‘I wouldn’t have wanted any other mom’

Drick leaned on advice from mother when dealing with hardships



Redshirt senior Drick Bernstine describes his relationship with his mom as open. He has relied on this connection throughout a difficult season.

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen deputy sports editor

A momma’s boy, Drick Bernstine isn’t afraid to admit how much he has relied on his mother, Stephanie, throughout his life.

“My mom has always done everything for me, almost to a fault,” Drick said. “To a point where I’ve always been spoiled because [of] her love, care and everything she does.”

Stephanie said there is a reason she does whatever she can for the redshirt senior forward on the WSU basketball team.

“I have just always tried to make his life simpler, so he wouldn’t have to deal with the details,” Stephanie said, “so that he could focus on basketball.”

Drick described his relationship with his mother as open, where he can pick up the phone no matter the time of day and hear her consoling voice on the other end.

That ability for Drick to release his thoughts and feelings to his mother was tested this past season when he went through multiple injuries that affected him on the court.

The Cougars also suffered multiple losing streaks, including dropping eight games in a row, which challenged Drick’s ability to keep his spirits up.

Stephanie said she checked in with Drick more frequently this season due to the hardships, to make sure he stayed positive.

She said Drick described the pressure of being a leader on the team in his sole year with WSU, after transferring from University of North Dakota.

“He wanted so badly to do everything he said he would do,” Stephanie said, “and it was hard on him.”

However, she said she believes Drick became stronger because of the struggles.

“He believes everything happens for a reason and so do I,” Stephanie said. “I’ve told him over the years, some of your best learning moments are in your darkest hours.”

Growing up, Drick played football, baseball and basketball. But Stephanie said she began to notice a pattern that showed what sport he really cared about.

Drick dreaded getting in the car to head to football practice, she recalled, but basketball was a different story.

“Every time it was time for basketball practice,” Stephanie said, “he was in the car honking [the horn] because he was so anxious to get there.”

Drick said his mom was always there for him when he was learning to play the sport he loves, even when he used to cry after losing.

“Every game my mom has ever been to, she waited for me after,” Drick said, “just to make sure I was good, whether it was a win or a loss.”

Stephanie had the opportunity to come to Pullman and watch Drick play five times this season. She even made the trip to California in late November to watch her son and the Cougars win the Wooden Legacy Tournament.

Stephanie made her first trip to the Palouse on Jan. 13, when the Cougars took on University of California, Berkeley.

WSU was in the midst of a four-game losing streak when she arrived on campus, but Drick said his mother was confident her attendance would change the outcome, because the last time she went to a game the Cougars won the tourney.

“She was like ‘I hope I am you’re guys’ good luck charm, because you haven’t won in a while,’ ” Drick said, “and it turned out we actually played one of the better games we played all year defensively and offensively.”

Stephanie said she made sure that when Drick headed off to college, he knew that his impact on the campus would go beyond basketball, and that he should be friendly to everyone around him.

“People will remember that you were that kind of a person off the court,” she said, “versus what kind of basketball player you were.”

Drick said he will always remember his mother’s advice and the life lessons she has taught him.

“Our love is really different,” Drick said. “Not to take away from anybody else’s relationship with their mom, but I feel like I’m special. I wouldn’t have wanted any other mom in this world.”