Notre Dame’s Michaela Mabrey looks to provide leadership


The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s basketball team is no stranger to having that “face” of the team. Ruth Riley, Skylar Diggins, Natalie Achonwa. Just a few examples of the leaders, through their play or emotion that have fueled the run of spectacular teams Muffet McGraw has put together in her time at Notre Dame. But with each one of those, there has been another that have flown under the radar. This season, expect Michaela Mabrey to be that one.

The junior tri-captain played in all 38 games last season, averaging 8.6 points per game, while dishing out 2.2 assists per game. Known as much for her outside shooting (42% from 3-point range), hitting 72 on the year, good for the fourth best in school history. But Mabrey isn’t a captain because of the deep ball, it’s for the potential she holds as a vocal leader for a team that McGraw considers “too nice”.

More from Notre Dame Men's Basketball

Last season, the Irish were led by Natalie “Ace” Achonwa. Never afraid to have her voice heard, she gained a bit of fame when, after injuring her knee in the regionals, implored her teammates to “win this (expletive) game. This is my court!”

This season the Irish are searching for that leader, and McGraw sees several candidates on that list, Mabrey included.

"“Michaela currently is the most vocal on the team,” said McGraw. “Lindsay (Allen)  is doing a nice job within her group. Jewell (Loyd) has the personality skills to lead as well.”"

Mabrey has the ability to swing the momentum of a game on her own with her outside shooting ability, but her ability to lead is where the Irish are looking for her to grow her game. With most of the limelight on Jewell Loyd, Mabrey will have the chance to surprise some people. But don’t expect that to last , it’s not going to take her long to show why she was named a captain to a very promising 2014 squad.