New Mexico basketball player Brooke Berry leaves team due to gun violence concerns

New Mexico women’s basketball rookie Brooke Berry left the program this week due to gun violence concerns in Albuquerque. His decision comes shortly after the men’s basketball rivalry game against the New Mexico State Aggies was postponed – and ultimately canceled – due to a shooting incident involving an NMSU player on the UNM campus.

Around 3 a.m. Saturday, before the Rio Grande Rivalry game, NMSU forward Mike Peake snuck out of his hotel and participated in a shootout that resulted in the death of an elderly UNM student. 19 years old. The incident wasn’t the first Berry had known about since joining the Lobos earlier this year.

On an Instagram post, Berry said she was grateful for the past six months at UNM, but explained her reason for leaving.

“Because of [two] shootings that took place in my apartment complex, as well as the shooting on campus, I am saddened to say that I will be leaving the University of New Mexico,” she wrote. “My family and I think this is the best decision for me and my safety. I will enter the transfer portal and weigh my options over the next few weeks.”

Berry’s mother, Amy Berry, told Ken Sickenger of the Albuquerque Journal that Saturday’s incident was “the last straw.”

“Brooke really loves the basketball team, and she wanted to hold on, but she was scared,” she said. “She called us Sunday morning crying and said, ‘I want to go home’, so her dad and I drove 14 hours to pick her up. If anything happened to her, we would never forgive each other. “

Berry arrived in New Mexico from Billings, Mont. She lived in Lobo Village, a student housing complex just west of the UNM basketball arena, otherwise known as The Pit. The previous two incidents happened close enough to Berry that she was concerned for her safety.

“Brooke called when a shooting was going on, and she was hiding in the tub,” the mother told the Journal. “I thought, ‘This is crazy.'”

After Berry’s departure, 14 players remain on New Mexico’s roster, but only 12 are active as freshmen Natalia Chavez and Hannah Robbins are in redshirts.

Due to Saturday’s incident, the men’s team will not play NMSU this season. Lobo’s women’s team is still set to host the Aggies on Dec. 11.

“We understand there might be more feelings associated with it, but we hope this is a great opportunity for our fans and their fans to come and show not just this game, but show New Mexico and show to the country that we can come together and do that right,” UNM athletic director Eddie Nuñez said Tuesday.

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