The Brooklyn College women’s basketball team has enjoyed an unprecedented run of success recently, a big part of which can be attributed to the 2022–23 CUNYAC Player of the Year, Gianna Gotti. This season, the graduating senior guard finished as the 10th leading scorer in the nation, averaging 21.8 points per game. She also ranked first in steals with an astounding 151 takeaways (5.57 per game). The transfer student, who is majoring in communications, also broke the 1,000-point mark for her college career, while winning CUNYAC Tournament Most Valuable Player for 2022-23 and other conference honors throughout her career. Along with fellow senior standouts Nancy Pham, Dasha Goodman, sisters Sarah and Ericka James, and multiple CUNYAC Coach of the Year winner Alex Lang, Gotti helped lead the Bulldogs to their third straight CUNYAC title and the fourth title in five seasons. Last year, the team reached its peak when it won the college’s first NCAA D-III game, defeating Emmanuel College (Massachusetts) in the first round, 70-57. And while the Bulldogs fell to the top-ranked powerhouse Christopher Newport University Captains on their home court in the first round this season, Gotti’s impact was ever present, as she ended her storied career with a game-high 16 points and three steals. We asked Gotti about her time on the team and in the classroom at Brooklyn College and what might come next. You have to take a lot of pride in dominating CUNYAC over the past few years. What are the challenges associated with maintaining that level of success in conference play against familiar opponents? There are definitely many challenges that come along with playing in the same conference for a few years. Teams and coaches learn your game, so I felt like when I came back for my senior year, it was important for me to elevate my game in the off season as much as possible. Despite the tough loss in the first round of the NCAA D-III Tournament this year against Christopher Newport University, what are your takeaways from having played in two NCAA Division-III Tournaments? I learned the importance of perseverance. Both times we entered the NCAA Tournament as the underdogs, this time against the number-one team in the nation. My team and I also faced adversity as we all got a stomach bug on the bus ride up. I saw so much heart that weekend; most people would have crumbled. We showed up and made no excuses. Our backs were against the wall and everything that could have gone wrong did, but we stood together and did it for each other. You have played with some great players, including Chanel Jemmott and the James sisters. What did you learn from them? If you pay attention close enough, there’s always something you can learn from people. All three of them possess toughness. They’re not going to let you push them around, and they refuse to back down from anyone. That’s something I really respect. Coach Alex Lang has won multiple CUNYAC Coach of the Year honors. What lessons did he teach you? Coach Lang has taught me numerous lessons about life and basketball, one of the most important ones being to never get too high and never get too low. Coach has mastered the art of staying calm. There’s going to be points in games and in life where things get out of your control. Coach has taught me to control the things I can control and to focus on the present. That is definitely something that I’ll take with me going forward. What are your best overall memories with the team? My best memories with my team were winning two championships and going to the NCAA tournament. They became my family and people who I will keep in contact with for the rest of my life. You transferred from the University of Bridgeport. What made you choose Brooklyn College? My first two years at Bridgeport weren’t the best experience for me mentally. I felt it was important to put myself in a family environment in the next school that I picked. When Coach Lang reached out to me, it was a familiar face because I knew of him in high school. When I committed here, it was really just a gut feeling to do so. I didn’t even visit the school to see if I liked it. I questioned my decision to my mom, and she was the one who told me that everything happens for a reason, and I was brought to Brooklyn for a purpose. Fast forward to now—I talk about it with my mom and we both agree it was the best decision I have ever made. It helped me grow not only as a player but as a person. What are you majoring in and what are your plans after graduating? My major is communications, and I am graduating in May. About halfway through my major I decided that I was going to apply to law school.