North Easton’s Alana Gilmer is once again thriving on the court for the Marist women’s basketball team, one of the top mid-major programs in Division 1.
The 2015 Archbishop Williams grad played her freshman year at Virginia Tech, but after a redshirt season as a transfer, the 6-foot forward has developed into a two-time All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
“Alana Gilmer has made a tremendous impact on our program,” Marist coach Brian Giorgis said. “She has been a prolific scorer for us, scoring in a variety of ways and is always the main focal point in opponent’s defensive game plans . . . She is everything a coach could ask for and more.”
Shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, Gilmer is averaging 14.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Red Foxes (5-1).
“She is a great leader in our locker room, serving as mother hen to a lot of our younger players,” Marist associate head coach Erin Doughty said.
A two-time Division 3 state champion for the Bishops when she was at the high school in Braintree, Gilmer caught up with the Globe before Saturday’s matchup against Princeton.
Q. Do you model your game after anyone, or how would you describe your play?
A. Growing up, I feel like everyone idolizes the Michael Jordans, the Kobes (Bryant), and players like that. With me, my dad [George] is the one who I shaped my game after. He taught me everything I know. He would always show me clips of his games. He played at Westfield State in College and had a really great career. I took after my dad. He was one who I idolized growing up.
Q. Marist is one of the most successful mid-major programs, what is it like walking into McCann Arena knowing you’ll have a crowd of at least 1,000 at every game when many of your opponents do not?
A. That’s awesome, because my freshman year at Virginia Tech we had the big arena with like 50 people there. It’s such a difference at Marist. The whole place is filled . . . Such a huge women’s basketball environment I feel like it’s essential to their success. Personally, I love it.
Q. How important is it to you to end your career with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament?
A. It’s huge. We have a class of six seniors. We aren’t settling for anything else. We’ve come up short the past few years, so we know what it takes.
Q. What are you studying?
A. I graduated with a finance degree, which was challenging. I’m glad that I did it. I took a different approach with the graduate program I’m doing now . . . integrated marketing communications. It’s like advertising and marketing skills with a little bit of business in it. I have two different backgrounds with the finance and marketing side of things.
Q. If you could upset any team in the NCAA Tournament, who would it be?
A. I think everyone’s answer with that would be UConn. Who would not want to upset UConn?
Q. What song gets you going pregame?
A. Any rap song. I like those crazy uptempo songs . . . Probably Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares.
Q. If you could pick two other people you’ve ever played with to play 3-on-3, who would you choose?
A. [Former Archies teammate] Jaylen Williams, she’s from Easton, right up the street. She’s like a 6-foot-5 center. She’s crazy good. For point guard purposes, I’d say Grace Vander Weide, the point guard I have now.
Q. If you got a signature shoe, what would it look like?
A. I think it would be a mixture between the [Kobe, by Nike], because I really love the Kobe, and the Kyrie (also by Nike]. It would be a mixture of those with an ‘A’ on the back of one and a ‘G’ on the other one.
Q. Any post college basketball opportunities?
A. I’m hoping to further extend my career and play overseas.
Q. What’s worse, a Poughkeepsie winter or one in Massachusetts?
A. I’d have to say Massachusetts. New York is bad at times, but it’s not that bad.Greg Levinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.