For more than a year and a half, Marley Washenitz, one of the top girls basketball players in the state of West Virginia, was committed to her home state school, West Virginia University.
She pledged to become a Mountaineer back in August 2020, but just the other day, received some tough news from the staff.
West Virginia told her that due to several players returning for fifth seasons with the program, she would not have a scholarship offer anymore to join the team.
Just minutes after posting that she would no longer be attending WVU, Washenitz heard from a familiar coach in the region: Pitt’s Lance White.
“The recruitment process with Coach White happened within minutes after I put out my tweet that I opened my recruiting process,” Washenitz said about Pitt’s quick interest. “In fact, he was the first coach to call and make me an offer to potentially be a Panther. I have the upmost respect for the way he’s approached my situation and providing my time to process everything. We talked a lot about what I could bring to his program and where I could fit in. He feels I’ll have to opportunity to compete for whatever I set out for next year. He stated that he loved my aggressiveness on defense, my ability to shoot the ball, my will to win and my overall game. I feel he has been very honest, straight forward and I look forward to further discussions.”
— MARLEY WASHENITZ (@mwashenitz) January 18, 2022
Washenitz, a 5-foot-10 guard, was previously recruited by Pitt prior to her initial commitment to West Virginia. However, due to her commitment being so early on in her high school career, she never quite had the chance to get to know the staff and speak with Coach White until now.
“I obviously know the history of the backyard brawls between Pitt and WVU and am familiar with their program,” she said about Pitt. “I’ve been on campus a few times to watch them play and also played in the Peterson Event Center several times throughout my AAU career. I loved the facility and if I correctly recall, I played well on that court. I have a few family friends that attend Pitt. I look forward to visiting the campus and spending time with Coach White, his staff, and the players soon.”
Washenitz plays for Fairmont Senior High School in Fairmont, West Virginia. Last season, she averaged more than 20 points per game as a junior. Now, she is ready to come in and make a difference right out of the gates for whichever program she decides to commit to.
“My decision will be based on the same criteria I had when I chose WVU,” Washetnitz continued. “First, I want to make sure I can find a coach with a high level of integrity and one that I know I can play for. Second, a coach that I know is going to be at the school I choose as I do not want to move in and out on new systems. And third, a place I can play and make an immediate impact in their program. I don’t want to just be part of a team, I want to make an impact, help the team reach new heights and overall, leave the program in a better place than when I arrived. I have no doubt I will find this school soon and I will live up to my promise of working hard to be the best colligate basketball player they sign.”
The two-time First Team All-State honoree plans to make a decision on her future school sooner rather than later, and in the meantime, is ready to workout to be fully prepared for the next level. So far, Washenitz has received offers from Pitt and Youngstown State since reopening her recruitment.
“I wouldn’t say I don’t want to make the same mistake twice, as I don’t feel making the early decision to commit to WVU was a mistake,” she added. “I felt it was the right decision for me at that time and understand the business aspect of college basketball. Therefore, I’m approaching this decision the same as before and will decide when I know it’s a good fit for me and the school I choose. But I would like to make a commitment sooner than later so it will give me time to start working with my trainers to adapt to a school’s style of play so I can come in and hit the ground running. I understand I may be entering someone’s program as a freshman, but I can promise I’ll outwork others to find a way to play. I plan to spend a lot of time with my strength coach, former WVU Football Head Strength, Mike Barwis and my NBA skills basketball trainer, Brandon Dean, in Deerfield Beach, Florida to prepare myself for the next step in my career.”