Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: Bridgette Mitchell Interview

TRENTON -- She grew up on Spring Street in the west end, where you learn to put up your dukes and grow 'tude at an early age whether it's in your designs or not. "Spring Street made me a lot tougher," she said. "It's where my feistiness comes from on the court."

Bridgette Mitchell credited the toughness on the court to Monica Mitchell, her single mom, who also raised William, a footballer. "Toughness was in our family." That hoops toughness was honed on the west end when she played with the boys "around the corner on Wilkinson" -- and then with the boys on the Joyce Kilmer School basketball team because there was no girls team. Meanwhile, she continued to grow into a big, strong girl, so you know Trenton High girls coach Reggie Murray was just waiting for the day she was old enough to start shooting and rebounding and setting devastating picks at Tornado Alley.

Instead, Bridgette went to the Peddie School in Hightstown because Monica Mitchell the single mom didn't want her baby girl to become a Trenton statistic. To Monica, the daughter said, "education is the key. It was the best move for me, especially academically. If I didn't go to Peddie, I wouldn't have ended up at Duke."

Indeed, Bridgette Mitchell was a McDonald's All-American at Peddie -- and a WBCA All-American, and the Gatorade Player of the Year for Jersey. Her grades were terrific, too, so Duke called. West Bubble to Duke. "The academics, they don't play. They don't take any mess." She credited her success at Duke to her growth at Peddie. "The academic curriculum is rigorous, and those kinds of challenges build and breed better people."

Bridgette Mitchell is a professional basketball player. She hasn't stepped foot on a WNBA court yet, though she was close to making squad of the champion Seattle Storm. Head coach and GM Brian Agler told Bridgette that he loved her game and her energy but that the team was going to make a run for another title with its many veterans. She was cut. But she's tough, resilient, and went overseas to play for pay, first in France with Villaneuve d'Ascq, then in Poland with Enegra Torun. Enegra Torun took 3rd place this year -- "which is like first place," she said -- because it guarantees a spot in the European Championships.

These are some of the things Bridgette Mitchell will tell the little girls of Trenton who attend her 3 basketball clinics the next 3 Saturdays at the West Ward Rec Center at 651 Prospect Street. They run from 8 to 10 a.m. Teaching the girls what she was taught is part of her Christian belief system. She came back to Trenton this summer "to inspire and encourage young girls of Trenton to be more." Lessons like that, too, were honed on Spring Street, in the west end of Trenton.

Here are a few photos and the interview with Darren Freedom Green.

Bridgette and Freedom

A pro baller and her pumps

Watching the replay at the KdK