Basketball behind her, Marosites looks forward to master's degree

Douglas Fritz • Apr 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Basketball ended more abruptly than Kayla Marosites anticipated, but the result meant a new life direction started sooner.

Scheduled for a showdown against Anderson in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region quarterfinals on Feb. 13, the national health emergency ended the Lady Eagles’ season and Marosites’ superb career. It would have been an elimination game as Anderson had beaten Carson-Newman twice — 77-74 and 102-100 in double overtime — so Marosites said she knew her playing days would have been on the line.

“We went to a movie as a team and Coach (Mike) Mincey had to go to a meeting,” said Marosites, who along with twin sister Kelci helped the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones win the Class AA state title in 2014. “He sent us a text about the game being canceled.

“It was really tough. I realized I had played my last game. I had played basketball so long, and it was something I loved. But I knew it would eventually come to an end.”

Honors and records in tow — including the All-American level — Marosites will step out of the basketball life and pursue a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.

“I want to help children with autism,” she said.

Marosites said she plans to earn the degree through online courses from Ball State University in Indiana.

She said thoughts of playing overseas basketball are fading.

“I don’t think I’m going to play overseas, especially with everything going on,” she said. “And I wanted to go on to graduate school.”

On March 23, Marosites earned one more accolade for her efforts on the court as she became the Lady Eagles’ first-ever unanimous All-American. She earned honorable mention honors from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.

“I was super grateful for the honor,” said Marosites, who was a two-time winner of Tennessee’s Class AA Miss Basketball award. “I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and teammates, and my family has always supported me.”

She was also Carson-Newman’s first-ever Academic All-American. She led the Lady Eagles with 18 points and 12.3 rebounds per game and also topped the squad with 63 steals and 30 blocked shots.

Marosites was one of just five players in school history to accumulate 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for her career. She is Carson-Newman’s career record-holder for double-doubles (58) and per-game rebounding average (11.3).

Marosites spent one season at ETSU before transferring to Carson-Newman, and her career soared with the Lady Eagles.

“I think I kept improving,” she said. “My coaches were good and they pushed me a lot. My teammates were good and it was easy to play with them. And I kept working on my game every summer.”

Marosites said she also enjoyed playing with Kelci for another four years after high school.

“It really was special to have my sister playing with me,” Marosites said. “Basketball has been in my life so long and created so many opportunities for me. It has opened so many doors and I’ve met a lot of great people from it.”

Marosites said Kelci plans to enter a physicians assistant program, possibly at Milligan College.

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