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Legends: Fisher set the pace for Tech hoops

HOUGHTON — She was athletically talented enough to have played volleyball in college.

But Mary Fisher always knew that basketball would be the sport for her.

The former Bergland High athlete was recruited by Michigan Tech after graduating in 1984 from high school.

“I always knew I wanted to play basketball at a higher level,” Fisher said in an interview in 1993. “And Tech was the perfect place for me because they had a very good curriculum.”

Her father had also graduated from MTU as well. And the short drive from Bergland to Houghton figured in, too.

Upper Peninsula coaching legend Nancy Osier was her first coach in junior high. Osier remembered Fisher as a talented and hard-working player.

“She was always willing to put in the extra time,” said Osier, who gained a record number of wins at Ewen-Trout Creek High. “You knew she was going to be something special.”

Fisher used her 5-foot-11 stature to become the all-time scoring leader at Bergland. And playing with a talented group of teammates didn’t hurt.

“We had a fine team,” Fisher noted. “Zinna Ellsworth and Alicia Lester were excellent guards …. and they always got the ball to me. But they were good all-around players.”

After tallying well over 1,000 points in her prep career, Fisher was recruited by Mary Kaminski, who was just getting the Huskies women’s program off its feet.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of talent to go along with Mary (Fisher),” Kaminski said. “But she certainly did her best.”

Before her career ended, Mary had pretty much rewritten the record books.

That included a then record 1,205 points and 716 rebounds. She was an All-GLIAC choice two years and a team MVP three years running.

Fisher still holds the school’s all-time free throw percentage (.855).

Inducted into the Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, she now makes her home in Belmont, Mass.

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