NORMAN — Briana Kuestersteffen is used to being busy.
The Norman North senior constantly juggles basketball, soccer, acting, and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. But Thursday was quite eventful, even for her.
After finishing her makeup in preparation for her role in Norman North's Thursday morning production of the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Kuestersteffen headed over to the gym to be recognized at a schoolwide assembly.
Kuestersteffen thought she was only being honored by her school as Oklahoma's female winner of the Wendy's High School Heisman, an award she won earlier this month.
To her surprise, the event was actually to name Kuestersteffen as one of 12 national finalists for the Wendy's High School Heisman — an award recognizing student-athletes for their hard work and dedication in athletics, academics, and community leadership.
“I was shocked and excited,” Kuestersteffen said. “I was getting prepared for the musical and focusing on that and when I got the news at the assembly I was so shocked. I had no idea that was coming or what to say.”
She will head to New York City next month, where the national winner will be announced Dec. 13 during a televised ceremony on an ESPN network.
As a national finalist, she receives a gold medal and $2,000 for her high school. The national winner will receive a trophy, $500 Wendy's gift card and a donation of $10,000 to their high school.
“She's very deserving of this for what she's done as a student-athlete,” said Norman North girls basketball coach Jeff Blough. “I have two daughters and I hope they grow up to be like her. She's just an unbelievable kid.”
Kuestersteffen has earned all-conference honors three times in basketball and twice in soccer.
She has verbally accepted a scholarship to play soccer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham next year. She plans to study occupational therapy at UAB and hopes to pursue a career in occupational therapy for children with disabilities.
“Her goal has always been to work really hard and go to college on an athletic or academic scholarship,” Kuestersteffen mom, Vicki, said. “If she's not practicing soccer or basketball, and she's not studying because she'll be upset if she has an 89, she'll volunteer her time for something else. She's sacrificed a lot of free time to do those things. We're so proud of her and it's nice to know others can see how dedicated she has been.”