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ND Women’s Basketball: Mallory, Peters explore film

Chris Masoud | Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Notre Dame’s success on the court this season is well documented on the stat sheet, in sports columns and on film. But for graduate students Brittany Mallory and Devereaux Peters, the camera has followed their highlights off the court, as well.

Mallory recently starred in “The Talker,” a featured film in the Notre Dame Student Film Festival, while Peters regularly studies featured films as a Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) major, with a concentration in television.

Mallory leads the Irish with 30 3-pointers and 85 attempts and has a quick trigger on the court. Although she admits her reluctance at first to be the star of a student film, “The Talker” follows a very vocal Mallory from the classroom to the court.

“I’m not very good on camera. I get very embarrassed easily, but I had a lot of free time,” Mallory said. “The whole talking thing for me didn’t come about until I became a captain really, because I didn’t know if I should say anything being an underclassman. And then when I got voted captain, it just came naturally. [Irish coach Muffet McGraw] always wanted me to be a good communicator between her and the team.”

Perhaps the film’s most meaningful messages are those without words. A capable sign language signaler, the film details Mallory’s success in her American Sign Language class.

“The whole sign language thing just helped out with the whole talking thing,” she said. “My grandparents are deaf, so I’ve known it for a while, just had to brush up on it a little bit in class.

“There was a lot I learned, but then a lot of people were looking to me in class because I can understand it when they’re signing to me better than I can do it myself.”

Mallory, who also goes by “Mom” amongst her teammates, was chosen as a captain for the second consecutive season. With Peters and junior guard Skylar Diggins as the more aggressive motivators on the team, Mallory said she stepped into a role as a sounding board and a reassuring motivator.

“I really look after my teammates like they’re my own kids,” she said. “I just want them to do well and know where everything is on the court, like where they’re supposed to be. I’m not really a mean person.

“I just like helping people. It’s just in my nature to make sure people know what they’re doing if they have any questions.”

Averaging nine rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, Peters is putting together one of the best seasons for an Irish forward in program history. While she plans on continuing her basketball career after graduation, her love of sports commentary steered her to the FTT program.

“I always wanted to do commentary on games, so that just kind of drew me to it,” Peters said. “I took a couple classes early on, and I was in business first. [FTT] seemed to fit me a lot better than what I was doing in business, so I switched over.”

While the parallels between color commentary and rebounding are few, Peters said she has drawn from her acting and television experiences to help her on the court.

“The training you learn from watching television and seeing how people act on there, and mannerisms and how to control yourself — [It’s about] just bringing that to the court, and how stuff looks on TV, as opposed to how you’re acting on the court,” Peters said.

“It’s about getting on the same page and organizing and coming together to make something that’s a movie and something that’s perfect.”

The script for the 2011-2012 season is over halfway written, and victories over then-No. 7 Duke, then-No. 7 Tennessee and then-No. 2 Connecticut have already provided highlight material. A return date to the NCAA national title game could be the movie’s best scene yet.

Contact Chris Masoud at cmasoud@nd.edu