SIDNEY — The contact from recruiters stopped after Lexee Brewer suffered a season-ending knee injury in December of 2021. Thoughts of not being able to play in college crept into her mind after.
But Brewer battled back onto the playing court for Sidney this season, and she took a last step toward her dream of playing collegiately when she signed with Ohio Northern University for womens basketball in a ceremony on Wednesday at Sidney High School’s library.
“It means a lot,” Brewer said shortly after posing for a round of photos with family, teammates and friends. “After everything I’ve been through, all my injuries and stuff, I’m glad I’ve got the opportunity to play at the next level.”
Brewer was a four-year starting point guard for the Yellow Jackets. She was a second team all-Miami Valley League selection as a freshman and first team selection as a sophomore. She was averaging 10 points, 6.8 steals, 4.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds in the first five games of her junior season before tearing the ACL in her right leg in a game at Stebbins.
Rehabilitation proved tough. She tore a meniscus and required additional surgery, and the lengthy rehab process wiped out her senior soccer season.
“It was rough after my first injury,” Brewer said. “It was going smoothly before then, and when I got injured, a lot of it just went away. But after the start of this year, some started coming back. I visited a couple different schools, and I just fell in love with ONU.”
Ohio Northern, which is located in Ada, is a Division III program and competes in the Ohio Athletic Conference. The Polar Bears finished 25-5 this season, won the OAC and advanced to the third round of the NCAA D-III tournament.
“I just fell in love with ONU,” Brewer said. “I loved the community, how together everyone is and the support they give their athletics and the school in general. I really loved the coaches. That was a big thing. I felt like they invested a lot into the program and the players.”
Brewer, who was also a soccer and track and field standout, averaged 4.5 points and 3.3 steals and assists per game this season. She leaves Sidney’s program as the only player with at least 300 of each steals, assists and rebounds in a career and at least 500 career points.
She, along with best friend Allie Stockton, led a resurgence in the program over the last four years.
Sidney won two games between 2017 and 2019. But Stockton and Brewer led their middle school squads to a combined 27-3 record in those two years, and they and new coach Jamal Foster helped lead a resurgence in the varsity program starting with the 2019-20 season.
Sidney has won at least 15 games each of the last four years. The Yellow Jackets won MVL Valley Division titles in 2020 and 2021 and won the overall MVL title each of the last two years. They also advanced to district semifinals both seasons.
“I think what I’ll remember the most is how we turned the program around,” Brewer said. “I think we changed the dynamic of Sidney girls basketball and made (the program be) looked at differently, with wins, instead of the other way around.”
Brewer was a first team all-MVL girls soccer selection in 2021. She was also a standout sprinter; she earned a regional berth in the 400-meter dash as a sophomore.
Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.