Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Courtside Conversations ? Dec. 31, 2006
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 02, 2007
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The holiday season is about miracles.  On Christmas Day we focus on a miracle that happened in Bethlehem, some 2,000 years ago.  New Year’s Day reminds us that our very lives are a miracle.  We’ve lived one more year.  We get a fresh start.  And for one of the Wildcats, it’s a miracle every time she puts on an Arizona uniform.


For Marie McGee playing basketball was a normal part of life.  New Mexico state championships were won on a regular basis at Mayfield High School in Las Cruces.  Marie was a huge part of her team’s success.  She was a winner.  She ran track too, and qualified for state competition as part of the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.  Marie had it made.  She signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Arizona.  Life was good. But a fateful night changed everything.


Fall came and Marie made her way to the Arizona campus.  She gradually adjusted to her new life.  The season started and Marie didn’t play much.  She kept on fighting.  Now she’s playing more minutes and contributing to her team.  She’s one of the team’s best defenders. In fact, she’s played quality minutes in each of the Wildcat’s last six games. 


On Saturday something special happened in Berkeley, Calif.  Cal had put the game out of reach but Marie knocked down a three-point shot.  It seemed like just another basketball play to the Golden Bear faithful.  But for those who know Marie’s story, it was a miracle.  The kid was playing basketball in the Pac-10.  She’d survived. 


College athletics has become, in large part, about winning and money.  But don’t forget the stories that ring out with a deeper meaning.  Marie McGee is one of those stories.  A Baby was born, a new year dawns, and a kid from New Mexico is finding her way.  That’s a miracle.


See you on the radio!

Paul Johnson


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