Cathy Marx is no stranger to basketball.
From playing at Riverdale High School down the road to her successful career as a Hawkeye under C. Vivian Stringer, which included a Final Four appearance, Marx has lived and breathed basketball her entire life.
She's already held a handful of coaching positions, and now she'll take over the Clinton High School girls basketball program. Since moving to Clinton two years ago, it only made sense for her to jump at the opportunity when the position opened up. Afterall, basketball comes naturally.
"I can work all day at my job and I'm constantly asking my boss what I need to do," Marx said. "When it actually comes to the basketball in my hand and the girls on the court, I don't have to do a lot of ... it's just a natural thing for me."
She took her first steps at the helm of the River Queens on Monday, with a quick meet and greet at Yourd Gymnasium. She invited girls of all ages who were interested in playing basketball for the River Queens to come and talk with her and start the process of getting to know her.
Getting to know her team is what is going to be a big step for her. She touts her coaching style as adaptable and says how she approaches the team will depend on the personalities that fill her roster.
"I adapt to change very well," Marx said. "I can't say I'm going to shove any kind of style on the girls if the girls aren't going to be able to come near it. Personally, I know what I like but I really have to see what we have on the court."
The big thing on Monday was that not just high school girls were invited. Marx invited all Clinton Community School District basketball players to join, and for a good reason.
"I want them to know that there's not just a varsity team, a JV team, and eighth grade team," Marx said. "I want them to know that this is our program. I see how strong volleyball is, and it's a program. We have to fight for basketball."
With a school that's struggling with participation, Marx hopes to see that change. She's looking at River Queens from senior year down to just picking up a basketball and aiming for stability and continuity.
The school itself is working on improving participation numbers across the board, and many coaches have been preaching "culture changes".
"We lose girls to volleyball, we lose girls to soccer," Marx said. "I want to start it off and say I'm not just the varsity coach, I oversee this whole program."
As far as the team goes, she has a while to work things out. There are still four months until the Queens will tip off in their first contest, and a lot to be done in that time.
Summer ball is where Marx wants to start, though, especially now that softball has ended. Marx will be the third head coach of the River Queens in as many seasons and is going to look back at what's been done and take from it.
"I want to find continuity. I don't want it to be stressful," Marx said. "We're going to look at what we have in the books and what I can use as a coach and add to it from there."
Overall, the Queens have a coach that wants to build a solid foundation for the Mississippi Athletic Conference basketball team. She does, however, note that it is a process that takes time. Monday was just the first step in that process.
"We will grow," Marx said. "But right now, it's trying to meet the girls where they are and moving forward together."