The University of Puget Sound, located in Tacoma, Wash., is a private school with 2,800 students. It is one of the state's most expensive institutions to attend (tuition alone is $4,280 a year), and the campus is gorgeous—72 parklike acres situated alongside the Sound, deep in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. It's been around for some 93 years. Although Puget Sound won the 1976 NCAA Division II basketball championship, its teams have gotten little national attention.
Well, pay some to Eric and Kelly Brewe (the name rhymes with gooey). At the moment Eric is 15-3 Puget Sound's top scorer, and Kelly is the top scorer for the 11-4 AIAW Division III Lady Loggers. O.K., maybe even taken together, the Brewes aren't going to make folks forget Larry Bird. But in all of college basketball, nothing quite like the Brewes has ever happened before. Eric and Kelly, you see, are husband and wife.
To be sure, at 6'6" and 210 pounds—which he might weigh right after lunch—Eric is no Darryl Dawkins. And Kelly's knees look as if they have been through the wars. But while the Brewes might not excel on major-college teams, they are bona fide small-college stars.
As a sophomore two seasons ago, Eric led Puget in scoring. Last season he was second at 13.0 points per game, less than a point behind the leader. Last week, after putting in 38 points in victories over Central Washington and Western Washington, Eric boosted his 1981 scoring average to 18.0 points a game. The figure becomes more impressive when you consider that under Logger Coach Don Zech's fresh-man system, Eric plays only about 27 minutes a game. He's lefthanded and graceful, a 59% shooter from the floor. He also has Division I quickness, and from his spot at low post, Eric works Division II wonders.
Zech considers Eric's main strength his patience. "He'll hold back on a shot and draw a lot of fouls," says the coach. "And he shoots well from the line. So he's just about unstoppable with the ball near the basket one-on-one." Indeed, fully a third of Eric's 324 points this season have been scored from the foul line.
Off the court Eric looks casual, serene, almost as if he's beyond agitation. Critics say that that carries over to his play. Zech disagrees. "Eric's only problem," he says, "is that he looks so unwarlike."
By contrast, Kelly is a 5'7", 135-pound sophomore forward who flies up and down the court full tilt, 40 minutes a game—a comet trailing a tail of longish blonde hair. Her cheeks are rosy, her eyes afire. She wears a knee brace, plays a wing the way Sidney Wicks did at UCLA, and shoots back-spinning jumpers off the dribble, going either way. She also cans 16-footers as easily as she laces up her sneakers.
"I'm just naturally more aggressive than Eric," she says. "He has far more finesse and plays much smarter. If there's a loose ball and two guys are scrambling for it on the floor, Eric will watch, knowing that somewhere it's going to pop loose. Me, I just dive in."
Sports always came easy to Kelly. At grammar school in Seattle she excelled at track, cross-country and soccer. In ninth grade, she ran a 5:20 mile. In 1975, at the age of 14, Kelly and one of her girl friends used to ride a bus downtown and crash the gate at the Coliseum to watch the SuperSonics play. Soon she was hooked on basketball.
That summer Kelly attended a camp run by Slick Watts, who at the time was a SuperSonic guard and the biggest sports figure in Seattle. Slick and Kelly became friends. "We messed around a lot," she says. "Sometimes he'd take me to town in his van for an ice cream."