A Young Leader

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Mariah Seals: Freshman Basketball Up and Commer

Gabi Campbell, Photo Editor

Gabi Campbell, Photo Editor

Kyle Bruderer | Sports Writer | @brudkyle

The noise of the crowd rises as the Wolverines set up one final play. It’s a tie game with only 20 seconds on the clock, freshman guard Mariah Seals has the ball. Seconds quickly disappear as she dribbles to the left wing, seven seconds now. A lane to the basket opens up after a quick crossover, her eyes widen and she explodes to the rim. Defenders dive at her as she manages to get a scooping left handed shot up, it finds the bottom of the net and Utah Valley wins.

Mariah Seals AKA “Minnie” is a new face to the women’s basketball team. Don’t let her small 5’3 frame fool you, this girl in her first season is the starting point guard of a division 1 school averaging 11 points a game. But before she ever put on that Wolverine green jersey, there was a path that led her to it.

“I’ve been playing basketball since I was in elementary school,” said Mariah. “I was always on a men’s team believe it or not because a lot of the schools that I went to didn’t have enough girls interested in basketball like me. I didn’t get onto a women’s team until I was in eighth grade. I think it kind of made me a little tougher and of course I enjoyed beating the boys.”

In high school, Mariah finished her senior season averaging 15 points per game despite never being a starter. Her defensive edge and aggressiveness has become what it is today because of a fast paced style of play in high school.

“The school I graduated from pressed the entire game unless we were up by 40,” Mariah said. “My coach kept the rotations going so everyone got minutes, but if you were playing well he would keep you in the game longer.”

Mariah is the oldest of five children with two brothers and two sisters. Admittedly she says it’s tough being away from family, but also says its enjoyable being on her own and taking care of herself.

Unlike many student athletes, Mariah has her future set on something other than a physical health related degree. Her field of choice is Legal Studies.

“Law has been something that caught my eye ever since I was in high school so maybe I’ll become a lawyer,” said Mariah.

During the off season, UVU was uniquely positioned to add Mariah to their women’s basketball team. After having received interest from Utah State, Vermont, Chico State, and Eastern Washington Mariah’s basketball future was questionable because she hadn’t yet taken her final high school exams.

“I took my SAT test a little late and I was just hoping that someone would still be interested. Then UVU called me right before I got my test scores back and I came here and just loved the school,” Mariah said.

Seals has proven that she can rise to the occasion this year and has received high praise from her head coach Cathy Nixon.

“At any level rookies aren’t typically the players that coaches rely on,” said Nixon. “Mariah has been terrific, for a true freshman to lead our young team the way she does is just phenomenal.”

When asked what should people know about her, Mariah responded by saying “I’m going to be working hard for this team, that’s the most important thing that people need to know.”