(CBS Local)– 2019 has been a wild year in Marin Mabrey’s life.
The Los Angeles Sparks guard lost in the national championship game at Notre Dame, got drafted by the Sparks, and then saw her team get swept in the conference finals by the Connecticut Sun. Mabrey learned a lot from this chapter of her life.
“It was a rollercoaster ride. I had so many different people helping me out and I had some great times and some bad times,” said Mabrey in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. Overall, I was so grateful to be in the WNBA with the 144 great players they have. It’s an honor to be chosen and to make a roster. I was just trying to soak everything in and learn from the best of the best, so I can be one of those players that helps the rookies.”
Mabrey averaged 11 minutes per game in 31 games last season for the Sparks. Derek Fisher’s team in 2019 was loaded with veterans like Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike, and Chelsea Gray and it was a big change for Mabrey to be playing a lesser role after being one of the stars at Notre Dame.
“Going from playing 37 minutes game and essentially being able to do whatever and then being a rookie and not possibly entering the game really takes a shot at your ego,” said Mabrey. “I feel like you have to look inside and ask if this is what you really want and believe that you still belong there and really believe in yourself. That was hard for me, but once I figured it out and accepted it and understand that I still have a chance to make an impact on the league.”
While things didn’t go the way the Sparks hoped for, Mabrey believes the squad can turn things around in 2020.
“The problems we were having… not setting screens, not executing, no help defense, they got exposed at the wrong time,” said Mabrey. “We didn’t come back from it well and I didn’t even feel like that was our team out there. I feel like it happens to the best of us. I have full confidence that we will learn from the experience and this year will be different.”