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Sky’s Marina Mabrey bringing her competitive mentality to pickleball

3 months agoKarli Bell

Sky guard Marina Mabrey came to Chicago in a whirlwind 4-team trade back in February, and her competitive spirit blended in beautifully with her team.

“The culture is a championship culture and the players are really fun to be around. They have great energy, and everybody’s just excited. Just having that learning mentality is great,” Mabrey said.

That mentality is also translating over to another sport in pickleball with Mabrey’s brand ‘This Is My Kitchen.’

“Where you score in the pickleball court is the kitchen,” Mabrey said. “I feel like [in pickleball, there’s] a lot of ex-athletes that want to get back into that rush, that adrenaline of playing and being an athlete. Pickleball is the easiest way to do it. Everyone can play, and it brings that competitive spirit and nature.” 

Mabrey likened her brand to her alma mater in the University of Notre Dame’s ‘Play Like A Champion’ when it comes to licensing. She’s had some conversations since creating ‘This Is My Kitchen’ in 2019 to be branded on pickleball courts and paddles as well as her basketball camps throughout the Midwest.

“Just to be able to not have so many girls dropping out of sports that was the main part of it,” Mabrey said. “It’s my brand, and what do I represent? I just keep playing, I’m confident, swagger, I’m gonna bring electricity. That’s what I’m trying to bring to pickleball.”

Mabrey has played some pickleball herself throughout the years and does play a bit when she’s overseas.

“I play pickleball. I’m pretty good, actually. Not that bad. I got a nice touch,” Mabrey said laughing. “I don’t know if somebody signs me like, damn, I’m a pretty good athlete. I think they should let me get out there. I can help the team. I’m a team player.”

To hear more of Mabrey’s story and journey to Chicago, watch the full video above.

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