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Academy of Notre Dame’s Maggie Pina is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

Maggie Pina

The junior guard scored a school-record 34 points in the Irish’s win against Villa Maria Academy Dec. 23, and is averaging more than 20 points per game this season. She transferred from Archbishop Carroll for her junior year and received second team All-Catholic League and second team All-Main Line girls’ basketball honors as a sophomore.

Q: In pre-game warm-ups just before the Villa Maria game, did you have any sense that this would be a particularly productive game for you? What is your most vivid memory of that game – can you share it with us?

A: I had no idea it was gonna be a big game, in warm-ups I actually struggled to adjust to the lighting in the gym and didn’t shoot very well. My most vivid memory is when I dribbled the ball off my foot leading into halftime, and I don’t think I’ve done that since Malvern League.

Q: What do you think has been the biggest keys to your productive scoring?

A: I try to be balanced between shooting threes, driving, and getting to the line so that if one is not working, another is, and my teammates can usually get me the ball where I need it that game.

Q: You attended Academy of Notre Dame in middle school, then attended Archbishop Carroll for a while, then came back to Academy of Notre Dame. What attracted you to come back to Notre Dame?

A: I missed my friends and the sense of community that Notre Dame had.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your basketball training during the past off-season – what you did to improve?

A: Two summers ago, I trained and learned a lot from Erin Shields. This summer I spent working on what Erin taught me and building on it. My main focuses were extending my range on three’s and different finishes going to the basket.

Q: Who have been your most important basketball mentors and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?

A: My first CYO coach, Joe Chambers, really focused on fundamentals. Renie and Erin Shields taught me a lot in the two years I was at Carroll – everything from the importance of being able to run for a whole game to how to be a smarter basketball player. My dad has worked with me to teach me fundamentals and shot mechanics for as long as I can remember.

Q: What do you feel is your strongest aspect of your game? What are you working on most at the current time?

A: The strongest aspect of my game I think is my ability to score many different ways. So if I’m struggling with shooting one day, I can always drive. I’m working on being able to get more shots up when I need to and being quicker to shoot.

Q: You wear jersey No. 31 for Notre Dame.  Does this number carry any special significance to you?

A: This is a family number that my uncle and older brother wore, so when I started playing sports that was the first number that I thought of when coaches would tell me to pick a number.

Q: You just completed a great field hockey season at Notre Dame, in which the team won the Inter-Ac and PAISAA titles. What is your most vivid memory of the season – can you share it with us?

A: Beating Episcopal Academy at EA by one, because they are probably our biggest rival and we always have one of the toughest games of the season against them.

Q: You would like to play basketball and/or field hockey in college. What colleges are among your current favorites? What do you think you might want to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?

A: I’ve looked at and am talking to a lot of schools that have nursing and pre-law majors where I might be able to play basketball or field hockey but haven’t made any decisions on which school or what sport I want to play. Aside from sports, Boston College and Villanova are both family schools and I have wanted to go to one of them since I was little.

Fun facts – Maggie Pina

Favorite book: Harry Potter.

Favorite author: J.K Rowling.

Favorite TV show: Grey’s Anatomy.

Favorite movie: Remember the Titans.

Favorite pre-game pump-up song: “Our team sings Always be my Baby, by Mariah Carey before every game.”

Favorite place to visit: Cape Cod.

Favorite color: Blue.

Family members: parents Joel and Mary Ellen, older brother Cullen.

(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.) 

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