Mario Gill is known for being on the basketball team and is often found on the court whether it’s at practice or in a game. Off the court, he’s a smooth talking, fun, out-going guy who knows everyone’s name. In the gym, he’s determined and focused, but when he’s not “on the clock,” he loves to have fun, relax and listen to music.
The-21-year old hails from Portland, Oregon and has played for Wilson High School. In 2008, he was named Portland Interscholastic League’s Player of the Year, and also participated in the Les Schwab Northwest Shootout.
After high school, he played two seasons at Eastern Arizona College. As a freshman, he shot 83 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore year, Gill had an overall shooting percentage of 45 and 39 percent from three-point range.
Gill is a 6’2” guard and is UAA’s third leading scorer and second leading rebounder. He earned Honorable Mention at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and shot .463, GNAC best, from the three-point range. After averaging 22 points and 8.5 rebounds in UAA’s two games, he was named into the NCAA West Regional Championships All-Tournament Team.
Last year, Gill was one of two players who started in all 34 games and scored into the double digits 20 times. His career highs include 24 points in 2011 against BYU-Hawaii and 11 rebounds against Saint Martins. In three games, Gill had four assists, most recently against Seattle Pacific and 2 blocks against Western Washington.
Gill’s major is in criminal justice and he aspires to be a police officer, but for now his passion remains in basketball and furthering his athletic career.
An Interview with TNL
How long have you been playing basketball?
I’ve been playing ever since I was little. I don’t know the exact age, but ever since I can remember.
What made you want to play?
My love for it is just like, a competitive atmosphere and big games and just the emotions that come with the games. I just love it.
How was your offseason?
I worked on a lot of things. I don’t get to showcase that much in games, like little things like remembering to box out, remembering the defensive stance and certain offensive abilities I need to work on.
Did you do anything fun outside of basketball?
Yeah, I got to spend a lot of time with my family.
What are some of your strengths and weaknesses on the court?
Strengths for me would probably be shooting communication and weaknesses would probably be- sometimes I have these mental errors when I’m in the game I just blank out and forget what I’m doing.
What’s one of your favorite memories from the game?
I’d say that, I don’t know, (laughs). I have a lot… Probably in junior college my last game sophomore year, I hit a three to win a game.
What’s one of your most embarrassing moments on the court?
(Laughs) My most embarrassing, also in junior college, I got fouled on three and had to make all three free throws to make overtime, I missed the first one… I was so embarrassed. We ended up losing the game.
What’s your favorite song or artist to listen to before a game?
I have so many! I’d have to say Nas is definitely one of them though.
What are some of your hobbies off the court?
I like listening to music a lot so I’m all about different genres of music. I also like buying CD’s which is kinda’ weird cause everyone has iPods and downloads now but if it’s a good album I like to buy it.
Who’s your favorite athlete and why?
Oh gosh, I’m a huge Dwayne Wade fan active, all time Michael Jordan but active Dwayne Wade. He’s the man. He’s relentless when he get’s on the court. He can’t shoot the three that well but when he comes off the ball screen just lights out you know? He turns that corner and you might get dunked on.
What are your plans after senior year?
After I get my degree in criminal justice, I want to be a police officer but I just want to see where it takes me, that’s what I’m really looking forward to.