Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is going to retire at some point as soon as he’s bored of winning Super Bowls. The New England Patriots legend will go down as the greatest NFL quarterback ever when that day comes. No. 12 has the rings, statistics and money to prove those points.
Brady’s children aren’t athletic prodigies quite yet, but there is someone in the Brady bloodline not wasting any time living up to her last name. She’s setting the college softball world on fire because she can’t stop hitting home runs for the UCLA Bruins, who entered the 2021 season the top-ranked team in the country and is now vying for another national championship.
Maya Brady is her name.
Tom Brady’s niece may just have been a freshman at UCLA in 2020, but she already proved she’s better at her respective sport than her uncle was as a quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines in the 1990s.
Even Tom Brady knows he can’t stack up against his grand slam niece.
“I think Maya is already the most athletic person of the family,” he told the Boston Globe in 2019.
Tom Brady’s Niece Maya Brady
Maya Brady certainly turned heads in her first season, despite it being canceled to the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak. The 5-foot-10 slugger crushed seven home runs and hit .356 with 25 RBIs while playing in center field.
The Softball America Freshman Player of the Year ranked among the NCAA’s home run leaders and showed no signs of slowing down as she entered her second season.
Behind a .333 batting average, 13 home runs and 36 RBIs, Brady has been a key part of UCLA’s lineup. She was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week in March after cranking three home runs — all to the opposite field — against Arizona State.
Her play this season helped propel the UCLA Bruins to another Women’s College World Series in 2021. She homered in the team’s first WCWS game against Florida State to advance to a powerhouse matchup against Alabama.
Talk about making a name for yourself on softball’s grandest stage:
And after clubbing her first home run of her redshirt freshman season, Tom offered congratulations on Twitter by calling her “the most dominant athlete in the Brady family…by far!”
Oh, and she arguably has a better arm than her uncle. Don’t believe me? Play a round of dodgeball with her.
Cannons must run in the family.
Who Are Maya Brady’s Parents?
Maya’s athletic gifts were passed down to her by her mother, Maureen Brady, who is one of Tom Brady’s three older sisters. Maureen was a great athlete as well and earned All-American honors as a pitcher at Fresno State in 1994.
“Sports have been huge ever since I was little. I always remember competing all the time,” Maya told Softball America. “She just really ingrained in me the love of the game. She always coached my teams when I was little. She’s just always so supportive and always assuring that the love of the game is still in there.”
Maya’s dad’s name is Brian Timmons, but he hasn’t been part of her life very much.
“I’ve grown up with a single mom for my whole life pretty much and i think a lot of people don’t see that,” Brady told ESPN. “It’s taken a village to get me to where I am today and I credit that all to my mom.”
Maya’s championship-winning family doesn’t stop with Super Bowls, though. Tom Brady’s other sister Julie married former Red Sox third baseman and two-time World Series champion Kevin Youkilis. Surprisingly, though, Maya’s favorite pro athlete is Serena Williams for what she calls her “lion attitude.”
Like her two uncles, Maya’s future includes winning. She chose to play softball for the 2019 national championship UCLA Bruins because of their winning culture, tradition and atmosphere. UCLA won its 13th national championship in program history in 2019 under head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez.
Despite playing high school softball just three years ago, the transition to the NCAA ranks has been a seamless one thus far.
She took an Olympic American pitcher deep last season when UCLA faced the USA Olympic Team in an exhibition on Feb. 23 last year.
UCLA Softball’s Rising Star
Maya was first walloping softballs at Oaks Christian High School in Thousand Oaks, California, where she played shortstop and hit .558 as a senior with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs.
She earned Marmonte League MVP and ALL-CIF Southern Selection honors on top of playing travel ball with the Orange County Batbusters. She finished her standout high school career with a .464 batting average and 25 home runs.
Her high school coach, Peter Ackermann, had trouble putting into words how talented Maya is before comparing her to two softball legends.
“The only reason my answer is taking so long is I’ve been coaching so long,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “As far as shortstops Maya’s caliber, there’s Crystl Bustos and Jessica Mendoza.”
By the time she had to pick a school, Maya was rated the No. 2 recruit in the nation by FloSoftball. She could’ve gone anywhere in the country, so she chose the Pac-12 team on top of the college softball world.
“UCLA was my dream school just because it’s so close to where I live,” Brady told Softball America. “My family is literally the most important thing to me. It’s close enough for my grandparents to come to my games. It goes so much further than softball for me. Getting a UCLA degree, the family atmosphere that we have within the team and everyone is so bought in. You can just tell from the outside that everyone is always having a lot of fun.”
Inouye-Perez knows she has a special softball player and a great teammate in Maya Brady. She remembers playing Maureen Brady in college, when she was known as a “cut-throat competitor.” According to Inouye-Perez, Maya has that same edge but flashes a smile more often.
“She’s a phenomenal athlete,” the UCLA head coach told the Los Angeles Times. “Her leadership ability is off the charts. She’s really special.”
Just how good can Maya Brady be?
If she’s anything like her seven-time Super Bowl champion uncle, she may end up being one of the best to ever grace the diamond.