At a young age, Owens said, she decided she was going to have her own style. Owens was named after her mother, but the only child out of DeSoto, Texas, said she was not a fan of that name and began going by Bryce. Chirrisse and Howard Owens acknowledged their daughter’s desire, so they began to call her Bryce.
After earning McDonald’s High School All-American recognition, Owens moved into a major role on the UNM women’s basketball program and was named a starter in her freshman campaign for the Lobos.
Head coach Yvonne Sanchez said Owens has shown tremendous growth in each of her the three years in the program.
“She used to be so serious when she first got here,” Sanchez said. “She can be really light-hearted but can also be intense.”
Sanchez said Owens has outgrown the constant role of being a stickler and has blossomed into the easygoing leader the team needs.
Even after jumping right into her role at UNM, Owens hasn’t always had an easy time in New Mexico. When first asked the infamous question “Red or Green?”, Owens said she was taken completely by shock and turned down both new chiles in a panic.
Owens said neither red nor green chile peppers have grown on her, but her parents are both big fans of red and green.
“I am just kind of a Texas chili girl,” Owens said. “I think it will always be that way.”
However, Owens said her ability to be a fierce presence on the court in addition to providing a charismatic and softer touch gives her a leadership ability that she said is easy to rally around.
“I thank my teammates all the time for looking up to me and embracing me,” Owens said. “The two roles of being a team leader and getting people to lighten up plays right into my personality.”
Owens’ personality is one that, she said, not many people can understand right away. She said once the shyness wears off, she is as goofy and funny of a person there is.
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Sanchez said Owens is a completely different person when the Lobo uniform is off. Although Sanchez said Owens loves to constantly bond with the team at the mall or at the movies, her point guard just lets loose without the presence of competition.
“She is goofy. She is really goofy,” Sanchez said. “It’s like night and day with her when she gets off the court.”
Once Owens is finished playing basketball, she said her dream of being a sports analyst complements her personality type. Owens said she could easily see herself joking with Charles Barkley or having a funny conversation with Stephen A. Smith on a halftime show in the future.
Owens’ distinctive character doesn’t stop at her charming tendencies; she also has a particularity regarding her preferences of animals.
“Bugs, lizards, birds, bunnies — I can’t do it,” Owens said. “I am a huge dog lover, but I am afraid of just about every other animal.”
Liam Cary-Eaves is the assistant sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @Liam_CE.