A Final Thank You

Elkhorn North's Britt Prince ended her high school basketball career on Saturday. Now, a 'thank you' for being a hero to many.

A FINAL TIME: Britt Prince (center) with her senior classmates at Elkhorn North. From left: Halle Pribnow, Reese Booth, Sydney Stodden and McKenna Murphy. (Harvest Sports / Andrew Placke)

Dear Britt: 

My mom is a big believer in thank you notes. (Ella’s mom, too.)

So, as I start these words, I am not sure where this will go. But I wanted to say, it was a pleasure to watch you; your team.

You rode off into the state basketball tournament sunset on Saturday with 17 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks. Stuffing the stat sheet as you had for the previous three tournaments. Elkhorn North 49, Omaha Skutt 47.

One more big trophy. One more gold medal. 

It was your 101st game – your 96th win. Your fourth state championship. Yes, other Class B dynasties have done this, too, sure. An old guy like me can tell you about South Sioux City and Seward. I can tell you about Darcy Stracke, too. The only school girl on the Nebraska prep scoring list you couldn’t catch. 

And, sure we’ll see you again here soon enough too. As women’s basketball continues to grow, our state will see you as an ambassador for women’s sports. You living out your dream in Husker red. 

I am sure 1,000 dads – maybe more (probably less) – will read this and could share a story on how you impacted their child, too. This 2024 tournament’s freshman — sixth graders when you started this haul — that played against you and watched you at state probably have dreams of impacting others just like you impacted them. 

That’s way more important than all those trophies and medals you brought home to Elkhorn North High School. I hope you’ll always know that.

THE CHAMPION: Britt Prince attacks the basket in the second half of the Class B championship game. She ended her career as the second all-time leading scorer in Nebraska prep history. (Harvest Sports / Andrew Placke)

This note should serve, mostly, as a thank you. From mom and dad, from our Ella. We sure hope Saturday wasn’t the last picture we get of you two together. You’ll never know the stress you put her through during that final game; she kicked me out of my seat to change your luck in the third quarter. I guess it worked.

So I left and found a new place to watch you come back. To sign off. To make us both smile at the joy you play with one last time. And, then, I returned to get Ella so she could smile that huge smile with you.

She had a dream last year that maybe she’d get to play varsity basketball this year if she worked hard. When that went away with her knee injury in June we had many hard days. Your words – and the words of many others she’s looked up to – helped her more than you’ll ever know.

You replied to my simple pick-me-up request. 

July 5, 2023: I’m so sorry, that is not good news. I will definitely give her a text and tell her to keep her head up.

And you did. And she did, too.

I never asked her to see that message. I am not sure I even want to see it. That she got it and she needed it was all that mattered. Back then. And now.

There are days as a dad you rarely forget. Special moments you have with your kids. Ask your mom. They have come many places for me, Britt. You’ll chuckle.

At a Harry Styles concert in Denver. Watching Sydney McLaughlin run at Hayward Field in Oregon. Just to name a few. 

And, well, they also came on some special Saturday’s in March. In a back hallway at Pinnacle Bank Arena. When you never had to do the things you did. 

“Ella! Let’s have our picture.”

Yeah, let’s have our picture. One last time.

The only other thing to say is easy.

Thanks, Britt.

For being you. For making dreamers. And, for taking the pictures. Not just with Ella, but with all the girls who look up to you.

It was a pleasure to be in your time.

ELLA AND BRITT: Round four after Elkhorn North won their fourth straight Class B state championship on Saturday afternoon. (Harvest Sports / Tony Chapman)