Brenden Potts: WSU women’s basketball super fan and friend

Brenden witnessed history in Las Vegas, loves Cougs for life



Brenden Potts poses with the Pac-12 Championship trophy March 5, 2023 at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

Sitting in the front row, closest to the Cougars’ bench, is one fan who hardly ever misses a game or a high-five with a player.

Brenden Potts lives a superfan’s dream. He has a front-row seat to each Cougar basketball game he attends, the student-athletes he fervently supports embrace him and he got to celebrate WSU women’s basketball’s Pac-12 Championship on the court with each player.

Brenden is a senior sports management major at WSU from Vancouver and is self-proclaimed and widely recognized as the biggest Cougar superfan.

He became a fan the moment he stepped onto WSU’s Pullman campus. He had previously toured University of Kansas, but toured WSU on the recommendation of his mom.

“I toured WSU about a week later and I instantly fell in love with the environment,” he said.

Since becoming a WSU student in fall 2021, Brenden became the number one fan of WSU women’s basketball, attending nearly every game and always sitting in the same corner front-row seat, behind the basket and closest to the Cougar bench, he said.

Brenden said he was already a huge basketball fan and became particularly fond of women’s basketball during the pandemic when the WNBA was the first professional basketball league to make its return.

He became an avid fan of the Seattle Storm of the WNBA and writes about the team for the professional basketball blog “The Lead.”

When he got to WSU, Brenden knew he wanted to support the college basketball team in Pullman, but was not aware of just how good the team would become, he said.

Brenden sat near the tunnel where the team ran out onto the court and took advantage of his prime seat by giving each player a high-five game after game. At one particular game, Brenden was dishing out his high-fives when one of the players stopped to talk with him.

Krystal Leger-Walker, the team’s starting point guard, made a point to get to know Brenden.

Pretty soon, Brenden was a friend of the team. More players, including Charlisse Leger-Walker, Krystal’s sister and one of the Pac-12 Conference’s brightest stars, began talking to Brenden prior to games, he said.

Brenden even started attending practices. He said the team goes out of their way to welcome him and forge a friendship with him.

“I just come to games and I sit in the same seat and you know, I’m enthusiastic for every event, that’s all that I do. And they do the rest,” Brenden said.

In 2023, WSU women’s basketball experienced its best season in program history. The team equaled their regular season record in single-season wins (19) and won four straight games at the Pac-12 Tournament in early March in Las Vegas on their way to the first women’s Conference Championship in school history.

On their way to making history, the Cougs beat three nationally ranked teams including No. 3 Utah, No. 20 Colorado and No. 19 UCLA.

When the Cougs faced Utah, a familiar face was in the stands: Brenden Potts.

Brenden won a trip to the Pac-12 Tournament through a contest hosted by the Pac-12 Conference. He was not able to make it to Vegas for the Cougar’s first game against California but made it in time for Wazzu’s biggest win in program history.

After the Cougs had beaten No. 3 Utah in the Pac-12 quarterfinals March 2, Charlisse expressed the team’s pleasure in seeing Brenden in the front row in Vegas.

“Brenden is one of a kind, super fan. Like if you know women’s basketball, Brenden is a part of this team,” Charlisse said.

Several days later, in the moments after WSU women’s basketball won the Pac-12 Championship in Las Vegas, players’ family members and friends, as well as friends of the university such as athletic director Pat Chun and head football coach Jake Dickert, filed onto the floor to celebrate the first women’s Conference championship in WSU history.

But there was one person who loved every second on the court.

Brenden was not expecting to go on the floor, but much to his surprise, Shawn Deeds, WSU Athletics’ senior associate director of athletics and former Cougar quarterback gave him a court pass. Brenden got to be on the floor to celebrate the championship, received a crimson championship t-shirt and took pictures with members of the team, including Charlisse Leger-Walker.

His picture with Charlisse is his Twitter profile picture.

Brenden Potts and Charlisse Leger-Walker celebrate WSU women’s basketball’s Pac-12 Championship, March 5, 2023 at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

Brenden is an avid Twitter user. He uses his account to praise (and criticize) Cougar sports, wish WSU student-athletes a happy birthday and share his work with The Lead.

Ever since Charlisse joined her sister in talking to Brenden early in the 2021–22 season, Brenden has counted on her as a valuable friend.

In January 2022, Brenden learned that his dog had died of old age. With the news fresh in his mind, Brenden still chose to attend what is traditionally the Cougar’s biggest game of the season, their home Apple Cup game against their in-state rival University of Washington.

Brenden sat in his typical spot in the front row near the WSU tunnel and bench. Charlisse approached Brenden and asked how he was doing. When Brenden said he was doing OK, Charlisse knew something was wrong and expressed her worry for him.

“I told her why and so after I told her why, basketball didn’t exist for five minutes, and it’s because she was talking to me about anything but basketball,” Brenden said.

Brenden is thankful for the support the team showed him through a difficult time in his life and supported the Cougs even in some of the most difficult moments.

Brenden recognizes his status as a role model fan but believes that anyone could do what he does.

Because of the support he gets from the team, Brenden is a Coug fan for life.

“I’ll be a fan of theirs whether they’re like, with 10 wins in 30-game season or 30 wins in a 30-game season,” he said.

Brenden graduates from WSU Saturday.

“I have huge news to break on Graduation day,” Brenden tweeted. “Let’s just say the journey is continuing towards the ultimate destination.”