CAMANCHE — Camanche head coach Brett DeNeve says if he’s going into a fight or competition of any kind, he would like his chances with Marly Bussa.
“She is like a bulldog, man,” DeNeve said. “She’s a competitive player, she’s a competitive person.”
Her competitive edge on the basketball court helped her cap off a hugely successful career as the Clinton Herald Player of the Year.
“A lot of great players have played before me and back when I started I was just trying to figure out how to fit in,” Bussa said. “Since then I feel like it is a great accomplishment.”
Even if you’ve never seen Bussa with a ball in her hands, you can get an idea by just looking at the long list of milestones she’s hit.
This year she joined the 1,000-point club and became Camanche’s all-time leading scorer on the girls’ side. She hold the record for 3-pointers made in a game, 3-pointers in a single season, and 3-pointers in a career. But there’s more! She also holds the record for field goals made in a career.
“Her name is just all over the program,” DeNeve said. “It’s fun to see that for her, and I know the younger girls who are in those stands are looking up to Marly and how physical and aggressive she would play.”
She’s not just an offensive threat. She holds the school record for steals in a career, accumulating 316 over four years as an Indian.
“Her instincts are good,” DeNeve said. “When you’re on the court, you have to have strong instincts about what’s going to happen: you almost have to predetermine.
“She has 316 steals on her career, and that’s anticipating passes. That’s not the other team just handing you the ball. She’s one of the best at it.”
DeNeve credits a lot of her success to the work he saw her put in the last four years. Bussa has played in 95 varsity contests, plus DeNeve estimates she played in about 30 games each summer.
“She’s always there, she’s always working hard,” DeNeve said. “She probably has a 100 percent attendance for any workout or any gym session, she’s just a dedicated girl.”
Leading by example and leading by words: Bussa did both as a senior this year. The Indians played their way to the district final, and ended with a 17-7 winning season.
“Once we opened those gym doors, the girls left everything outside,” DeNeve said, “Everybody respects each other and works hard. Marly said earlier that everyone was just looking out for each other and she did a great job of that.”
The rest of her team was part of what made the game so special for Bussa.
“I enjoy playing with the girls I have been with since we were in grade school,” she said.
Whether it was from beyond the arc or by driving the lane, she could find ways to put the ball away. That makes her numbers a little more impressive considering she doesn’t stand that tall, but is in the lane with the bigs.
“She uses what the good lord gave her,” DeNeve said. “She uses her body in a way that some people don’t, and uses that contact part of it to her advantage. A lot of girls avoid that contact part of the game, and she kind of embraces it.”
It’s that competitive edge that will help her continue her career as well. She doesn’t know where yet, but she will continue playing basketball at the collegiate level.
“She’s listening to everybody. She’s done a nice job and hasn’t jumped at the decision. She’s let the process take over,” DeNeve said. “I think she’ll continue to be that team player. She’ll make the extra passes and also shoot the lights out. There’s times she can just go unconscious when she’s shooting the ball.”