If you've followed Austin area high school girls basketball since 2017, you are very familiar with Cedar Park Vista Ridge star A.J. Marotte. Fans and recruiting experts could only guess where the three-time first-team all-state talent would commit to for college basketball and the day that she would make the announcement. If you predicted the University of Washington on March 31st, 2020, you are awarded a ding, ding, ding. She wrote in a tweet on Tuesday morning that she would continue her basketball career there after her 2021 high school graduation.
"I've been talking to UW for a little less then a year," Marotte said in an interview with VYPE. "They first saw me when I was playing in Spain with one of their  signees, Jayda Noble. [Head] coach Jody Wynn explained to me that she takes her time really evaluating the character of the girls she recruits, not just their skills on the court. So, she said it takes a while for them to offer, but they eventually offered around the beginning of this year."
Marotte knows her current school, Vista Ridge High School, is over 2,100 miles away from the university in Seattle, so she planned a campus visit. Unfortunately, like a lot of things over the last three weeks, it got cancelled because of COVID-19, which is also known as Coronavirus. She decided to go ahead and commit to the basketball program because she has important connections there.
"It is pretty far from Texas, but I didn't want distance to dictate my decision," she said. "UW's staff is just amazing. They recently came for a home visit and I got to sit down and chat with coach[es] Jody and Derek Wynn and I just loved them. They are amazing people, as are the assistants, Paul [Reed] and Michelle [Augustavo-Fisher]. And I just love the culture and environment they've created at Washington, with the girls they recruit and what not. Also playing in a Power Five conference was a goal of mine and, although I had offers from many other P5 schools, UW was just the perfect fit for me."
Marotte's recruiting resume includes 10 Division I offers, but she couldn't pass up the women's basketball program at Washington.
"I am very excited to get out to Seattle and experience the city and my soon to be home," she said. "Washington just fit everything I wanted in a school. Amazing coaches, [it] recruited great girls [and] had a playing style I knew I could fit into."
An out-of-state move may be on the horizon for Marotte, but she is currently preparing for another extravagant season in Texas and Cedar Park. She wants to add to her very accomplished high school career during the 2020-2021 school year and move her high school team closer to two goals it just fell short of in the 2019-2020 campaign: advancing to the UIL 6A state final four and winning a state title.
"Cedar Park is on the up and coming," she said. "There's definitely a lot of people who still sleep on girls here. I'm very thankful I got to play for Vista Ridge. I remember being in middle school [and] dreaming about wearing one of those red and black jerseys. My coaches at Vista have taught me so much, not just on the court. They've taught me how to be mentally strong through adversity and we have definitely faced a lot of adversity in my time there so far. They've taught me things I will remember throughout the rest of my career and I'm so thankful I get to play at Vista Ridge and be a Ranger."
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The Woodlands High School has been always known as a track powerhouse. The Highlanders from cross country in the fall to the track & field events in the spring have always excelled.
What's been taken away from the track & field seniors is that last-ditch chance to impress college coaches this spring with new personal records and even a state championship. Of course, the UIL has suspended all activities until just May 4 and the Track & Field State Meet is still on the schedule as is.
But a lot of meets have been lost.
Here are a couple of TWHS trackstars to look at in this senior spotlight presented by CertaPro Painters.
Adam Clark (@Adamclark867)
- Clark is a 6-foot-1, 176-pound high jumper and 100-meter dash guy. He has a 2.7 GPA, an SAT score of 1030.
- His career-high in the high jump is 6-foot-8, which he did as a sophomore. His best 100-meter dash time is 11.50.
High jump (6'8 as a sophomore)
HEIGHT IN VIDEO (6'8) pic.twitter.com/X94KL3iPBv
— Adam Clark🦋 (@Adamclark867) March 19, 2020
Connor Stockerl (@ConnorStockerl)
- Stockerl is a 5-foot-11, 153-pound senior at The Woodlands High School.
- He has a 3.4 GPA with an 1110 SAT score.
- His events include the 4X100 (42.10 second leg); 4X200 (1:28.68 third leg/anchor); 200-meter dash (22.9) and 400-meter race (50.15).
4x1: 42.10 (2nd leg)
4x2: 1:28.68 (3rd leg/anchor)
(Red jersey in video) pic.twitter.com/3iUEHJ2eL3
— Connor Stockerl (@ConnorStockerl) March 20, 2020
Zach Neuman (@zachneuman_)
- Neuman is a 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior at The Woodlands.
- He owns a 4.1 GPA, scored a 1410 on the SAT and a 30 on the ACT.
- He runs the 300-meter hurdles (38.6) and the 4x400 (split 48.7)
300 hurdles 38.6
4x4 split 48.7
(Video 38.7 lane 4) pic.twitter.com/07XpsNoYFP
— zach neuman (@zachneuman_) March 20, 2020
This content is sponsored by CertaPro Painters.