Through his time at the University of Northern Iowa, Marc Sonnen has worked to carve out his own niche, and find his role on the team. That work ethic has already been evident this season, as Marc has been shredding opponents with his 3-point shooting.
But Marc knows it hasn't come without effort.
"I used to come up here every morning at 5 AM and get up 500 shots a day, and you know when you put the work in, it's going to pay off in the long run", says Sonnen.
UNI Assistant Coach P.J. Hogan adds, "I think he's got the total package in terms of his ability to score the basketball; if it's behind the three-point line or putting the ball on the floor."
Sonnen has also found an identity in ink, boasting several tattoos on his chest and arms; none of which he regrets.
Sonnen says of his naysayers, "Obviously there are people that are going to be against them, but mine are for a good reason; they're for family members and my mom who passed away, and that's something that I hold very close to my heart. And I have a lot in remembrance of her and family members who have passed away."
Sonnen's mother lost her battle with cancer when Marc was just ten years old. But her memory has been one of the major driving forces in Marc's playing career.
"She was able to overcome a lot, and she really worked hard and did everything she could to live as long as she could. And that motivation has really helped me out in life", says Marc.
And Hogan can see the inspiration she has given Marc.
"Because of what he's had to go through, I think he has a great perspective on how good he has it."
And as Marc finds ways to keep his mother in his thoughts, her spirit will continue to be the source of Marc's motivation.
Marc says, "I always have something, with the tattoos on me, to remember her by, and I just think every day when I wake up, the struggle she went through to help me as a son, and the things that she did has really instilled in me to become that way with people around me, and always working hard, no matter what."