Currently undefeated in big east play, ranked 10th in the nation, it's been one heck of a season for Marquette women's basketball.
"The most rewarding thing right now is to see the team having fun," said Carolyn Kieger, Marquette Women's head basketball coach. "They are playing free, they are playing relaxed.”
But this success didn't happen overnight. It's the work of six seniors who all have sweat equity in this journey.
“It's been really rewarding to watch them grow and I am really proud of their maturity," said Kieger. "Where we came from their freshman year to where they are now, I don't know if there is a group in the country that's matured as much. What they have done in the classroom, what they have done in the community, and obviously the wins they have had and the championships they have won speak so much for who they are."
That said, for Milwaukee natives Allazia Blockton and Amani Wilborn, and Green Bay native Natisha Hiedeman, it’s a tad more personal.
For these three athletes, it’s been about building a program within their home state.
“I think in the past Marquette wasn't thought of as one of the power schools," said Allazia Blockton, Marquette’s all-time leading scorer. "Big time recruits didn't really go to Marquette, so for us to come and be local kids and create this big name I think is great."
“It’s just beautiful, the last four years," said Amani Wilborn, senior Golden Eagle. "My parents always here, even travel to games and stuff like that. I just appreciate the family atmosphere and experience of being around people I grew up with. I played AAU with "T" and "Zaya" so it's just like family, seeing their family as well."
You heard Amani right, these three have shared a court since the beginning and they’ve always had a feeling they would play together for a long time.
"Low key we knew because we would always talk about it on the phone," said Natisha Hiedeman, senior Golden Eagle. "We wanted to stay together and i mean we already had so much chemistry playing with each other."
That same chemistry has brought pride to the uniform and their hometowns.
"Milwaukee isn't a place where, you know there are not a lot of bright things, we're a city of struggle," said Allazia. "So I wanted to be one the first to come here and let people know that i was in their seat just a few years ago and now look at what all I’ve accomplished."
"Kids coming to the games wanting to be like us, and tell us how much they look up to us," said Amani. "Zaya’s got like her whole team coming, or my whole team comes, or T’s. It's just crazy the influence you can have on younger people. It's like realizing that, is just a great feeling."
"Our coach always talks about leaving the jersey in a better place and leaving our mark," said Natisha. "I feel like everybody on this team, this year, has done an amazing job. We are taking full advantage of every opportunity that we have and I feel like when we leave Marquette we're going to be satisfied with what we have done."