On Saturday night, Marianne Alarie pushed her way into Laurentian’s zone and dropped in an easy teardrop layup. It quietly cemented Alarie in Queen’s basketball folklore, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to hit the 1,000 career points mark.
W Here it is, Alarie reaches 1,000 points pic.twitter.com/8qUlAT2sD7
— Queen’s Gaels (@queensgaels) January 27, 2019
Alarie is having what’s possibly her best season with the women’s basketball team, defined by her phenomenal scoring ability and resounding leadership. Entering her fifth and final season with Queen’s, it’s evident the 5’9” guard from Sudbury, Ont., is looking to finish her career with the Gaels on a high note.
“I had the opportunity to live that on home court and ironically, against my hometown of Sudbury […] it’s really heartwarming to see everyone congratulating me,” she said of joining the 1,000 point mark. She added Head Coach Dave Wilson congratulated her in front of the team after the game.
“He pointed out that it took a lot of hard work and dedication, and I spent a lot of time in the gym putting shots up.”
Alarie is currently averaging 15.8 points per game—a career high—and ranks third in the OUA. In an interview with The Journal, she said all-around improvements in her game have allowed her to flourish as one of the league’s top scorers, adding her personal growth off the court has been just as important.
Coming into Queen’s in 2014-15, Alarie was already an elite scorer, but understood there were certain facets of her game that needed improving.
“I’ve always been offensively minded, and I think that’s one of my strengths. But when I came into Queen’s, coming into the university level, you have to be able to do more than just put the ball in the basket,” Alarie said. In her rookie season, she averaged four points per game on 45.5 per cent shooting.
Over her five seasons with Queen’s, Alarie has steadily improved her scoring averages—but it’s how she’s refined other areas that define her play. In each season since arriving on campus, the guard’s upped her field goals per game, free throw percentage, and points per game, making her a more polished and all-around threat.
“I’ve had to work hard on my defensive game and it’s improved a lot,” she said. “And as I’ve grown older, I’ve definitely improved on my leadership too […] But offense is important—I definitely like to score.”
Alarie acknowledges her on-court improvements wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for undergoing substantial personal growth. She said her first year with the team was rife with challenges, and the pressure to excel on the court was often overwhelming.
“The biggest difference, for me, has been in my personal growth,” she said. “First year is hard for everyone, and I felt like I wasn’t quite myself.”
Overcoming these obstacles, Alarie added, was largely due to the role her teammates played in helping her come into her own.
“As I grew with this team, I kind of blossomed and became the player I am today. I thank my teammates for that,” Alarie said. “They allowed me to be comfortable with who I am.”
“For me, my biggest growth has been in my personal life, and I’m thankful for that.”
Reflecting on her time at Queen’s, Alarie said she wishes she could go back and teach her younger self the lessons she’s learned over her undergraduate career.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, and enjoy the ride,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to be yourself. That’s something I wish I could’ve told myself first year. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best right away, but I know now that it comes with time.”
Marianne Alarie, women's basketball
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