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Marchese Points Toward a Bright Future with Valley Girls’ Hoops
Addi Marchese is running the point for the Valley Regional girls’ basketball team this season. Addi was named one of the Warriors’ junior captains due to her leadership both on and off the court. (Photo courtesy of Addi Marchese )
Addi Marchese has progressed into a impressive point guard with the Valley Regional girls’ basketball squad. On a team that has no seniors, Addi is leading the way as a junior captain for the Warriors this winter. One of the team’s most experienced players, Addi fills an important role on a young Valley club.
Addi plays the point guard position for Valley and initiates the offense nearly every time the ball crosses half court. So, whether she was named a captain or not, Addi was going to serve as a leader one way or the other this year—and that’s just fine with her.
“I’ve always been a leader in anything that I do. I think that aspect pushed me into being a point guard,” says Addi. “Everyone has different strengths and mine was always bringing up the ball and calling plays.”
Addi’s responsibility is to get the Warriors’ offense moving when she has the ball, meaning that she has to decide when to dish it off or make a move to the hoop. Addi feels that she does a good job with the balance between getting her own shot and getting her teammates open looks.
“I think I’m a bit of both a passing guard and a shooting guard,” Addi says. “I take opportunities to drive when the lanes are open, but I’m able to pass the ball when it’s needed. I can also take the shot when it’s needed.”
Addi also has to defend the opposition’s point guard in order to thwart any scoring opportunities. Fortunately, Addi can hold her own on both ends of the floor.
“I treat them like any other player. I have to keep them in front of me and not let them shoot. When I’m on the floor, I remind myself of that all the time,” Addi says. “If we get a good defensive stop, that turns into offense, and that keeps everyone going.”
Leading a team as a captain can be a bit intimidating, especially for a junior, but Addi is a natural fit in that capacity. Addi has no issues helping her teammates stay positive and get on the same page.
“To me, being a captain is always about keeping spirits up and keeping the team motivated. Putting pressure on the team where it helps them rather than hurt them is really important,” says Addi. “Like when we are in tight games and things aren’t going our way, it’s important to keep playing and try to get that win.”
Valley’s season has featured some ups and downs, and that’s to be expected with a young team. However, one constant for the Warriors is their effort, which is something that Addi feels proud about.
“I think that our ability to persevere through anything has been outstanding this year. We’ve been down by a lot and come back to get games close. That is something that comes from within a person, and to be able to get that out and on the court is really impressive,” Addi says. “With a new coach and such a young team, that’s a hard thing to do, but we’ve been able to this season.”
One of Addi’s most powerful tools on the court is her lightning speed—an attribute that she also uses as a member of the girls’ outdoor track team in the spring. Addi believes that competing in sprinting events has helped her acceleration on the hardwood.
“I like the short-distance events. I like the 100-meter dash, the hurdles and, last year, I ran the first leg of the 4x100,” says Addi, who lives in Essex. “I know when I can go really fast and when I need to take it back. I like to give the girl in front of me a head fake and then go for it. I think my speed is a crucial part to my game.”
Head Coach Jaimie Toto says that Addi’s presence at point guard is incredibly valuable for Valley. Toto not only depends on Addi’s leadership as an offensive attacker, but also as a captain.
“Addi has been such a great leader for this team. She was named one of the captains at the beginning of the season and has taken on that role extremely well. She leads by example and holds herself and her teammates accountable every day,” Toto says. “On the floor, Addi is a great point guard. She handles the pressure very well, controls the floor, and takes the ball hard to the basket. She has grown so much as a player in these last two months. I’m excited to see her continue that through the rest of the season and the offseason.”
The Warriors are on the cusp of making the Class M State Tournament with three games left in the regular season. Valley has some solid Shoreline Conference opponents coming up, and Addi is chomping at the bit to take them on.
“I feel as though we can beat all three of those teams if we keep focused. We’re working really hard at practices to keep that mentality,” says Addi. “We have to know that we are a really good team, and we can pull out these wins. We just have to keep our positivity and intensity up.”