Brea Elmore Honors Mother Through Play

MEMPHIS, TENN (localmemphis) - Before the Tigers even tipped off against Central Florida last Saturday, Junior guard Brea Elmore already knew the game's outcome.

"I didn't have a doubt in my mind that we were going to lose," she said after the game.

The Tigers came back to beat the Knights by six points. Elmore scored a team-high 22 points. The game was dedicated to her mother.

"I was talking to myself a lot this morning like, mom, this game, this game is for you," she said. "Every time I stepped up to the free-throw line I said this is for you."

At the Tigers' Play 4 Kay game two years ago, Elmore's mother, Dianne, was honored as a breast cancer survivor. She'd battled the disease when Brea was a sophomore in high school.

"She had the biggest smile on her face, being out at center court."

From childhood to college, Dianne loved to watch her daughter play basketball. According to Brea, she only missed one game.  Even when she was going through treatment.

Dianne even traveled with the Tigers to Spain this past summer for their games.

"Those were the last four games she was able to see my play live. Those four games meant a lot."

Her Cancer returned.

Brea was in Nevada over Thanksgiving with the Tigers when she received the call from her father.

"He said the doctors came in and said cancer spread to her brain," said Elmore. Julie, our athletic trainer, was wrapping my knee and I just broke down in tears."

Tigers head coach Melissa McFerrin sent Brea home. She spent two weeks collecting final memories.

"As we were in the hospital room, she called us in there together, and she was like, 'You guys got this.' She gave us a huge hug. I think she just knew."

On December 1, 2016, Brea lost her mother to breast cancer.

In her greatest loss, Brea's gained endless support from her family. But, also from her team.

"The very last phone conversation I had with the family before Brea committed to play for the University of Memphis, her mother said to me, 'Will you take care of my child?' And I said yes," said Coach McFerrin. "I don't think I knew what she meant, but as we progressed in time, I had a very clear understanding."

From the "DE" patches on their pink uniforms to the halftime presentation honoring Dianne, Brea wanted her me to know one thing.

"I love you; this is for you."


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