Born: September 14, 1996
Marina Mabrey was born September 14, 1996 in Belmar to Patti and Roy Mabrey. Basketball was a family obsession. Marina, her older sister Michaela, and their younger sister Dara established a dynasty at Manasquan High School under coach Lisa Kukoda. Marina’s deft passing and long-distance shooting helped Manasquan win a pair of Tournament of Champions titles. She played her sophomore season for Point Pleasant Beach High because of Hurricane Sandy and led that team to a state championship.
In 2015, Marina grew to 5’11” and was basically unguardable. She regularly scored 25-plus points per game and led her team to a 31–2 record. She was honored as a McDonald’s All-American and was New Jersey’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Marina followed her older sister to Notre Dame, where she became a four-year starter, playing beside her sister as a freshman and with cat-quick guard Jackie Young for her final three years. In 2018, Marina was named first-team All-ACC and the Irish reached the title game against Mississippi State. They won 61–58 on a dramatic three-pointer by center Arike Ogunbowale, who also happened to be Marina’s housemate. They had first met during a 2015 high school tournament in Brooklyn.
After the tournament, Marina took to Twitter to advocate for the quality of women’s hoops and began wearing a short with the words "This Is My Kitchen." She developed into a clothing line in 2019.
In 2018, Dara followed in Marina’s footsteps when she was named Shore Player of the Year by the Asbury Park Press. She accepted a scholarship from Virginia Tech.
In her senior season, Marina established a new career record for 3-pointers at Notre Dame with 274. The Irish made it back to the Final Four and Marina set a semifinal record with 12 assists in a win over UConn. Notre Dame was unable to defend its championship, falling to Baylor in the finals.
Marina was one of five Notre Dame players selected in the WNBA draft. She went to the LA Sparks in the second round. Her teammates who went pro were Young, who went #1 overall, Ogunbowale, Brianna Turner (all three first-rounders) and Jessica Shepard. The Sparks’ first pick was Baylor center Kalani Brown—daughter of former Net PJ Brown—whom Marina had faced in the finals three days earlier.
Marina spent her rookie season as a backup for a team predicted to challenge for the WNBA crown, averaging a little over 10 minutes a game. When she got more minutes, she showed she could handle WNBA-level basketball. In a June game against the Connecticut Sun, she hit on 3 of 7 3-pointers and finished with 14 points in 28 minutes. Marina reached double-figures again in wins over the Dallas Wings, Indiana Fever and Seattle Storm as the Sparks surged into first place. In the Seattle game she buried 10 points in the final quarter.