Cameron Brink travels home for Stanford’s Sweet 16 matchup

March 28, 2024, 8:57 p.m.

After the first two rounds of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament concluded, the remaining teams began making plans to Portland and Albany to play in front of neutral crowds. But for a certain player, the Stanford women’s basketball team’s (30-5, 15-3 Pac-12) trip to Portland felt more like a return home.

Senior forward Cameron Brink hails from Beaverton, Ore., just 20 minutes outside of Portland. For Brink, the trip up to Oregon meant that she could spend time with her family and dogs. 

“I think to play my last game in front of family in Portland at home is bittersweet,” said Brink. “But it’s really wonderful. I just love Portland. I feel at home.”

For Brink, the only way to fully capitalize on the opportunity to play in front of her support system is for the Cardinal to advance to the Final Four. In order for that to happen, Stanford will need to get past the NC State Wolfpack (29-6, 13-5 ACC), who have a variety of athletic guards that could give the Cardinal trouble defensively. These include Aziah James and Saniya Rivers, who each average double-digits. 

“I think they’re a really quick team,” said graduate guard Hannah Jump. “Getting back in transition will be huge for us. Just making sure we’re boxing out with people in front of us.” 

But while Stanford might have their hands full with the Wolfpack guards, NC State will be challenged by the one-two punch of Brink and junior forward Kiki Iriafen. 

“I think the thing is that they have a really special bond,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer. “They’re sisters from a different mother. They encourage each other, they support each other.”

According to Iriafen, her relationship with Brink grew after a lunch meeting at Gott’s Roadside in Palo Alto, Calif. 

“It was just her and I,” said Iriafen. “We just talked, not even about basketball, but really getting to know each other. I feel like prior to then we were competitors. Now I get to know Cameron as a person, [and] she gets to know me as a person.”

Iriafen and Brink’s relationship is evident by their social media presence. After the game against Iowa State, Brink and Iriafen created a tik-tok video, which featured VanDerveer dancing. 

“She keeps saying we had to win to learn more dances,” Brink said. “Now we have to hold her to it and do another one. “

“I think if we keep on winning, we’ll have more dances coming,” Iriafen said laughing. “So stay tuned.”

The dynamic duo of Brink and Iriafen will face its most challenging opponent yet in the NCAA tournament against NC State. But whether they win or lose, it’s clear they will always have each other’s back.

Kaushik Sampath is a desk editor for the sports section. He is a sophomore from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who's undecided on his major. You can catch him watching and ranting about his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks or hanging out with friends on campus. Contact him at sports 'at'

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