Making a Marx: Shaice Marx still contributing for Bemidji State in new role
BEMIDJI -- When Shaice Marx was hit with career-ending news in July, she was asked an unexpected question by her head coach. "Shaice, do you still want to be a part of the team?" Marx had been preparing for the worst. She anticipated her time as ...
BEMIDJI -- When Shaice Marx was hit with career-ending news in July, she was asked an unexpected question by her head coach.
“Shaice, do you still want to be a part of the team?”
Marx had been preparing for the worst. She anticipated her time as a member of the Bemidji State women’s basketball program was coming to an end when doctors said she couldn’t play anymore due to concussions. And so, when head coach Chelsea DeVille offered her a new role with the team, Marx took it in a heartbeat.
“I expected her to say, ‘Alright, well, we don’t need you, so you’re just going to be done.’ That’s what I was expecting, and I prepared myself for it,” said Marx, now a sophomore at BSU. “But then she actually said that she still wanted me to be on the team because I was a part of it last year… That really defines what being part of a sports team is like. It means they are your second family.”
Marx spent parts of her freshman year battling through concussion-like symptoms, which escalated as the season progressed. Then, over the summer, her neurologist broke the news that her basketball career was coming to an abrupt end.
But the Beavers weren’t going to abandon her.
“Two years ago, when she wanted to be a part of the family, she made the decision to join,” DeVille said. “She gives us a heck of a lot more than what basketball is, and that’s truly when you say, ‘It’s more than basketball.’ She’s part of our family. It has nothing to do with stats.”
Despite not seeing the court this season, Marx is still an active member of the program as BSU’s newest student assistant.
“Honestly, it’s a weird feeling. I sit there every day and watch my best friends play the sport that I love,” Marx said. “But that’s a great feeling at the same time, getting to see other people I love so much, see them succeed and do well. For me, it’s something that gets me through everything.”
Marx has filled in wherever needed, from running clocks and taping film to helping in drills and keeping stats. She may be behind the scenes, but her everyday presence is still felt by her teammates.
“I knew she was going to be there for our team, regardless of whether or not she could play,” said McKayla Scheuer, a sophomore guard for Bemidji State who has also assumed the role of Marx’s closest teammate. “It really does say a lot about her personality and her character, knowing she’s not really getting anything out of it. But she’s still going to be there for all of us and support us, doing the most she can to help the team.”
“We made the joke, ‘You have to earn your scholarship somehow.’ So we made (the student assistant role). She’s a full member of our team,” DeVille added. “Shaice coming to practice and showing up -- the mere fact of showing up being your role -- it all means a lot. From who’s going to take the last-second shot to Shaice (keeping stats on game day), every role is important.”
Still committed to BSU Marx started to see an uptick in her playing time late last season, where her defensive tenacity was felt by opposing teams. And although she’s not suiting up anymore, DeVille said they’re better off with her still in their corner.
“I’d still like her in her jersey, No. 10, because she was just so tough,” said DeVille. “One thing we really miss is not having her toughness defensively on the court. We were excited for it. But spirits-wise, the good human that we still have on our roster and in our family, it’s still absolutely important.”
No, Marx isn’t able to compete on the floor anymore. But she’s still present for every game, clipboard in hand and prepared to contribute from the bench.
“It means a lot because it still gives me something to do,” Marx said. “It still means that I have my role on the team. I’m not just sitting there and going through the motions, watching everyone have a role except for me… I would do anything help them get better and achieve their goals.”
Home or away, Marx always has a spot reserved for her on the Beaver bench. She still travels with the team during road trips, and she’s just as committed to building the program -- just in a much different role than she’s used to.
“She could have easily walked away. She knows she’s probably not going to play again,” Scheuer said. “Shaice is one of those people who, no matter how bad of a day she’s having, she will always bring a positive, upbeat mindset… She’s going to be there.”
But despite the adversity, nothing has kept Marx from continuing to show her true colors through it all.
“She’s definitely handled this with an abundance of grace and understanding. For a kid that’s 19 years old, that’s really been cool to see,” DeVille said. “Shaice is one of those kids where you always say, ‘Shaice is Shaice.’ She’s just a fun person to be around, super goofy. She brings the spirits high all the time.”
“My favorite part is definitely just being the goof. And I’ve always kinda been the goof,” Marx added. “Nothing has changed since last year, really.”