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Women’s basketball season is in full swing. During media day, head coach Tanya Warren set the tone by saying that this year’s women’s basketball team is hungry for a season. finished. It was the fifth time the team had finished with 20 or more wins in a season under coach Warren. This year, the Panthers were voted her fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) by league coaches, sports information directors, and members of the media. At this year’s Media Day, Warren announced, “This is Maya’s team.”

UNI sophomore point guard Maya McDermott will be starting for the first time this season.

“I want to win a conference championship for my coaching staff and my teammates. I just want to be in the conference championship, I want to be in the NCAA tournament,” McDermott said.

McDermott was adopted from Guatemala when he was 11 months old. She has lived in Iowa all her life and she was with the Johnston Dragons before she became a Panther. During her senior year at Johnston High School, she was part of her legacy of leading her team of girls’ high school basketball to her class 5A state championship in the 2019-2020 season. From her legacy in her high school career, she hopes to leave the same legacy with her UNI women’s basketball team, but also recognizes to fans her traits of being a positive leader off the court. She wants to be

“The mark I want to leave as a person is that I want to be very kind to everyone. My mom always taught me that I don’t want to be known as a good athlete, I want to be known as a good person.” said McDermott.

Before McDermott started this year, she typically played 10-12 minutes per game, playing under former starting point guard Curley Rucker and coach Warren. This was a big change for McDermott. It was the transition from a starter in high school to a role her player in college. Over the past two years, she has been the spark her plug for the team, putting her energy into pushing the pace to help the team deliver better results. McDermott will be on the starting line this year as she leads the team and takes the place of her best friend Rucker.

“In the three years I’ve been here, Coach Warren has taught me a lot. One of my favorite quotes about her that I liked was she always told me ‘point guard Even when it’s not your fault, it’s… your fault…” Carli taught me how to play calmly, how to pick each other up on the court. It was a more exemplary lead. ‘ She continued, ‘It’s a great privilege to be under it and to have her take me under her wing and teach me all things.

Outside of all competition where fans never see her on the court, McDermott pursues an education in digital media leadership. After college, she aims to get her master’s degree and work in sales. McDermott also wants to promote the mental health conversation, highlighting how mental health affects athletes around the world and across the nation today, every day.

“I’m not just an athlete, I’m also a human being,” she said. “Being an athlete in this day and age, society sees athletes as a profession, a sport, and that is who we are. No, we are not just athletes. , a student in Digital Media Leadership, and so much more, sports don’t define me because the world is bigger than basketball.”

When McDermott leaves the court after every game, she acknowledges that many athletes around the world struggle with online criticism. With Twitter, many athletes get bashing online about their performance. This follows the athlete being in palms and back pockets.

“It’s hard to talk about. But I want everyone, not just athletes, to know that there are resources for you.” She added, “Unfortunately, there have been two suicides here in sport. It’s hard to talk about, but I think there’s a lot more to talk about than I think, people need help and realize that mental health is so important. increase.”

McDermott’s care for the team makes her ready to help and revitalize them to be their best on and off the court. Bringing positive light and future to The Panthers have proven to excel in the classroom, as the team was recognized in her WBCA’s Academic Top 25 rankings.

“I’m going to win a lot of games this year. Let’s play well this year. We have a really good team and I’m really excited. Years.But yeah, we accept that,” she said.

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