Ali Marks is the girlfriend of Villanova University men’s basketball player Jalen Brunson. According to Brunson’s Instagram, the couple has been dating since 2013, when they both were students at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
While Jalen bolted to the east coast for college, Ali remained close to home. She is currently a student at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Despite the distance, they stay active on social media and post frequently about each other. On March 9, Ali shared a picture of herself on Instagram posing with Jalen at Madison Square Garden Villanova won the Big East Tournament title.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Marks Attends The University of Illinois
Ali has an impressive resume considering she is only a junior. She is a member of the Tri Delta sorority and very involved in philanthropy.
In 2016, she helped run a successful campaign to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, according to PlayerWives.com. The website reported: “the Tri Delta sorority set a goal of $63,000 as a chapter. This is part of the larger national goal to raise $60 million in 10 years to help short term housing. Impressive efforts across the board.”
2. She Is A Sports Fan
The Illinois native has shown a particular love for the Cubbies on social media. On Sept. 16, 2016, Jalen posted a picture of the couple standing on Wrigley Field prior to throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. The caption read: “I like the idea of going to different baseball stadiums with you @ali_marks wonder where we will be next.”
The couple’s stadium quest also includes seeing the Chicago Bulls at United Center and Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Ali also frequently travels to the City of Brotherly Love to watch her boyfriend play basketball.
3. Ali & Jalen Are In A Long Distance Relationship
The two are separated by about 750 miles and don’t get to spend a lot of time together during the basketball season. On October 27, 2015, before Jalen’s freshman season at Villanova, Marks posted a photo of the two saying goodbye. The Caption read: “See you in 75 days”.
4. They Met In High School
The two began dating while attending Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Jalen was a star on the Patriots basketball team. According to his Villanova University bio, Jalen was a two-time Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and was also Illinois’ Mr. Basketball as a senior in 2015.
According to a 2016 Instagram post, Ali and Jalen’s relationship also began while at Stevenson. The caption in the photo simply read: Oct. 27, 2013.” A little less than two years later, in the spring of 2015, Jalen made a promposal to Ali by using a college of pictures.
5. She Was There To Witness Jalen’s National Championship
On April 5, 2016, Ali was on hand at NRG Stadium in Houston to witness Villanova University’s dramatic victory in the national championship game over UNC 77-74. The game featured a game-winning shot at the buzzer by Kris Jenkins. It also featured freshman Jalen Brunson scoring four points and collecting one rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
After the game, Ali posed on the court with her boyfriend. The caption read: “From State Champs to National Champs. I feel so blessed to be able to share these memories with you. You deserve every second of this. Pure happiness right here. So much love for you, congrats J.”