Being in coach Mike Croell's shoes has its perks. Having led the Broomfield girls basketball program for 19 years, he's had more hotshots than Eagles Gym has floorboards.

Even with his team's illustrious litany of high-end players, there are some hoopsters that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Two of them are Chaundra Sewell and Anna Prins, whom Croell considers a couple of crown jewels in Broomfield's basketball dynasty.

It is difficult for the coach to nail down exactly what the forwards meant to Eagles basketball, because their talent, tenacity and temperament added so much. But one thing is certain. He knows exactly how rare it is to coach one class producing the likes of Sewell and Prins.

Former Broomfield star Anna Prins is averaging 11.1 points a game for Iowa State this season.
Former Broomfield star Anna Prins is averaging 11.1 points a game for Iowa State this season. (Iowa State sports information)

It is about as uncommon as the Eagles' run to five consecutive state championships that the two players helped spark.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime deal," Croell said.

Sewell and Prins have continued to perform at a higher level than most well out of high school. Each is now in her senior season of college, capping what have been successful NCAA Division-I careers.

Sewell has become one of the University of Wyoming's marquee players, with the 6-foot-1 forward earning All-Mountain West Conference honors the past two years. And while the 6-6 Prins has fought through a career plagued with injury, she has remained a key cog in Iowa State University's system.


The former teammates remain close friends, but each admits the hustle and bustle of being major-college student athletes has made it difficult to stay in touch. Typically, Sewell points out, they try to run into each other over summer break. But just because they are not in constant contact does not mean they are out of the loop regarding each others' careers.

"Our dads talk a lot, they're best buds," Sewell said. "And now that they are both are empty-nesters, I think they are kind of going through basketball withdrawal now that they don't have any girls in high school."

Ardell Prins and Justin Sewell catch the occasional game of their daughters together, and this season has given them plenty to watch.

Prins is enjoying her first healthy year after suffering through a stress fracture her freshman year and bum knees the past two years. She has attacked her final season with vigor, becoming the Cyclones' third-leading scorer (11.1 points per game). While Prins is not performing up to the level she'd like to be, she is happy with how her senior year is coming together and is enjoying the consistency of playing uninterrupted basketball.

"It's been hard in the past with the injuries," she said. "I would get to the point I was playing confident and strong, then I have to start all over again because of an injury. It feels good to play again with confidence."

Sewell has especially made waves this season, helping the Cowgirls get off to one of their best starts in recent years. She is one of the team's top scorers (12.8 points per game) and one of the nation's top rebounders (10.1). But Sewell promises it's been a long road to get to where she is at the college level.

"It was rocky to start," she said. "I went from being a superstar to having to build back up. When you've started all through high school, you don't understand how to sit the bench."

Sewell and Prins both have high expectations for the finales of their college careers. Each likes the idea of making it to the NCAA tournament, something Prins has done three times before. After that, the players plan on just enjoying being students. Prins will have one year left on her education degree after this year and Sewell has three more before she earns her doctorate in pharmacy. However, after playing basket for the better parts of their lives, the players have tinkered with the idea of going pro.

"I might try going overseas or maybe the WNBA," Prins said. "But my ultimate goal is to graduate and become a teacher."

Sewell expressed similar sentiments.

"It would be a great experience to play after college, but then I'm going to be back at square one academically," she said.

Regardless of the players' future plans, both remain true to their roots. That is why, even four years removed from their days at BHS, the Eagles' run of state championships ending last season stung both Sewell and Prins.

"It was a disappointment for sure," Prins said. "Honestly, everything has to come to an end. But I am thankful to have been a part of it."

Sewell is equally moved, maybe a bit more so about her Broomfield experience. When Wyoming played on the road at the University of Colorado earlier this season, the forward could not help but be stirred by being in the Coors Event Center.

"I could remember exactly where I was on the court when I held up our first state trophy," she said. "I still get emotional thinking back on my days at Broomfield."

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