Today@Sam Article

Bearkat Legends: Britni (Martin) Coselli

Jan. 9, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Campbell Atkins

The following story is part of a series featuring the Bearkats inducted into Sam Houston State University’s Hall of Honor this fall. All seven inductees will be featured in Today@Sam articles throughout the academic year outlining their lives and athletic journeys.

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Britni Coselli, formerly Britni Martin, lit up the scoreboard for the Bearkats during her record-setting tenure on the basketball court from 2008-13, but the Conroe native chalks her success up to her circle of teammates and coaches as her name is immortalized in the Sam Houston State University Hall of Honor.

“I liked my assists more than I liked my shots,” said Coselli, one of seven 2023 inductees to the Hall of Honor in November. “I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without the teammates I had. I know it’s my name going into the Hall of Honor, but it’s a team sport and I would not have these accomplishments without them.”

Coselli’s plethora of accomplishments with the Bearkats included 311 three-pointers, 451 made free throws (both most in program history), 1,834 points (second most) and three all-Southland Conference selections.

Her accolades on the basketball court, however, do not tell the whole story of her athletic journey. Coselli entered SHSU as a two-sport athlete and a member of the soccer team during her freshman season. Aside from Sam’s proximity to her hometown and family, the ability to play both sports was the main reason she chose the Bearkats out of high school.

“I had a full scholarship for basketball, but they were going to allow me to play soccer,” Coselli said. “I had never in my life not been a multi-sport athlete. I had many people tell me I needed to stick with one sport, but that was always hard for me. I loved soccer just as much as basketball.”

She worked her way into the starting lineup on the soccer field as a freshman and saw considerable playing time on the basketball court but hurt her knee while retrieving a rebound near the end of the season. She was able to suit up in the final two games, but the injury ultimately proved more problematic down the line.

“When I got back to soccer, I couldn’t cut right,” Coselli said. “I went back to the doctor to have a scope done and found out I had some hidden torn cartilage.”

Her knee required microfracture surgery and forced her to redshirt, which sidelined her all sophomore year. It also ended her soccer career.

“Since I had gotten hurt, the coaches decided they weren’t going to allow me to play both sports anymore,” Coselli said. “At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. From that point on, I focused on rehabbing that year and getting back into the swing of things. Without soccer, I spent as much time as I could in the gym.”

Her staunch determination and perseverance paid off with three remarkable seasons that solidified her status as a Bearkat legend. She led the team to a first place finish in Southland Conference regular season play as well as an appearance in the 2014 Women’s National Invitational Tournament (NIT).

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“It was a lot of work, especially coming back from the injury, but it was something I absolutely loved,” Coselli said. “Sports were always so much fun for me and sort of an escape. I loved putting in the extra work, so that’s what I did.”

Along with her teammates, Coselli credits much of her emergence to her guard coach, Leslie Reinecker, who helped develop her physicality at the position and added new elements to her skillset.

“She was one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever known when it came to the game of basketball,” Coselli said. “As people started to guard me tighter from the three-point line, I had to figure out different ways for me and my teammates to score. Coach Reinecker really helped me develop more of a complete game rather than just being a pure shooter.”

Despite the heightened attention from opponents, she remained lethal from beyond the arc throughout her illustrious career and finished with 48 more three-pointers than any other Bearkat in history. She also averaged 15.0 points per game and 4.5 rebounds throughout her 122 games and tallied 459 assists and 210 steals.

Despite having an opportunity to play overseas, she decided to utilize her talents in a new way after graduating from SHSU in 2013.

“By the time I was ending my college career, I was ready for the next step in my life,” Coselli said. “I still loved the game. God had given me that passion and the skills to help others love the game. I decided I wanted to coach.”

Coselli became an assistant coach and teacher at her alma mater, Conroe High School, as well as Montgomery High School before earning a unique opportunity to start her own program at the newly-established Lake Creek High School. She ultimately spent two years in the role before stepping away to start her family.

She and her husband, Tom, now have two children and are expecting another in February. She returns to Huntsville often and was in attendance for the official Hall of Honor ceremony at SHSU on Nov. 4 in the presence of friends and family.

“It was an unbelievable, humbling feeling. I am extremely grateful for all of it,” Coselli said. “Being on campus always brings back memories of the old days. It feels like another life and it’s something you definitely miss.”

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