Monroe’s Monique Fierke drives to the basket at a Bearcats practice Jan. 18 in Monroe. Fierke is the Bearcats’ leading scorer. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Monroe’s Monique Fierke drives to the basket at a Bearcats practice Jan. 18 in Monroe. Fierke is the Bearcats’ leading scorer. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Q&A with Monroe’s Monique Fierke

It didn’t take long for Monique Fierke to make a good impression on the Monroe girls basketball team. Two years ago, the then-sophomore made her mark in several contests with impressive shooting displays, at one point tying the school record for 3-pointers in a game with six.

From that point on, Bearcats coach Ashley Tuiasosopo knew Fierke “had ice in her veins.”

“She has a knack for stepping up and making big shots,” Tuiasosopo said. “She’s always had a nice shot, but in the last couple of years she’s developed her offensive game, and she can get to the hoop and the free-throw line. She’s been more of a leader this year, and she’s found ways to encourage and elevate the play of her teammates.”

The Herald recently spoke with Fierke about her basketball career and future plans:

What do you love about basketball?

Honestly, when I first started playing (in the sixth grade), I was better than everyone else. I was bigger, stronger, faster. But now I love the challenge of it. I love being able to compete every second.

How have you improved since you were a freshman?

I’m a lot faster, so my defense has really improved. My shot has improved as well; I’m the No. 1 option on offense, so (my teammates) look to me for my shooting.

What life lessons has playing basketball taught you?

Sometimes you want to quit when you feel things aren’t going your way, or you’re frustrated, but you just have to keep pushing. With that (mentality) comes work ethic.

Who’s been the biggest influence on your basketball career?

Jamie Rowe. He used to coach at Archbishop Murphy, Woodinville and Stanwood. He’s one of my dad’s best friends and my trainer. He studied my game to see how I could improve, and he helped me overcome things I needed to (overcome) to get better. The passion that he (has for) the game made me want to be better.

Are you aiming to play in college?

I’ve been working toward that for six years. That’s always been the end goal. I’ve talked to some college (programs). It’s still in progress. I’d definitely like to stay closer to home if possible.

What would you like to study in college?

Right now I’m leaning toward majoring in sociology, with a minor in social work. I’d like to be a social worker for kids who need help or struggle. We have a family friend that has adopted three kids. Two of them are sisters, and a social worker played a big role in their lives. I think I would be good with kids and that I would have a good feel for those kinds of situations.

How would you describe your personality?

I would probably just say easy-going. I’m not super in-your-face and I’m not super shy. I’m moderate on things.

What’s your favorite basketball memory?

Traveling with my summer team (Emerald City Basketball Academy). I got close to those girls. Te’a Adams, who’s playing at San Diego State now, is one of my closest friends. Playing with some of the best (players) in the state and against some of the best players in the country helped me improve my game.

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