Girls Basketball Freshman offered Division I Scholarship from MSU


Marissa Green

Standing with the coach who offered her the first scholarship, Freshman Marissa Green takes a quick picture with Cayla Petree, the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Morehead State University.

     Happy. Surprised. Shocked.

     Those are all feelings that Freshman Marissa Green felt at that moment that she found out that Morehead State University (MSU) offered her a scholarship to play Division I basketball.

     Green commented on how the offer came down. 

     “I was at the Morehead [State University] camp and the coach asked me if I had any offers and I said no, and she decided to offer me one right then.”

     A female basketball player at Highlands High School has not been offered a scholarship as a freshman since current Basketball Coach Jaime Richey in 1992. 

     Green has played basketball since kindergarten, where she first signed up for the Moyer League to play with her friends.

     “I just thought basketball was fun to play with my friends, so I just signed up.”

     Due to how she started at such a young age, her parents and coaches were able to discover her potential very quickly. 

    Rachel Green, Marissa’s mother, said, “I think we really started to realize it more in middle school. It really was others telling us that they saw a lot in her.”

     Green began taking basketball seriously around the end of elementary school. She started doing different training, such as shooting, dribbling, and conditioning, and she began strength training with the Legacy Basketball Program around 4th grade.

     Green made the Highlands Middle School basketball team all three years of middle school. 

     “I have been playing basketball for Highlands since 6th grade.”

     Green is now a freshman post player for the girls’ basketball team at Highlands.

      As an eighth-grader, Green dressed all three levels – Varsity, Junior Varsity (JV), and Freshmen. She had her first career varsity points against Holmes High School. The Bluebirds went on to win that game with a score of 67-26.

     “My biggest basketball accomplishment is playing varsity basketball as an eighth-grader.” 

     Last year, Green hit a varsity career-high when playing against Bellevue High School, scoring 12 points, along with her team beating the Tigers 58-12.

      Besides playing for Highlands, Green also plays for an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team. This team plays in many expedition tournaments and camps to help young athletes become more well known. Because of this team, young athletes can show their skill to the coaches in hopes of earning a scholarship. AAU also helps players get more game experience.

      Green’s previous AAU Coach Jerry Allen discussed Green’s increased game time. 

     “I think this year was really her coming out year because she was getting so much game experience. I think that helped her a lot.” 

      To get to where she is now, Green went through years of hard work and dedication.

     Between practices and strength and agility training, Green practices almost every day of the week.

     But, with all of that practicing comes dedication. Practicing nearly every day takes lots of hard work and a great work ethic. 

     Girls Highlands High School Basketball Coach Jamie Richey commented on Marissa’s work ethic and dedication. 

     “Each year Marissa is getting better, especially her work ethic. I think she is finally understanding the amount of time you have to put into the game in order to be a great player. I think her game, she is becoming a great post player. Each year she is getting better with her post moves,”

      Being 6’2, Green is a post player and mainly works inside the paint. Due to her height, she has an advantage over her opponents.

     Richey said, “Her height is the key aspect. You know you can’t train someone to get taller so that is one positive Marissa has going for her because you don’t find many girls that tall.” 

     Green was offered the MSU scholarship on August 14.

     Green expressed her emotions upon finding out that she was offered this scholarship. 

     “I was really surprised, shocked, and happy at the same time.” 

     Soon after, Green texted the news to her mom.

     “It’s kinda funny,” said her mother, Rachel Green,  “We were at a pool party, and there was a volleyball game going on in the pool. I stood up and yelled [the news] to everyone. My initial reaction was [that] I was very excited for her.” 

     Friends and family of Green had a similar reaction. Some weren’t very surprised, as they see her skills daily at practice and games. 

     Former AAU teammate and Highlands basketball player Freshman Ellie Mohr said,  “My dad told me and I wasn’t shocked. I had always thought she was going to go far in the basketball world because she is an amazing athlete and basketball player. I can’t wait to watch her grow and succeed in the D1 life, and I know she’s just gonna keep getting better.”

     Despite already getting a Division I scholarship, Marissa and her coaches still have more goals for her. 

     Green stated one of her hopes. 

     “I want to be able to dunk.”

     For Green, this goal isn’t too far out of reach, considering she is 6’2.

     Besides dunking, others don’t have any specific goals they would like to see Green achieve this year. 

     Richey discussed her goals for Green. 

     “I ultimately want her to be better than she was the year before every year. So her freshman year I want her to be a lot better than she was her eighth-grade year and so on and so forth. By the end of her high school career, I want her to get out of what she puts into it. So, if she wants to be a great player, I hope she becomes one of the all-time Highland’s great players. But whatever her goals are, I’m going to push her to be the best.”

     But for others, their goals aren’t necessarily fully basketball-related. 

     Rachel commented on how she is very supportive of whatever Marissa chooses to pursue in life. 

     “You know, it’s funny, we don’t really care how far she goes. We just want her to go and play and enjoy it and be happy. So, if that is, you know, what she used to say, maybe she still says I’m not sure what she says around other people, but playing in the WNBA, playing in the Olympics, playing internationally, then we’re all for it and we will do everything to support it. If she decides after high school that you know I just wanna be a person, without basketball, then we would support that too.”

     This is not the end of Green’s success. She hopes to get more offers in the future, but she doesn’t have a particular school she would like to get offered by. 

     “I think I will get more scholarship offers and I would like to get offered by anywhere that has a good program.”

     Basketball is also a sport that teaches you important life lessons. Her mother expressed how she thinks that basketball has taught Green many different things she can use now and even later in life. 

     “I think it has taught her that if she puts the hard work in, it does pay off. I also think that it’s taught her that if she has a dream, she can make it come true. But it does take hard work, it doesn’t just happen.”