Two for the road: Martin and Harry say goodbye

As seniors Anna Martin and Katherine Harry – joined by their families – were congratulated by their teammates, coaches and other DePaul officials following their game against Georgetown, fans in attendance were offered one last look at two players who have become synonymous with the program’s tradition of hard work, passion and success.

In a span of four short years, Martin and Harry went from freshmen eager to contribute their talents to weathered senior veterans, leaders on and off the court. Their college careers were, upon immediate consideration, a blur, especially to the head coach that has watched them grow as players and people.

“It’s never easy (to say goodbye). That’s what’s so interestingly difficult about the coaching that we do,” said Bruno. “Four years is a nanosecond. Once you’re out of school, you realize, ‘Boy, did that go fast.'”

Set to embark on the tail end of their regular season schedule and postseason slate, Martin and Harry were nevertheless afforded some time to reflect on their careers after defeating Georgetown.

On Martin’s tenure at DePaul, she simply described it as “unforgettable.”

“This is a chapter in my life where I really grew as a person – on the court, academically and in all areas,” said Martin. “I met some of my best friends and some people who I’m going to want to have in my life forever.”

Martin, who returned to the starting lineup after sitting out since Jan. 19 due to injury, said it “felt good” to be back out on the court. Despite wearing a knee brace more suitable for an NFL linebacker, Martin scored 10 points in 22 minutes of action.

“I was just ready to be back and contributing,” said Martin. “I knew I wasn’t gonna feel like my old self, so I just had to be mature, be patient about it.”

Harry, the Big East’s leading rebounder, was a constant presence and leader for the Blue Demons this season. Games in which players can showcase their unique abilities – such as Harry’s against the Hoyas in which she grabbed 14 rebounds along with six points – can often lead them to take what comes natural for granted.

However, Harry is well aware of how fortunate she has been to play the game of basketball, and made certain to express her gratitude for all it has brought her.

“I’ve been afforded a lot of great opportunities through basketball and I can’t put into words how thankful I am that I’ve been able to do so much through basketball,” said Harry. “I can’t wait to share those experiences with my family in the future and look back at all of the good times we did have.”

For now, the two players’ families have plenty to be proud of, and were able to share memories and meaningful experiences afterwards in a special ceremony held at DePaul’s Student Center after the game.

“It was just awesome to be able to have my family here and support me the past four years,” said Martin. “They are like my support system and my foundation – I wouldn’t want to replace these moments.”

Harry was just as thankful, especially because she was not expecting her father, brother and older sister to be in attendance due to a delayed flight. Fortunately, they were able to show up to the arena just minutes before halftime.

“I saw them in the crowd and kind of got teared up right before halftime. I was like ‘Okay, keep it together,’ said Harry. “But it’s just special to be able to share that moment with them. I’ve been able to share a lot of games with my mom and just to have everybody here when I didn’t think they would be here was really nice.”

Bruno, who admitted getting emotional having to bid farewell to his seniors, praised Harry and Martin for all that they have done for the program. Spending more time with the tandem than with his own family was simply “a fact” of coaching, which yielded a distinct perspective on how they have matured.

“Katherine and Anna came here together- they’re like sisters,” said Bruno. “They’re great human beings, they’re very talented basketball players. These seniors are both really special people.”