Marinacci makes a name for herself
People were not really talking about Christina Marinacci when the 2010 basketball season started. The 6’1” sophomore forward out of Santa Ana had a solid showing as a freshman but was overshadowed this fall by the debut of highly regarded recruit Cassie Harberts and the much-anticipated return of guard Stefanie Gilbreath, who had to sit out the last three seasons due to knee injuries.
Since then, Marinacci has emerged as a key piece of the Trojans’ success. She has gone from averaging six points per game in 2009 to nearly nine this season. She is also currently leading the team in total rebounds. And despite starting just six games, she trails only fellow former McDonald’s All-Americans Briana Gilbreath, Ashley Corral, and Jacki Gemelos in defensive stats.
“One of my assistant coaches and I have been working 15 minutes before each game on ball-handling, rebounding, and shooting to improve my overall game,” Marinacci said after the Women of Troy beat Arizona on Thursday.
The extra practice certainly showed during the Trojans 81-72 victory, in which Marinacci scored 17 points and captured nine rebounds.
It can be tough to stand out on a team stacked with women who have already sealed spots in the annals of USC history. Gilbreath became the 22nd female Trojan to join the 1,000-point club last week, and Corral looks to join her by season’s end. But under her teammates’ leadership, and with her work ethic and tenacity, Marinacci’s own star is sure to shine more brightly in the years ahead.