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Marks makes ‘mark’ at Marygrove College

Keara Marks, Marygrove   PHOTO COURTESY MARYGROVE COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Keara Marks, Marygrove
PHOTO COURTESY MARYGROVE COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Former Renaissance player Keara Marks sets all-time scoring record for Lady Mustangs

By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Despite a 2-23 (0-18 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference) record and a season-ending injury to her right hand, Keara Marks has left her mark for the Marygrove College women’s basketball team. The 5-8 senior forward, who played her prep ball at Renaissance High, set a new career scoring record this season. In a game against Lawrence Tech on Jan. 23, Marks scored a game-high 21 points in the Mustangs’ 67-65 heartbreaking loss to the Blue Devils. Despite the loss, her 21-point performance gave her a career total of 1,325 points, the most points of any woman player at Marygrove College.

But in the following game against Madonna University, the forward suffered a season-ending injury with only seven games left in the season.

“An opposing player fell back and grabbed my hand as I was moving forward,” Mark said. “That injured my hand, breaking my finger.

“I just appear to score more points and make more history. But I have no regrets. If I would’ve done it over again I would do the same thing. I wouldn’t trade playing at Marygrove for nothing in the world.”

Marks had left several “marks” this season for the Mustangs. Before her injury, she led the team in points per game (18.1), rebounds per game (7.5), steals per game (3.05) and blocks per game (0.62). As for her career statistics, Marks scored 1,325 points, made 221 steals, 112 assists, blocked 30 shots, and pulled down 622 rebounds (314 offensive, 308 defensive). Marks made 474 of 1,251 field goals and made 306 0f 524 free throws.

“When I recruited Keara I told her she was going to be one of the best players in the history of Marygrove College,” said Marygrove head coach Antonio Hitchcock. “We saw a fierce competitor nature as an undersize forward.

“I knew she was going to be a great player at our level. Keara has the heart of a lion because she’s mentally tough. Her mental toughness measures up to her physical play. She has a great work ethic and is one of the players I measure my recruits (against) when they come into the program.

“When we played the bigger schools like Detroit Mercy and Southern Indiana and nationally ranked (NAIA) teams like Concordia College and Davenport, she’s double and even triple-teamed. Every time she touched the ball the opponents would bear down on her.”

Marks best performances this season were against Montana Tech (35 points), Great Lakes Christian and the University of Northwestern Ohio (29 points each), Siena Heights (27 points), Kyper College and Madonna University (22 points each), Lawrence Tech and Aquinas College (21 points each) and Davenport University (20 points).

“Despite our 2-23 record setting the school record makes me feel how long I’ve been playing basketball,” Marks said. “I love playing because you go out on the floor and compete the best way you can.

“My sophomore year we just missed making the USCAA (United States Collegiate Athletic Association) National Tournament. Last year we made the USCAA Tournament losing in the first round, but it felt good to be there.

“As for my classes at Marygrove, they’re very close knit because the professors know you by name. They (the professors) want you to do good because they set up their classes up for you to succeed. The school atmosphere is real close to home.”

Marks has plans beyond the hardwood. Majoring in nursing, she got accepted in the Oakland University nursing program this fall.

“Although my goal is nursing I still want to stay close to the game,” she says. “I would love to coach in either Think Detroit PAL or Healthy Kidz in a youth program because I would like to see kids work their way up the ladder like I did.”

“Keara was a very special young lady,” said Marygrove assistant coach Jeff Carter. “She’s a very talented player. Barring the career-ending injury, she has the ability to play anywhere.

“As a nurse she’ll be just as great and successful when she was a basketball player. We were pleased to have her for four years. We’re going to miss her when she leaves.”

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