The primary ever girls’s school basketball Citi Shamrock Basic, that includes the College of Notre Dame and Cal Golden Bears, will likely be performed this Saturday, November 12, in St. Louis, Missouri. The sport will air dwell on NBC and Peacock at 4pm ET, marking the primary dwell broadcast of a girls’s school basketball sport on NBC.
Forward of the 2022 Shamrock Basic, On Her Turf caught up with Notre Dame redshirt junior Natalija “Nat” Marshall about her group’s focus for the 2022-23 girls’s basketball season, what it is wish to play for head coach Niele Iveyand her lengthy journey again from an ACL tear.
This Q&A has been condensed and calmly edited for readability.
On Her Turf: I would love to begin along with your journey to the College of Notre Dame. Are you able to inform me about the place you grew up and your early years taking part in basketball?
Natalija “Nat” Marshall: I am initially from New York Metropolis and I am an solely little one. Basketball was form of the final sport I attempted. I did t-ball softball, tennis, gymnastics, tennis, form of all the things. Basketball was the final one which clicked, after I was in fifth or sixth grade.
I grew up taking part in basketball outdoors. New York Metropolis basketball, Dyckman basketball and Rucker Park, there is a large historical past there. So I actually fell in love with the sport in New York Metropolis.
I went to a reasonably large basketball college in highschool (Christ the King), began getting some provides, performed on the AAU circuit, journey ball. The ultimate three colleges I used to be deciding between have been Duke, Stanford, and Notre Dame. Notre Dame was at all times my dream college. I have been large on lecturers at school for a very long time. I additionally wished to play for a girl coach, that was big on my checklist. And all three of these colleges had that.
coach Muffet McGraw (who recruited me) actually pushed girls’s empowerment and being enthusiastic about social justice as properly. Clearly, I did not have the possibility to play for Coach McGraw, as she retired earlier than I acquired right here. So I have been below Coach Niele Ivey. However I’ve liked it thus far.
On Her Turf: I do not know if I’ve ever heard anybody so clearly articulate that they wished to play for a girl coach. Did you ever have a feminine head coach previous to attending to Notre Dame?
Marshall: I had one (after I was taking part in) in a small leisure league after I was in like, third grade, however that was just for just a few months.
On Her Turf: Wow. Given that you simply solely had male coaches, how have been you so sure that was one thing you wished out of your school basketball expertise?
Marshall: I do not know. I feel in highschool, I took a step again and was like, ‘I am on a group with 12 different younger girls and we’ve a whole teaching workers and energy workers and conditioning workers and athletic coaching workers that’s all males.’ It was like, this simply appears a bit odd. I do not see that on the boys’s aspect (with girls teaching males).
So it was simply one thing that I began to discover and study. And I noticed that every one of those prime applications have been led by girls: South Carolina, Notre Dame, Stanford, Duke. So it simply turned one thing that (I spotted) I wished.
I do not assume we actually notice the impression that highly effective girls have in our lives. However when you do get a glimpse of that… I have been actually intentional concerning the girls and I am surrounded by. I feel simply being round girls cultivates this tremendous empowering surroundings that I like.
On Her Turf: So Muffet McGraw recruited you, however you have been taking part in below Niele Ivey since attending to Notre Dame. What has taking part in for Coach Ivey – or do you name her Niele? – been like?
Marshall: Oh my gosh, Niele is nice. We’re undoubtedly on a primary title foundation. Typically when it is heated, we’ll say Coach Ivey, however yeah, we often seek advice from her as Niele.
I feel she does a very good job carrying a number of hats. She has the top teaching hat, the mentor hat, the mother hat, the recruiting hat. And he or she’s actually, actually good at displaying us what sturdy, highly effective, profitable girls leaders in sports activities appear like. I feel she cultivates that with the entire folks on her workers and it trickles down, from the affiliate head coach all the way in which all the way down to our sports activities psychologist and assist workers.
I (additionally respect) the way in which that she carries herself and encourages us to hold ourselves and use our voice, identical to Coach McGraw. I feel she’s the very best particular person that might have gotten that job after Coach McGraw. So, yeah, we’ve a very good relationship.
On Her Turf: Whereas girls, on the whole, are underrepresented in teaching positions, girls of shade are even much less represented. What has it been like having a type of few girls of shade teaching you?
Marshall: It is all the things. I am actually enthusiastic about social justice and fairness, not simply in sports activities, however on the whole. And so studying from a Black girl is so extremely highly effective. Displaying younger, particularly younger Black ladies, which you can be in that place of management, which you can lead the highest group within the nation, which you can be simply nearly as good and higher than males in your place. I feel at Notre Dame, we exemplify that. And I feel Niele has carried out a terrific job being in that spot.
On Her Turf: Going again a pair years… You arrived at Notre Dame, your dream college, however you have been coping with an ACL tear. What did that transition to varsity appear like for you?
Marshall: Yeah, I feel my scenario is a bit bit totally different. I tore my ACL two days earlier than the primary sport of my senior 12 months of highschool. That was the autumn of 2019, going into 2020, which was clearly the COVID pandemic. So I tore my ACL, had surgical procedure, and was out that complete 12 months.
After which the world shut down… So basketball was taken away from me, however it was additionally taken away from everyone. In order that 12 months was tremendous, tremendous robust — for everybody.
Once I acquired to Notre Dame for my freshman 12 months, I wasn’t able to play, health-wise. So I redshirted after which had two further surgical procedures. After which I had one other surgical procedure. After which a fifth one in January.
So it has been a troublesome experience, battling accidents. It has been a studying expertise– a humbling, studying expertise. However having superb coaches and workers and athletic coaching has gotten me via.
On Her Turf: Along with not having sufficient girls in teaching positions, there is a lack of girls in sports activities science, and girls are even underrepresented in analysis research about sports activities accidents. Did you witness that gender disparity in any respect whereas rehabbing your ACL?
Marshall: I’ve really by no means considered that earlier than. However trying again, in these early days proper earlier than the world shut down, I did get that vibe in rehab. It was all males working with me they usually actually solely labored primarily with male athletes with ACL tears.
Then after I acquired to Notre Dame, there was this large swap. That 2018 group that received the NCAA nationwide championship, 4 gamers have been out with ACL tears. So sadly, we’ve a number of expertise with girls tearing their ACL.
So Notre Dame has been superb and the sports activities drugs is unmatched right here. They’re actually good at what they do and I have been damage in that means.
On Her Turf: So the ladies’s school basketball season is simply getting began, however are you able to inform me what Notre Dame’s dynamic has been trying like in observe?
Marshall: I feel that is the very best chemistry of a group I’ve ever been part of.
And I believed I felt that means final 12 months. However this group, I do not know, we simply have this particular bond and this unimaginable means of translating our off-the-court chemistry on the courtroom. Apart from the expertise and the preseason watch lists and accolades, we’ve this manner of getting one another’s backs. All of these intangible issues. I feel we push actually arduous on the courtroom. We’ve this nice rotation and we actually belief one another.
On Her Turf: When it comes to group chemistry, what does that appear like in observe?
Marshall: I feel we’re nonetheless looking for out our id. Niele actually pushes us to consider our id when it comes to our protection, that is a very large focus for us this 12 months. As we all know, protection is what wins championships and it is the largest element of basketball in the previous few minutes of the sport.
So the observe surroundings is sweet and we’ve some superb observe gamers that get us higher on daily basis. I feel we’re simply actually we’re open to criticism, making an attempt to get higher on daily basis, and (make it again) into that Ultimate 4 once more.
On Her Turf: Waiting for the primary ever Shamrock Basic vs. Cal… How did you discover out that this occasion had been scheduled and would air on community TV?
Marshall: Our workers advised us that we have been going to have this particular sport in St. Louis, however we did not actually know what it was. Then we acquired the entire particulars when the press launch and social media posts went out and it was superb. I feel it is an superior alternative, not solely to convey consideration to girls’s sports activities, however the truth that it is on NBC is superb.
And we’re taking part in in St. Louis, which is Niele’s hometown — and Cal head coach (Charmin Smith)’s hometown too… We’re simply so excited. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime expertise.
On Her Turf: I do know you do not wish to give away any scouting report secrets and techniques, however what stands out to you essentially the most about Cal’s strengths as a group?
Marshall: I feel their tempo and their guard play is actually spectacular. Like I stated, we’re big on protection right here. We’re targeted on our offense for positive, too. However we’re targeted on shutting down their finest gamers. I feel our defensive schemes – I will be broad right here – however our defensive schemes for this sport are going to be actually good.
On Her Turf: Given the nationwide viewers for the Shamrock Basic, I am guessing some followers will likely be watching Notre Dame girls’s basketball for the primary time ever. What would you like folks to learn about you and your group after they tune into the sport?
Marshall: Initially, I would like them to know that girls’s basketball, school girls’s basketball, we play at a very excessive stage. And Notre Dame has a historical past and custom of persistently being probably the greatest applications.
We’re nonetheless constructing our id this season. And like I stated, (we’re targeted on) protection, protection, protection. So I would like folks to observe us and be like, ‘Dang, that is one thing that they’re actually, actually good at, they’re actually shutting down Cal and their finest gamers.’
You’ll be able to watch the 2022 Citi Shamrock Basic that includes the College of Notre Dame and Cal Golden Bears this Saturday, November 12, at 4pm ET on NBC or stream it dwell on Peacock.
Observe Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC