Mulroy’s long basketball career has fairy tale ending

Brigid Mulroy began her basketball career at UDM watching her teammates. She ended her college career with her teammates-and the rest of the sports world-watching her. Mulroy solidified her spot as the nation’s top college three-point shooter, winning the 22nd annual State Farm Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. She finished the regular season with the best three-point percentage in the country, shooting 50.5 percent from downtown.

In addition, she led the Titans in scoring at 13.9 points per game.

That’s a far cry from where she started out.

Mulroy came to UDM as a walk-on, and had to fight for every minute of playing time. She spent most nights sitting on the bench for former coach Mickey Barrett, averaging 7.9 minutes per game in her first two seasons.

Still, Mulroy showed signs of being a good shooter. That ability, she said, came to her at an early age.

"When I was younger, my older brother and I would just get locked outside after school," she said.

According to Mulroy, they would spend the remaining daylight shooting at their own basket, which was the first thing they erected wherever they moved.

"We always had the best basketball hoops in the neighborhood so kids were always over playing games and having tournaments," she said. "It always seemed like I was playing basketball as a child."

When coach Autumn Rademacher came to Detroit Mercy two years ago, she noticed that same shooting touch that Mulroy exhibited in her driveway as a child.

"Coach Rad came in and saw my abilities and how that could fit into her scheme," Mulroy said. "She was willing to give me a chance where others wouldn’t."

In Mulroy’s junior season (Rademacher’s first as coach), Mulroy saw her minutes skyrocket. She started every game for the Titans, who won more games, 12, than in her first two seasons combined.

This season she was prepared to build on her success, but a host of injuries to key players resulted in a 2-9 start. Mulroy and the rest of her teammates never lost focus, and ended the season 17-14, falling in the semi-final game of the Horizon League tournament.

Mulroy said the team’s 15-5 run following a slow start was filled with a number of memorable highlights.

"This season was just so special," she said. "It was the best all around team I’ve been a part of. We all just clicked and had a good time every time we went out on the floor, and that meant a lot."

Those good times got to last for one more night in Indianapolis, as her teammates sat near her for the three-point competition.

"I told them to get good seats and they picked about the best seats in the house," Mulroy said, adding that it was reassuring to have their support.

"Just to hear them go crazy every time I made a basket, it just made me want to go on," she said.

Though Mulroy’s basketball career has ended, her time in a Titan uniform has not. She joined the UDM softball team immediately following the basketball season.

In some respects, she has come full circle, as she once again finds herself in a position where she’s not expected to be a big contributor. But this time around, Mulroy brings a little more leadership and experience to the bench.

"They don’t need me to put up the numbers, they just need me to be here," she said. "This year in basketball, I was a focal point in the offense, but in softball I am stepping back. My contribution might just be to be there and cheer."

Titan notes

Some controversy surrounds Mulroy and the three-point competition. After winning the women’s contest, she went up against the winner on the men’s side, Maryland’s Eric Hayes. Initially, the final score was 22-21 in favor of Hayes, but some believe Mulroy was cheated of two points on her fourth moneyball. "(Announcer) Brad Nessler says it goes in," Mulroy said. "Whether it does go in or not, well, you can’t really see on the film and I don’t remember whether I knocked it down or not. I’m willing to let the conspiracy theorists have at it. I just wish I would have made the last (moneyball) and it wouldn’t be an issue." Mulroy said she wants to continue her basketball career overseas, although she hasn’t received any specific offers from teams. She is putting together a highlight package to send to potential suitors.