On Stony Brook University’s East Campus, senior forward Brittany Snow’s focus is away from basketball. The pre-medical psychology major has worked in the institution’s hospital for the past year and a half, focusing on her career and attempting to manage two completely different worlds.
The crowded hospital, with patients surrounded by men and women in white coats rushing through the halls, is what she is used to. It is her passion, one that can be seen as she helps people, doing what she loves.
“Whether it is calling patients on the phone, doing tests with them, reading EEGs, cleaning them, searching things about strokes and apathy to help out,” Snow said. “Just anything and everything.”
But that is not all Snow does at Stony Brook.
The arena and hospital are in no way alike, except for one thing. In both places, Snow excels.
On the court, Snow, a senior, is one of head coach Caroline McCombs’ key leaders. She has been with the Seawolves since 2012, earning several awards as a forward, including being named to the All-America East Third Team last season.
“The one thing for Brittany is she tries to carry the weight of the team on her shoulders,” McCombs said. “I want her to be Brittany Snow and continue to lead by example, continuing to talk and encourage her teammates and everyone around her. She is very cerebral.”
Snow has emerged as a leader on and off the court at Stony Brook. Her willingness to teach teammates has made her a mentor for those she shares the court with.
It was all just a dream a few years ago, though. Originally, the institution was not even on her radar. The Shamong, New Jersey native had other plans.
She considered Sacred Heart, Iona, Colgate and Cornell, among others. However, her heart settled on Stony Brook following a single visit to the campus.
“I actually was never going to go to Stony Brook,” Snow said. “I came on one visit and I fell in love with everything about Stony Brook. I came here and I loved everything about it. Their athletic program was just getting better every single year, academics were amazing and they had a hospital, which was really important to me because I wanted to do pre-med. The coaches said to me that it was going to be hard, but we are going to get better each year. I wanted to be a part of that.”
Since then, she has called the university home, preparing to become either a neurologist or an orthopedic surgeon.
“I do research over at the hospital in the CUPID Lab,” Snow said. “I work with a doctor in neurology, and I have worked with him for about a year and a half now. Every little project he has, I do something with it.”
While she enjoys her academic work, Snow has to find the happy medium between success in her studies and excelling on the basketball court.
“It is hard, not going to lie,” Snow said. “We have great academic advisors here and great academic programs, so they really set you up on the right track.”
Over the past two seasons, Snow has been a top-20 rebounder in the America East. In her sophomore season, she ranked 18th in the conference with 9.8 rebounds per game. She improved her ranking to 11th in her junior year, averaging 6.2 boards a game.
As Snow has grown on the court, the Seawolves have built around her. The women’s basketball team finished third in the America East last year, ending the year at 17-14, a decrease from 24 wins during the 2013-2014 season.
Snow hopes to lead the Seawolves in the America East this year with redshirt senior guard Miranda Jenkins by her side. The two are entering their fourth season together, and they have developed chemistry over the years.
“She is the hardest worker that I have ever played in my life,” Jenkins said. “I’ve played for 17 years now, and she is by far the hardest worker that I have seen. She does the littlest things that you don’t get recognized for; That’s just talking, diving and always having our teammate’s backs with what we do. I’ve never seen her take a day off of practice. She could be injured and would still play.”
As Snow continues to develop entering her senior year on the team, the focus will have to switch off the court.
Following graduation, she will be taking a gap year. However, she hopes to eventually enter Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine. She has come a long way with the Long Island school.
Snow has been a large part of Stony Brook in more ways than one, and now the senior has one last chance to lead her basketball team to a conference title.
“I think the most pressure is because I want to do this for my teammates,” Snow said. “I have a good amount of pressure. But at the same time, we have handled it for the past four years and I think we can handle it.”