She uses away games to study on the bus and has been known to study flashcards during water breaks.
“Only if I have an exam after,” she noted.
“She makes the most of the time she has,” Fifield said. “Two or three minutes here and there.”
In a 20-plus minute conversation, McNamara makes no mention of a social life. That explains her 3.92 cumulative grade point average. She sees parallels in playing point guard and nursing.
“I think playing basketball has given me a huge advantage. Teamwork is such an important part of nursing when you’re working with doctors and other nurses.
“My goal going to see every patient is to make a slight difference,” she added. “They’re in a hospital. They don’t want to be there. So if I can make their day a little better, then I’ve done my job.”
As a point guard, her job is to run the offense, to lead, stay composed and make plays in critical situations — similar to an ER nurse, which she can envision herself becoming.
For the season, McNamara is averaging team-highs of 14.3 points and 3.2 assists per game. She had her best night Tuesday with a career-high 29 points along with five assists in a 74-46 win at Husson.
“She is a coach on the floor, which is not a surprise since her dad was her coach,” Fifield noted. “She has a very good basketball IQ.”
Southern Maine is off to an 8-4 start, impressive considering it graduated three first-team All-Little East players from last season’s 27-2 squad.
There is plenty of motivation this year. Ranked as high as No. 11 in the USA Division 3 Poll last season, the Huskies were upset at home against Smith College, 80-58, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
It still stings McNamara. The fact that it is part of the Huskies’ drive this season is not lost on anyone. It was supposed to be The Year.