Posts Tagged 'Marquette basketball'

The Importance of Mental health: A Letter From One Marquette Student to Another

counselorBy Sabrina Bartels

Earlier this month, the Journal Sentinel published this article on Markus Howard. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.  After reading it, I felt compelled to write a little note to him.

Dear Markus,

To start with a cliché: you don’t know me, but I know a little bit about you. I am an avid Marquette fan, having graduated from Marquette with my undergrad degree in 2011 and my Master’s in School Counseling in 2013. I have watched games where all the odds have been stacked against us, and seen you help lead the team to victory. Earlier this month, you helped elevate the team over Creighton, scoring a historic 53 points and whipping Marquette nation into an absolute frenzy.

And because of your skill, my 8th graders have started taking notice. They talk about how great you are and how much they want to be like you. They talk about going to Marquette someday and playing in the Fiserv Forum. I’ve had kids try to imitate your three-point shot so they can use it during their own games. They talk about someday beating your free throw point average.

You are an absolute hero to them because of what you do on the court. For me, you are a hero for what happens after the game has ended.

You may not know it, but I’m hoping my students are watching you because of the way you portray yourself. You make sure to stay humble. (I just saw an interview you gave after the Creighton game, and when asked about how you are so effective at what you do, your response was “I play on a great team.” Nothing about how you scored about half the points Marquette made that night.) You give back to the fans. You volunteer and work hard. You are a great leader on the NCAA Division I Men’s basketball Oversight Committee. But most importantly, you’ve gone public on the importance of mental health in athletes.

As a counselor, mental health is my daily job, but it’s often hard to put it into perspective with my 13- and 14-year-old students. My kiddos come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and all of them come in with a different perspective on counseling. Some students love having me at school, so they can talk about their problems. Some just think I’m a friendly person to have around. But then there are some who view counseling as weak. They don’t want to ask for help, for fear of how that makes them look. And these are the kids that I struggle connecting with the most. It’s almost like we have little boundaries up that are hard to overcome.

The fact that you talked about seeing a psychologist as “just another practice” has really opened up the door to a lot of my students. Suddenly, talking to a mental health professional is not taboo. It’s not weird; it’s not only for people they think are “crazy.” It’s for everyone who needs someone to talk to. And my hope is that my students start to embody that mentality, that counseling is something that can help everyone, regardless of age, race, orientation, socioeconomic status, etc.

You’ve also opened the door to talking about mental health openly. A lot of my students think that mental health – good or bad – is a very private thing, or something that could never happen to them (“I’m a good student, so I can’t have anxiety”). And while it is in some respects private, talking about how mental health has affected you or someone you know can open doorways to others sharing their own personal experience, which all helps reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

It was also important for my students to hear why spending time with people you love is important. Some of my students are going through a phase where it isn’t cool to spend time with family, or people in general who love them. In an age where isolation is all too common, having someone whom they look up to emphasize the importance of connection is all the more special.

So thank you. Thank you for speaking out and using your voice to inspire others. Best of luck the rest of this season.

We are Marquette!
Sincerely,

A grateful school counselor

Marquette Basketball: Bleeding Blue and Gold

20140212-catch-imageBy Aubrey Murtha — That delightful time of year is quickly approaching, my friends.

It’s the time when amped up Fanatics across the country sport their blue and gold on game days, when Marquette alums dress their babies in miniature cheerleader uniforms and commute back to their old stopping grounds for the festivities, when freshmen get excited to see anyone that exceeds six foot on campus in hopes that they may be engaging in a real life encounter with an MU basketball player.

That’s right, Marquette basketball fans.  It’s game time.

Sports analysis is not exactly my forte, that’s for sure.  I will leave that job to the Peter Fiorentino’s and Grant Becker’s of the Marquette student body—those guys are going to be ESPN legends someday, I swear it.  However, I do know a thing or two about school spirit, and I think it is safe to assert that Marquette is not lacking in that area.

I don’t know what it is that keeps Marquette basketball fans so dedicated to their team, but I could venture a few educated guesses.

First, I think basketball may hold a special place in our hearts since we are football deficient.  Instead of forcing ourselves to live vicariously through our friends at large state schools with successful football programs, we save up all of our fanatical energy for basketball season.

Second, what would the Wisconsin colligate sports scene be without a heated basketball rivalry between the Badgers and the Golden Eagles, two of my very favorite woodland creatures (although one is clearly more majestic than the other).  We’ve got to be a powerful fan base for Marquette when our boys go up against schools with student bodies that drastically outnumber ours.  Marquette fans must stand their ground and support their crew.  And we do—every single game day.

Finally, Marquette basketball builds community, unifying current MU scholars with their learned faculty, connecting perspective Golden Eagles to successful Marquette alumni, bonding our beloved Jesuits to the very men that don our Marquette name on their jerseys and take to the court every game day.  Sometimes it takes something as seemingly arbitrary as the game of basketball to establish an unbreakable tie between individuals from all walks of life, with varying connections to and affiliations with our university.

I would argue that MU basketball teaches us to win honorably and lose graciously, to adjust to transition and succeed when the deck seems to be stacked against us, to learn from defeat and flourish in the wake of failure.  For these life lessons, I thank thee, Marquette basketball program, on behalf of your dedicated fan base.

Let’s go Marquette.  We’ll be rooting for you.

We are Marquette basketball.  We are Marquette.

Terri and Buzz: Two GREAT Teachers

By Bill Henk — Being a dean has its advantages — like getting to know Terri Mitchell and Buzz Williams.  Sure, I’m a basketball addict, but the gratitude I feel about spending time with these two talented coaches has almost nothing to do with the game itself.   It’s special simply because they’re two extraordinary human beings.

Now with their regular seasons over, it felt right to pay each a well deserved tribute.  

Terri-fic

I’ll start with Coach Terri, because I’ve known her the longest.  I’m not sure where our paths first crossed, but I remember being eager to meet her.  She’s been the most successful women’s basketball coach in school history — mounting more victories, the highest winning percentage, the most 20-win seasons, and seven post-season berths.

What I can tell you is that I was  immediately impressed with her intelligence and kind manner.  I also loved the fact that as a western Pennsylvania native, she was a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan! Continue reading ‘Terri and Buzz: Two GREAT Teachers’


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