Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics
Pershing High’s Mar’Lisa Braxton is described by her coach as “a great person and one of nicest kids you could meet.” But don’t mistake that kindness for weakness.
“She does it all,” Coach Shawn Hill said of his 5-7 senior guard, the Detroit Public School League’s Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
“She reminds me of (former NBA star) Bernard King. She can play inside and outside, but she gets most of her points from working hard in the paint. She does a lot of the dirty work that is sometimes not appreciated by the basketball eye. But I appreciate it. She’s the engine that keeps this car moving.”
Braxton, just one of two seniors in the unbeaten Doughgirls’ starting lineup, is one of the toughest players in the PSL. Her leadership is by example more than with words.
“I like to be tough,” she said. “I got that toughness from my grandmother. I’ve been around her my whole l life and I just feed off her strength. I don’t like losing in anything. That’s why I push myself like I push my teammates. I just try to make sure my team is in line to keep us in the game.”
The Doughgirls entered Thursday’s PSL “Big D” championship game against Renaissance with a 16-0 overall record and ranked No. 1 in the state. Braxton has figured prominently in every category, averaging 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and eight steals a game.
“Averaging eight steals, that’s almost unheard of, but that’s the kind of player she is,” Hill said. “She’s a great person first and foremost. But she’s also one of the nicest kids you could meet. She took on a big responsibility this season to try to lead us with a lot of young players. We wouldn’t be where we are without her.”
Braxton, who has a 3.2 grade point average, is being recruited by several colleges but she hasn’t made her choice. “I hope to make it to the next level and then play overseas,” she said. “But even if I don’t make it in basketball, I’m still going after my dream to be an entrepreneur and start my own business.”
Her immediate goal is to help lift Pershing to the PSL and state Class A titles. Last year, the Doughgirls lost in the PSL finals to Renaissance and then bowed in the state semifinals to East Lansing, which went on to beat Renaissance for the state title.
“This (PSLer of the Week) award makes me feel good,” Braxton said. ” I’m proud of myself because I worked hard for it. We were disappointed last year when we didn’t win it all, but we’re not looking back. We don’t even think about slacking or getting big-headed. This whole season has been about playing hard, no matter what.”