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Girls basketball: Marist graduate's patience rewarded with late Division I offer

Source:  The Jersey Journal
Published:  August 16, 2017

One week ago, Emely Rosario was unsure of where she was going to school and what her basketball future looked like. This Wednesday, Rosario will be flying to Richmond, KY for freshman orientation at Eastern Kentucky University without the burden of uncertainty and with the coming fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

For Rosario, a Bayonne native and Marist High School graduate, the long - and at times, frustrating - recruiting process came to a chaotic, yet rewarding end Saturday when she committed to play at Eastern Kentucky.

"It was exciting just knowing that I got an opportunity and shooting for my dream, it is overwhelming," said the 5-foot-7 Rosario. "It was probably the best thing that could ever happen to me this summer basketball-wise."

"I was shocked and I'm actually glad she didn't panic. She was very patient with the process," Marist coach Reggie Quinn said. "She knew she could play at that level, it was just getting the right opportunity. She was very patient and if we had to, talked about going to junior college for a year or even walking on at a Division 1 program."

Despite a stellar senior season which saw her named as NJ.com's HCIAL Player of the Year, and an impressive AAU campaign with the Paterson-based PlayHerz, Rosario was still in search of a Division I scholarship offer.

Scholarships are rarely still available this late in the summer, leaving Rosario and Quinn to discuss a host of alternatives, such as Division II, the junior college route or even trying to walk on with Division I program.

When Quinn reached out to Eastern Kentucky coach Chrissy Roberts last Tuesday, it turned out that Roberts was in need of guard help after two of her incoming guards both suffered major leg injuries this summer. From there, after viewing Rosario's film, Roberts got in contact with Rosario and set up a visit to campus.

After arriving in Kentucky, Rosario was officially offered her first Division I scholarship on Saturday morning and committed. Roario is the first Royal Knight to play Division I college basketball since Cristina Centeno, who went on to Siena after graduating from Marist in 2008.

Prior to this weekend, Rosario had offers from Division II Mercy College and the University of Bridgeport as well as multiple junior college options.

"It was stressful at certain points because I saw myself somewhere. But when I went, sometimes it felt like that wasn't the home for me," Rosario said. "When I finally got this offer, I felt like this was my home and my dream came true of going Division 1.

"Something was just meant for me, something was destined to be. Everything just came into my hands. I feel like I worked hard enough for it and I feel like I deserved it."

Rosario, who was more of a pass-first guard her first three years, blossomed as a senior. She averaged 17.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while also serving as the team's vocal leader and, in the words of Quinn, "a coach on the floor." She helped lead the Royal Knights to a 24-2 record and an appearance in the Hudson County Tournament final.

  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
  • Marist High School - image
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