Maura McAfee started rebounding for the Hope College women’s basketball team as a freshman because she could fill a team need.
Four years later, the senior forward from Midland, Michigan (Midland HS) has carved out a legacy as the first Flying Dutch player to reach 1,000 career rebounds.
McAfee achieved the feat during an 83-47 victory at Kalamazoo on Wednesday. She finished the game with 10 rebounds and her 11th double-double of the season.
McAfee joined Flying Dutchmen great Floyd Brady as the only Hope basketball players of either gender to eclipse the 1K rebound mark.
In 114 games, McAfee has scored 1,331 points — fourth most by a Flying Dutch player — and grabbed a school-record 1,003 rebounds.
Brady totaled 1,143 rebounds and 2,004 points in 89 games over four seasons from 1964-68.
“When you talk about the rich history of Hope basketball, men and women, there’s one — Floyd Brady. He’s considered the greatest of all-time,” Hope coach Brian Morehouse said. “And Maura joins him. That was a pretty cool moment for our team.”
“Mac doesn’t really care about records like that. We told her, we know you’re the first person to deflect all the credit, but you need to realize what a big deal this is for the women’s game. 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, people just don’t do that.”
McAfee hit the 1K rebound mark by corralling three rebounds in the first 47 seconds of the third quarter. The milestone-reaching one came after she grabbed a missed Grace Smith shot 45 seconds into the third quarter.
“I’m still having trouble processing it, still now sure how it happened,” McAfee said. “It’s been the team the whole time. They’ve picked me up. I just love them for that.
“It was really cool having all the Hope fans here, having all my teammates here. I just love my team. That’s the main thing for me, having them there.”
Third-ranked Hope improved to 24-0 overall with the win and clinched the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association title outright with a 15-0 league record. The Flying Dutch complete the regular season Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Calvin.
Morehouse said McAfee and her teammates do a great job of celebrating each other.
“That’s one of the cool things about this basketball team. We have really unselfish kids,” Morehouse said. “They root harder for their teammates sometimes than they do themselves.”
Morehouse praised McAfee’s effort and dedication to rebounding.
“No one gets rebounds except for the person who goes and gets it,” Morehouse said. “I’m really happy for her.”
Rebounding became McAfee’s thing for the Flying Dutch quickly into her career, she recalled.
“My freshman year I found it was something I could bring to the team. We had other people who could score, other people who could do other things,” McAfee said. “Since then, I’ve really prided myself on that. It’s something you can do when shots aren’t falling, things aren’t going well. You can always rebound. It’s all about effort.”