Amauri Browning: Continuing to the Next Level


Photo credit to: Jessica Kaiser, Peyton Stoike

Shelbee Burke, Co-Editor-in-Chief

AHS Senior Amauri Browning recently signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at Highland Community College in Kansas. Getting to play at the collegiate level is a huge accomplishment that not many high school athletes achieve. Browning has worked extremely hard in volleyball, and in every other aspect of her life, to be able to get to this point.

Before committing to Highland Community College, Browning also was recruited by and visited Doane, Southeast Community College, Hastings and Morningside. She explained that she chose Highland because “Their program is really good and their facility is really nice.” She also remarked that she wanted to move farther away from Alliance. The Highland Scotties have one of the best NJCAA DII programs in the nation, and are ranked in the top 10.

In her time playing for Alliance High School, Browning earned many awards for volleyball. She broke the school record for digs in a season with 517 digs. She also earned Western Conference All Conference honors and was the AHS volleyball Varsity MVP, among other state and region awards. Browning earned a varsity letter all four years of high school and has been starting varsity since her sophomore year.

The position Browning will be playing at Highland will most likely be libero. Browning was one of the top defensive players for the AHS bulldogs, and she played as an outside hitter all four years of high school. She said, “I have always been so used to playing all the way around and I don’t really know how the libero works.” She remarked that it will be a tough transition for her to make, but with her knowledge of the game, she should be able to pick up on it quickly.

Volleyball has always been a huge part of Browning’s life and she has been playing since she was four years old. But she is connected to her sport in a different way than most athletes are- her mom has been her coach for the past four years. The dynamic of having a parent as a coach can be extremely difficult for athletes. Browning explained, “It was rough at first between us. We are too similar and it is hard to separate mom and coach.” But having her mom as a coach has not been all negative. She remarked, “volleyball has brought us closer for sure. We bond with it so well and it has honestly been so good for us.” To the surprise of many people, having her mom as a coach has put her at a disadvantage because she has had to work much harder than most people.

Hits from the opposing team were not the only thing Browning has had to block. Having her mom as coach resulted in a lot of backlash from other players and their families. Many people assumed Browning did not work hard to earn her position, which was not the case. The negative response was hard for her for a while. She remarked, “That was something me and my mom talked about a lot and it was a big deal for a while.” She continued explaining, “I used it to motivate me and I just tried to block it out as much as I could.”

Browning has been a Varsity starter since her sophomore year. This was a well deserved position for her, but not everyone saw it that way. Some people believed that she was handed this starting spot without having to work for it because of her mom, but this was not true. Browning put in hours of work to earn this spot, and she knew that, but the backlash was still hard for her to face. She noted, “It was really hard for me because of the whole ‘mom’ thing. I just tried to not let that get to me as much, but I was also getting left out of certain things.” She continued explaining, “But I used that to motivate me into earning the position for the next two years after.”

Volleyball has taught Browning many things over the years, but one of the more notable qualities it has helped her with is being a better teammate. She explained, “You can’t get along with everyone, you’re not going to be best friends with everyone, but keeping a stable friendship with people is always good. You are going to have to have some sort of friendship in order to be teammates.” Browning was able to be a leader and set a good example on and off the court for her teammates, and she will continue to do so at the next level of playing.

As of right now, Browning explained she plans to transfer after her two years as a Highland Scottie and play at a Division II school. Wherever she goes, she will be a positive influence for volleyball players, and she will be remembered at Alliance High School as one of the best defensive players. The Spud wishes her the best of luck with her future endeavors!