Clair Marion found out Wednesday night that she was one step closer to a once-doubted senior high school season becoming a reality.
Within 48 hours, Marion finalized where she will be playing after high school.
Marion, a guard/forward for the Hoop Group Showcase League champion NEPA Elite Clark 17U girls team, gave her commitment Friday night to continue her academic and athletic careers at Dickinson College in Carlisle.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do since grade school,” said Marion, whose mother Laura (Pikulski) Marion is part of the University of Scranton Wall of Fame for her performance on the basketball court.
Even with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that threatened her high school season and disrupted the college recruiting process, Clair Marion said, “I got to visit my top three schools – Dickinson, DeSales and Drew.”
Marion plans to follow a pre-health path at Dickinson because of the likelihood that she will eventually pursue nursing.
“I chose Dickinson because it’s an excellent academic school,” said Marion, who joins Kayla Rose, another NEPA Elite 17U player, who recently committed to Dickinson.
Marion, a 5-foot-10 senior at Abington Heights, has generally played the “2” and “3” wing positions for the Lady Comets and with NEPA Elite. She was surprised to learn that Dickinson coaches view her as a potential “4,” but said that position includes 3-point shooting in a system that uses just one post player.
With the NEPA Elite team that went 25-4 and featured four National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I commits and another being recruited for that level, Marion averaged 4.1 points and finished third on the team in steals as well as fourth in 3-pointers made.
Marion led Abington Heights in scoring and was second in 3-pointers made in each of the past two seasons while earning first-team Lackawanna League Division 1 all-star honors and helping the Lady Comets to state tournament appearances.
The Abington Heights School Board was one of just two in the Lackawanna League to not allow its students to participate in contact sports during the fall. The Lady Comets had been practicing for basketball, but with limited defensive and rebounding work because of social distancing rules the school kept in place for practice.
On Wednesday, the Abington Heights School Board passed a motion to move forward with preparations for competition beginning on Jan. 21. Included in that is the likelihood that normal practice routines – other than the wearing of masks – will begin Monday.
“I’m really excited to get started,” Marion said.
Dickinson, an NCAA Division III program, went 13-7 in the Centennial Conference and 16-11 overall during the 2019-20 season.
Rose, a Riverside senior, is also a multi-year divisional all-star in the Lackawanna League.