 26 points, largely on 6-for-6 shooting from 3-point range.
All of that made her a 4-star recruit coming out of high school, and she accepted an offer from the University of Utah. She earned a degree in communications in three years while playing Pac-12 basketball for the Utes. She will probably play in her second NCAA Tournament this spring, after she helped Utah into the second round in 2022. 
By completing her degree at Utah in only three years, Brynna was eligible to transfer for her fourth year of college and college basketball. She chose Gonzaga, which was her second choice when she finished high school. 
She left Utah with a raft of honors: Pac-12 all-freshman team, two more all-Pac-12 selections, more than 1,000 career points for the Utes, the school single-season free-throw percentage record (94.3 percent) and No. 5 on the Utah career 3-pointers list.
And it’s not over for Brynna. She has the opportunity to play a fifth year of college basketball in 2023-24, as a result of the 2020 COVID interruption. Her father, Steve Maxwell, says she may well do that while continuing her graduate studies in organizational leadership.
She recently won all-academic honors for her work at Gonzaga while playing for the women Bulldogs.
Though this is an annual award from TAC to Brynna, it’s fair to note the career records she established at Gig Harbor High: She holds the record  for career scoring for the Tides (1,968 in 2018-19), most points in a season (671, also 2018-19) and most in a game (48 in a district playoff game), along with most total field goals, 3-pointers, free throws and steals.
This season at Gonzaga, Brynna is leading the West Coast Conference in 3-point shooting accuracy with a mark of .513. She has started 25 of 29 games and is playing an average of 29.3 minutes per game. She scores an average of 14.1 points and corrals 3.9 rebounds a game. She had a team-high 5 steals in a November contest against Marquette.
Brynna’s dad says his daughter didn’t need to be led to basketball. She had a toy hoop from the time she was a preschooler, and she started playing organized games in early grade school with Upward Basketball, a faith-based organization. Her skill and interest in playing the sport only grew.
2023 Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients