MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) - Marquette women's basketball coach Megan Duffy has been personally impacted by the pandemic. More on that in a bit. As a leader of a program, she also feels the pain of the unrest in this city, state and country.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking what’s going in with our black communities, whether it’s locally here in Milwaukee, or across states or really worldwide…
It’s been phenomenal honestly to listen to our players’ voices, hear their thoughts as young people. I’ve learned a lot from even our own players in this really difficult time. For my stance, I’m 100 percent committed to helping the cause and help this inequality that’s obviously rampant in our country right now.”
Duffy was supposed to be married this Saturday in Ohio. That public ceremony had to be postponed because of the pandemic.
"Yeah COVID-19 has struck us all in different ways. Whether it was ending our basketball season this year or having some of those personal fun moments that you think about, dream about, obviously those have been changed. I think we’re on pretty much Plan C with our wedding. Plan C is just a small ceremony with social distancing and a couple of immediate family members. We’ll find a way later, maybe next year, when hopefully things settle down a little bit to have a bigger celebration and reception. Not how we envisioned or scripted it out but we’re staying positive and reacting and my fiancé has been great with all of that as well."
Duffy says that she and her staff have worked hard to stay in touch with her players during this challenging time.
"We’ve done a lot of interesting things with our team. I think the big thing is just consistently being able to talk and communicate…We’ve done straight talking about basketball. We’ve done some mental skills building and training. This is a time when there’s a lot of ups and downs, right? Trying to build some great skill when we have a little but more time, I guess you would say. The other thing we’re just really paying attention to a lot of the social issues."
Duffy's first season at Marquette was a terrific success. She was the Big East Coach of the Year as the Golden Eagles went 24-8 and made it to the finals of the conference tournament. There's little question they would have made the NCAA tournament, had there been one. So, how does she keep the momentum going?
"I think every year is different…I think we’ve already pointed to some of the things that led to our success and why were able to be preseason picked 9th and finish 2nd and still hungry for more."