Renata Marquez, a senior basketball player, grew up just 30 minutes north of Houston in Conroe. She began playing basketball at the age of five when her father made a court for her and her sisters to play outside in their backyard. She played her high school basketball at Willis High, just outside of Conroe, where the mascot was also a Wildcat.
“I was always shooting, playing one on one after school with my sisters, and my dad coached me to be a better player every day,” Marquez said.
As an 11-year-old, Marquez set a high goal to earn a scholarship and play collegiate basketball at any level. She was determined to receive such a scholarship. Her father quickly recognized her love for the game of basketball, so he decided to help her out in any way he could.
Mr. Marquez began to build a rebounding machine made out of a few PVC pipes, volleyball nets and a tomato cage. The machine would be placed underneath the net to receive the made shot, then it would travel through the pipe down to the shoot to be passed back to her.
“It worked extremely well and I never needed anyone to rebound for me,” Marquez said. “I just realized over the course of the past two years how much I love this game and how my father helped me to never lose that love.”
As a freshman and sophomore, Marquez was a little lost. She had some tough times due to not receiving some of the playing time she thought she would and not focusing on her studies as much. Through the help of prayer and assistance from her family, she turned her spirits around and began to work harder than she ever had.
Over the past two seasons, Marquez has been a hardworking player. In addition to her performance on the court, she has been succeeding in nursing school, as well.
“Day in and day out, regardless if I’m having an on or off day, I make sure that I go hard in everything I do,” Marquez said. “The one thing I can control is my work ethic.”
In regards to this year’s team, it is young. A young team calls for a lot of leadership early, and Marquez believes she has to step us a senior to lead this team to some victories this year. Marques said any young team has its ups and downs, but this positive, young team yearns to make a statement early against veteran teams.
“This team works hard; we have a lot to learn this year, but I am proud to be a part of the first ACU women’s basketball team as a Div. I program,” Marquez said.
Marquez has the right to have high expectations not only for herself as a senior, but the expectation for ACU’s teams to make a statement in the Southland Conference to leave the program in a good state.
Marquez has high expectations both on and off the court. She plans to graduate and work as a registered nurse in the emergency room or intensive care unit. Her other option is to keep playing the game and she is hopeful to play overseas.
“I don’t know where, but I know I would love to have the opportunity to keep playing this game I’ve loved since I was five,” Marquez said.