Utah Tech women’s basketball star turns heads before start of season

The image features #20 Breaunna Gillen, a fifth-year senior exercise science major from West Jordan, playing against Seattle University last spring season. Gillen was named as 2023 WAC Preseason Player of the Year and looks forward to showcasing her skills and defending her title for this upcoming season. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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After last year’s performance by Breaunna Gillen, she was named the 2023-2024 Western Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year. 

Gillen, a fifth-year senior exercise science major from West Jordan, has an extensive athletic resume while playing at Utah Tech University with multiple awards and milestones including:

  • 2023-2024 WAC Preseason Player of the Year
  • 2022-2023 First Team all-WAC Selection
  • 2022-2023 CSC Academic All-District Selection
  • Three-time Academic all-WAC Selection (2020-2023)
  • Utah Tech Career Assist Leader (393 Assists)
  • Utah Tech Third All-Time Leading Scorer (1,112 points)

She has also been named in the 25-player preseason watch list for the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year, presented by Her Hoop Stats. 

Gillen was honored to be named WAC Preseason Player of the Year, but all that meant was there was more work to be done. The bar to perform just as well if not better than last year is set, and Gillen said it all comes down to confidence when dealing with the pressure. 

“It’s not worrying about the preseason honor, but it’s worrying about our team goal and what I can do to play within our system to help us get to our team goal and be on top,” Gillen said.

Gillen was the WAC’s second-leading scorer for the 2022-2023 season with 17.8 points per game and led the WAC in assists at 6.45 assists per game. 

Emily Isaacson, a redshirt senior recreation and sports management major from Perry, said no one is more deserving of this title than Gillen. Isaacson said Gillen is a great leader on the court from her hard work and humbleness to her being dependable and pushing her teammates to succeed. 

“One of my favorite memories is when we were at New Mexico State, and she hit the game-winner,” Isaacson said. “Game winners are special, and she had the confidence to go up and take the shot. We call her “old reliable” because she’s reliable, and she was that game.”

Maggie McCord, a fifth-year senior criminal justice major from South Jordan, has been friends with Gillen ever since middle school. McCord said she and Gillen grew up playing on the same club teams, and out on the court is where that friendship grew.

Off the court, Gillen graduated with her bachelor’s degree in exercise science earlier this year and plans to pursue a physician assistant career once she’s done playing college sports.

“She is like a mom to everybody,” McCord said. “She’s always willing to do things for other people. When I think of the nicest person, I think of her. She’s the most dependable person that I’ve ever met.”

Gillen aims to uphold the title of WAC Preseason Player of the Year as she and the Trailblazers prepare for their season opener against the University of La Verne at the Burns Arena Nov. 8.