By Rob Potter
CALLICOON April 25, 2000 -- Three weeks have passed since former
Delaware Valley Central School standout Marissa
Grabys college basketball career came to an end at
the NCAA Womens 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,
Ill 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
Among the items now on Grabys agenda are classes
until mid-May and student teaching this fall in Bognoir
Regis, a small city in the resort area along
Englands southern shores. She is set to receive her
bachelors degree in Elementary Education at Penn
States December Commencement.
Graby also plans to earn a masters degree in
education and a Ph.D, probably related in some way to
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 womens 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 havent really had the full effect of
the experience hit me yet. When that was one of your
dreams and you finally get there, youre just
awestruck. It was cool.
Luckily, the 2000 event was held in Philadelphia, close
enough for Grabys 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 games final couple of minutes.
She recorded one assist and drained a 15-foot jump shot
while in the action.
Im really happy that I got in, she
commented. I just wanted to get in the game and do
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 PSUs
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 Grabys 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. Im grateful for everything
Ive gone through. I learned a lot.
And in Grabys 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 cant 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 Womens National Tournament in
1998 and captured the 2000 Big Ten Championship along the
road to the Final Four.
Grabys 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. Thats where she was asked
to complete the sentence My goal for this season is
To end the season in Philly, was her reply.