Bond between WNBA's Brittany Hrynko, dad remains strong

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With almost 30 tattoos and a pinpoint focus, Brittany Hrynko exudes toughness. (WPVI)

Brittany: My coaches, they all say the games that he's at, they're probably my best games.
With almost 30 tattoos and a pinpoint focus, Brittany Hrynko exudes toughness.

"People always say I have a mean demeanor, but I guess it's just me. I don't show a lot of emotion on the court," Brittany said.

The former Engineering and Science High School basketball star just finished her senior season at DePaul where she won the Big East Player of the Year and was then taken in the second round of the WNBA Draft where she's currently in camp with San Antonio.

"She always destined for that. That was her dream since she started playing basketball," Brittany's father Mike said.

Brittany's father is her toughest critic and her biggest fan.

Mike is a former corrections officer who lived to drive his athletic daughter to games and practices all over the city.

That all changed in one instant.

"April 1, 2003. A guy hit me in the back in my pickup, right into the back of me. Got out and got into an altercation and he shot me," Mike said.

Mike was left paralyzed from the neck down.

The driver who hit his car and then shot him was high on drugs at the time.

"When it first happened I was angry about it. Even now, I'm angry a little bit because he's still like this. I know he's angry about it because he can't do nothing," Brittany said.

12 years later, Mike doesn't get out of the house much, but tries to get to any game within driving distance.

"My coaches they all say the games that he's at, they're probably my best games," Brittany said.

"I don't know. I don't get to many games so I think she likes to show off a little when I'm there," Mike said.

Basketball may be just a game, but for this father, and his daughter.

It's the bond that holds them together, despite the random act of violence that threatened to tear them apart.

"I feel bad about the situation, but you can't be so sad about it because he's still here," Brittany said.

"If I got killed that day, she may have just given up on the basketball. You never know. You never know how it affects people. You never know why you're here. What you're here for," Mike said.
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