As we get close to this year's Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, the Alumni Spotlight is going to feature our 2019 Belmont Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees. Our next profiles are of women's basketball alumna Brandi Miller Renfroe and men's basketball alum Alex Renfroe.
Miller and Renfroe were two of the top players at Belmont during the first decade of the 2000s. Brandi, who lettered from 2001-05, was a two-time All-Atlantic Sun honoree and who is one of the just two Belmont women's players to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in her career (1314 points and 1005 rebounds). Alex played two seasons at Belmont (2007-09) after transferring from Trevecca. He was Atlantic Sun Player of the Year in 2009 and is one of five men's basketball players to earn All-American honors.
Why did you choose Belmont?
Brandi: I chose Belmont because of their Physical Therapy Program, but the first time my mom met Coach Cross she said "this is the school for you" and that was that!
Alex: I was looking to stay close to home after leaving Trevecca. Belmont offered, which was perfect because they were Division I and I already knew all the guys from high school or playing in open gym over the summer.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
Brandi: My fondest memories while at Belmont all include my teammates and Coach Cross. Coach Cross had so many funny little sayings that we didn't like at the time because the end result would be running of some sort. Over the years we grew to understand and love his personality so much that we up a skit about him/our team, recorded it and still laugh about it today. He was a good sport and laughed too! Only Hollie Davis is capable of a good Tony Cross impersonation. I think she's the reason he found it so funny.
My favorite Coach Cross sayings are:
1)"You don't have ta thank ta run"
2) "Get er done"
3) " Put another quarter in" (he said this if we were practicing poorly. The quarter added more time/fresh start like at a parking meter)
4)"Fry Check" (He would walk by and sample a fry off each persons plate, as if they were all different)
Alex: Playing in the 2008 NCAA Tournament against Duke, although we lost by 1.
Who had the biggest influence on your athletic career at Belmont?
Brandi: My teammates. I was surrounded by a great group of girls that pushed me to be better every day. There was never a dull moment.
Alex: My parents, they were always supportive and pushed me to do better and never settle.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned during your time at Belmont?
Brandi: I learned the true value of a dollar! While in undergrad, I had a basketball scholarship that covered the cost of my tuition, room/board, meals etc. It wasn't until I graduated and put myself through grad school using student loans that I realized just fortunate I was to have had that basketball scholarship to cover the first part of my education. Sallie Mae and I have a love hate relationship.
Alex: I met my wife while was a redshirt junior at Belmont. She's the most valuable "thing" I gained.
What advice would you give to current members of the basketball team?
Brandi: Live in the moment and enjoy every single day. People will tell you this all this time, but in five years you'll look back and understand exactly what they meant.
Alex: Enjoy each day, but don't let that stop you from giving you your all each day at everything you do. You never know what you may need down the road
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Brandi: Dr. Murphree was my favorite professor. That doesn't mean I did the best in his classes, but he made science interesting, which I thought was impossible. Never in a million years did I think I'd be interested in hissing cockroaches
Alex: Nancy Hunt was my favorite professor because she made nutrition fun!!! She was also a basketball fan.
Where do you live now?
We currently live in St. Petersburg, Russia.
What is your occupation?
Brandi: I'm a certified Occupational Therapist. I work as an independent contractor during the summer months because I'm out of the country with Alex each season from August-June. In addition, I became a certified travel agent about a year ago and also own and operate AbstractSoles.com an online boutique women's shoe boutique.
Alex: I am a paoint guard for Zenit in the Russian League and Euro League.
Tell us about your family
Brandi and Alex: We've been married since 2011 and share two wonderful (at times) children. Olivia Rose is 4 years old and Alex Jr is 2 years old.
How did you meet your spouse at Belmont?
Brandi and Alex: We met through mutual friends and bumped into each other several time in the Curb Cafe. It took several months for Alex to work up the nerve to approach me.
What dating advice would you give Belmont student-athletes?
Alex: Don't count anyone out, you never know who may be your spouse down the road.
Brandi: I was in my second year of grad school and Alex was a red shirt junior at Belmont. There is a three year age difference between us, which is pretty significant when you're a 21 year old man and 24 year old woman. When we met, we never imagined in our wildest dreams that we would be married some day. We just really loved being together because we made each other laugh. Here we are 12 years later, married with a two kids.