Marina Mabrey: Toughness runs in DNA
In a season plagued by injury, guard and Belmar, New Nersey native, Marina Mabrey, has given the Fighting Irish a reason to smile.
“I just want to win and whatever accolades I get along the way then that's great too,” said Mabrey.
The junior has a team first, fight to the finish attitude that developed long before she took the court in a Notre Dame uniform.
“I had four siblings who all played basketball and my parents were athletes. I think the competitiveness came from us, everyone trying to win whoever came outside always wanted to win. They would always brag about it all day and we would always talk smack to each other and say 'you're not good' or 'you can't beat me'. You didn't want to hear that so you always wanted to win,” said Mabrey.
That drive, striving to be the best started with her sister, Michaela.
“Me and Michaela were always competitive. I always wanted to beat her because I was always Michaela's little sister. I was always like ‘GRRRR’,” exclaimed Mabrey.
Michaela, now an Assistant Coach for Miami (OH), was also a guard, starring for the Irish from 2012 through 201
While Michaela ranks in the top ten in all time three pointers and games played, only one thing could top that; taking the court with her best friend.
“It was a dream come true. I never thought that we'd ever get to play together after high school,” said Michaela.
In the 2015-2016 season the duo became the first sister combination to play for the women’s program – in the same season since Carol and Maggie Lally nearly 40 years ago!
“It was amazing. The relationship that we had and built in college together and helping her through freshman year. Freshman year is by far the hardest year I ever had and anyone goes through in college. Its a hard year to adjust so just having me there helped her a lot and helping her though that time really built our relationship even more,” said Michaela.
Marina agrees that her older sister kept her steady and level headed.
The former McDonalds High School All-American is the first to admit she wears her emotions on her sleeve!
“My whole family thinks I'm crazy! Which I think a little bit! I'm really hard on myself and I take everything really seriously. If I have one bad game it's like the end of the world and I don't want to talk to anybody,” said Marina.
Anyone but her sister, who in those moments, reaches her through mentorship, motivation and a sense of humor!
“She's a better overall player. I think I’m a better shooter than her. But overall she's a better player everything combined. And I think I should take some credit for that,” said Michaela.
Smart. Tough. Cool under pressure.
All the qualities required to be a leader at a program that is synonymous with champions.
Simply glance at the record book and Marina and joined her older sister and established herself in Notre Dame history.
“It's always great to accomplish stuff but more for me I want to win a national championship with my team. It doesn't matter what type of awards I get. All those awards really don't mean anything unless everyone remembers the team that won,” said Marina.
That competitive drive and spirit is alive and well!
Marina is averaging more than 12 points per game and is leading the team in free throw percentage, willing the Irish to remain in the National Championship conversation this year.