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Marissa Graby

Marissa Graby Closes
Out Career

By Rob Potter
CALLICOON — April 25, 2000 -- Three weeks have passed since former Delaware Valley Central School standout Marissa Graby’s college basketball career came to an end at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Philadelphia.
While a part of her enjoys the fact that she has more free time, she also misses the games, practices and just being with her teammates on a regular basis.
“The other day I thought to myself ‘Wow, I’ll never sit in that circle with my teammates at practice again’ and I was a little sad,” Graby said last week during a visit home to enjoy Easter with her family and friends. “That was a pretty important thing in my life, but now I have something different to conquer.”
Among the items now on Graby’s agenda are classes until mid-May and student teaching this fall in Bognoir Regis, a small city in the resort area along England’s southern shores. She is set to receive her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Penn State’s December Commencement.
Graby also plans to earn a master’s degree in education and a Ph.D, probably related in some way to education.
While the near future is mapped out, she still has fond memories from the past four years.
Historic Season for PSU
This past season, Graby and her Lady Lion teammates made Penn State history, becoming the first squad to register at least 30 wins en route to a 30-5 record. And the team was the first Penn State women’s basketball squad ever to reach the Final Four.
“It was amazing and incredible,” the 1996 Delaware Valley graduate said of reaching the dream destination of college basketball players everywhere. “But I haven’t really had the full effect of the experience hit me yet. When that was one of your dreams and you finally get there, you’re just awestruck. It was cool.”
Luckily, the 2000 event was held in Philadelphia, close enough for Graby’s friends and relatives to attend the Final Four. She was able to get 12 tickets, so the Graby cheering section included her parents, boyfriend, aunts and uncles, among others.
Although Penn State lost to eventual National Champion University of Connecticut by an 89-67 margin in the national semifinal, Graby was able to get her Nikes on the floor for the game’s final couple of minutes. She recorded one assist and drained a 15-foot jump shot while in the action.
“I’m really happy that I got in,” she commented. “I just wanted to get in the game and do my best.”
By The Numbers
In her Lady Lion career, Graby played in 61 games, scored 95 points, grabbed 99 rebounds, dished out 25 assists, recorded 20 steals and blocked four shots. Her most productive season was her recently completed senior campaign, where she saw action in 28 of 35 games and started versus Minnesota on Senior Night at PSU’s Bryce Jordan Center. She averaged 1.8 points per game, shot 63.6 percent at the line and a team-best 56 percent from the field.
Graby was a 1999-2000 tri-captain with fellow seniors Helen Darling and Andrea Garner, who leave the team with a four-year mark of 88-38 (43-21 in Big Ten Conference play). And she was one of four Lady Lions who were nominated to be a GTE Academic All-American. Following her sophomore and junior years, Graby was named to the Big Ten All-Academic team.
Although Graby’s Lady Lion season and career numbers are vastly different than those she posted in high school and she was not in the spotlight or on the court as much as Darling and Garner — both of whom earned prestigious Kodak All-American status — she seems content with her career.
Sure, she would have liked to have had more playing time and avoided the injuries that hampered her freshman and sophomore seasons. But she also said she “would do it all over again.”
“My career definitely made me a better person,” she noted. “I’m grateful for everything I’ve gone through. I learned a lot.”
And in Graby’s mind, the experience of being a Penn State student-athlete was a big plus.
“I probably could have played more at other Division I schools, but Penn State is where I wanted to be,” she explained. “I have enjoyed my career at Penn State and can’t think of a better time or place to end my college career than reaching the Final Four. I have a lot of good memories.”
Being a Lady Lion for Graby met experiencing many highs and lows. The highlights included being a member of the team that won the Women’s National Tournament in 1998 and captured the 2000 Big Ten Championship along the road to the Final Four.
Graby’s four years as a Lady Lion offer proof that dreams and goals can be accomplished.
Further evidence of that fact can be found in the 1999-2000 Lady Lion Basketball media guide — which was published back in October, just prior to the beginning of the season. That’s where she was asked to complete the sentence “My goal for this season is ...”.
“To end the season in Philly,” was her reply.


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