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‘Invaluable’ to the Miners

When Nevada Union’s Lady Miners tip off playoff action inside Ali Gymnasium Thursday night, Marissa Dominguez will be right there on NU’s bench.

Dominguez knows she won’t get into the game. In fact, she won’t even be wearing a Lady Miners’ uniform. And now, several years removed from her own playing days, that’s fine by her.

Ever since she suffered an injury prior to her freshman basketball season, Dominguez has served the Nevada Union girls basketball program for the past four years as the team’s manager.



“She’s invaluable,” NU coach John McDaniel said. “She does it all. She carries the No. 31 bag with the extra uniform, extra shoes and extra socks. She runs the scoreboard for us in practice and keeps track of drills. And she doesn’t have to be asked to do it. She just does it.”

It’s not a glamorous gig, she says, but it’s one that affords the senior a supportive role for her friends and an opportunity to gain some experience for her future endeavors.




“And it’s great to just be able to be there for my friends,” Dominguez said.

Sure, she still runs down water for the players and helps the team pack for road games, but she’s also gained substantial experience that she believes will help her succeed in becoming an athletic trainer after studying at Humboldt State.

Through her ROP sports medicine group, she’s now has the ability to tape ankles and help tend to minor injuries the Lady Miners might sustain.

“It’s amazing,” McDaniel said. “She has the kids right back on the floor after injury. You know, you usually have doctor or a professional trainer there, but everyone trusts her with pretty much anything.

“I remember Caroline (Reeves) went down and had to come out of the game because both her knees were bleeding, but Marissa had her back out there after just one in-bounds play.”

Considering how her own playing days came to an end, Dominguez already knew a thing or two about injuries before making plans to study sports medicine.

Being the daughter of Gil Dominguez, owner of local sports broadcast company TouchDown Productions, she couldn’t help but grow up in the thick of the western Nevada County sports scene.

She played basketball for Union Hill and apparently was so skilled that as a sixth-grader, she was called up to the seventh-grade squad due to a lack of players. Several players she took the floor with at the time later were with her on the bench at NU. A highlight of her days at Union Hill was when the team won the eighth-grade county championship.

But prior to her freshman tryouts, Dominguez suffered a severe injury while running on the track during PE class. The painful injury proved to be a hip avulsion fracture, resulting in a tendon being torn from her hip.

The injury kept her from playing her freshman season, so she sought out the role of team manager to stay involved with the sport.

“She was really devastated,” said Gil Dominguez. “JV year she saw more adversity. She was one of two girls cut (from the team).

“So again she became the manager of the team, then later realized this was her calling.”

Dominguez has served in that role for both former coach Duwaine Ganskie and McDaniel, who is in his first year at the helm of the program. Her current boss said she is a big reason why his rookie season on the varsity bench has gone so smoothly.

“Someone like that,” McDaniel said, “just makes my job easy and more delightful.”

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To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail bhamilton@theunion.com or call 477-4240.


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