In our new series, senior spotlights we are excited to share with you features on VK Basketball's class of 2021 high school grads, all of whom have plans to continue their basketball careers while at post-secondary this fall. These seniors had many things taken away from them and we are excited to take this opportunity to celebrate them and all of their accomplishments. We hope you will follow along as we share them with you!
On top of Covid and the restrictions placed on both high school and basketball, right before the lockdown began, Marissa Rodde tore her ACL in practice at Yale. This posed another set of challenges to her as she had to attend physio appointments virtually. Rodde talked about this switch to virtual life as a blessing in disguise as she graduated early in May and began to have more time for her rehab.
Marissa was also a longtime member of VK Basketball under coach Anthony Beyrouti, who had this to say about her; “Marissa has been awesome to have in the program from day one. Her focus to get better and be a great teammate is a joy to witness. Her passion and fire to get better every year and graduate as one of the best scorers in BC will propel her to great things at the next level and in life. Exciting things ahead!”
Certainly, overcoming an ACL injury requires dedication and toughness, and Rodde remembers the exact moment it was all worth it to her. “It was a huge deal to me when I took my first small steps after my surgery,” she explains, “that was the moment I knew I would overcome this setback and be ready and able to compete again.” Rodde had a very successful high school basketball career; she attended provincials for three years, finishing off her grade 11 years with a Provincial all-star award. In addition to attending provincials, the Yale Lions competed at a tournament in Hawaii and returned to Abbotsford with the first place trophy.
Yale head coach Bobby Braich had this to say about Marissa; “Clearly the happiest player on our team, she set the bar high in terms of being a model student and athlete. We wish her well at the next level and have no doubt she will succeed.”
The University of Regina incoming freshman has yet to visit campus or meet any of her teammates in person, but her excitement for the upcoming season is contagious. Rodde chose Regina based on the immediate sense of family she felt within the team and because the academics aligned nicely with her career goal of becoming a history teacher. This excitement continues to build for Marissa as the countdown begins for this new chapter of her life, to move to a new province, meet her new teammates, and finally start competing again, this time with a new knee.
Check back tomorrow for a feature on another VK class of 2021 grad!