Graduate Profile: Jessica Marx-Houndle, Women's Basketball
Few players make a bigger impact on the success of a program than Jessica Marx-Houndle has done at CMU for her women's basketball team. Arriving in 2016, Marx-Houndle was part of an elite recruitment class that brought the Blazers back to the top of the MCAC after a seven-year championship drought. Marx-Houndle played a big part in that win, earning MVP honours. Future years saw the 5'8 Westwood Collegiate-product lead CMU to two more Manitoba banners and even more successes south of the border, when the Blazers stepped into the NIAC conference and in just their third season, claimed their first championship in 2020.
We had a chance to catch up with the fifth-year guard to talk about her elite MCAC and NIAC career and her time as a CMU Blazer;
Q: What has been your goal this year as it became apparent there would be no season to compete in and an unusual and ever-changing practice schedule?
JMH: It sucks having your final year taken from you, but in a way for me, I think it has made the transition to not playing a little bit easier. Your identity gets wrapped up as an athlete in your sport, so not having this season and still going to school has been an interesting dynamic that has made me look into other aspects of my life more, rather than being focused on basketball. So, my recent goals have been more future or long-term oriented.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about being a student-athlete?
JMH: Being a student-athlete makes school so much more enjoyable. I've realized that more when classes went online and practices were not allowed. It's really nice to have your teammates to hangout with and exercise is a good release and distraction from other aspects of life.
Q: What is a favourite memory of your time as a Blazer?
JMH: Winning the MCAC Championships three years in a row, as well as winning NIAC for the first time with my teammates!
Q: What advice would you give to players representing CMU in the women's basketball program next season?
JMH: I would tell them to enjoy the process and experiences of being on a university team. Say "yes" to opportunities more than you say "no" and make the most out of your time in university.
Q: When your time as a student-athlete ends, what would you like your legacy to be?
JMH: I'd like to be remembered as someone who is welcoming and easy-going.
Q: What does the future hold for you after graduation?
JMH: I'm looking forward to having time to work and earn more money now that my schedule allows it.
Q: What has been one of the biggest lessons that you have learned on your journey at CMU?
JMH: That change should be embraced and that negative experiences hold possible lessons.
We asked Women's Basketball head coach Joe Di Curzio to share a reflection on his graduating athlete;
"We were so fortunate to have Jessica choose CMU over the offers she received from many other schools. She has had a stellar career here as a basketball player, a terrific student and an absolutely awesome person. In four years here she led the team to three MCAC championships, one NIAC championship and one NIAC runner up. She was voted Most Valuable in two of those championships. She has won numerous other awards during the time that she was here but what really stands out is how she grew as a person.
Jessica developed a reputation of being a big money player. She always played her best in the biggest games. She became a team leader early in her years here and really shined in helping other players feel welcome, accepted and helped them become leaders as time passed on. We are really going to miss her awesome work habits, her incredible defensive abilities and her efforts to make everyone feel welcome. We know that Jessica will be extremely successful in her life and career path." - Joe Di Curzio, head coach
CMU Athletics would like to extend our congratulations to Jessica Marx-Houndle for her basketball and scholastic accomplishments during her time at CMU and to thank her for the legacy of leadership she has left on the Women's Basketball program. The Blazers plan to recognize Jessica's accomplishments more formally at the opening home night of the 2021-22 season.