Marotta poised to make impact in freshman season

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Marotta poised to make impact in freshman season

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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Marquette women’s basketball has always been on Chloe Marotta’s radar. Head coach Carolyn Kieger even referred to her as “Ms. Marquette.”

Her path to Marquette’s campus was hardly how she anticipated though. The former No. 1 ranked recruit in the state of Wisconsin suffered an ACL tear in Summer 2017, which caused her to miss the entirety of her senior season.

“I really focused on staying positive,” Marotta said. “I could either get up, work hard and get back to what I love to do, or just sit on the couch and pout about it.”

By the end of Marotta’s junior year, the Mequon, Wisconsin, native averaged 20.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. That earned her First Team All-State honors, and she was the 14th-best recruit at her position in ESPN’s rankings. The ACL injury derailed her dreams of chasing a state title with Homestead High School.

With the help of Marquette basketball alumnus Joe Chapman, Marotta set her eyes on the next chapter of her basketball career.

Chapman played at Marquette from 2002-’06 and was a member of the 2003 Final Four team. About three years ago, he started Chapman Basketball Academy, a training program in southeastern Wisconsin designed to improve the skills of young basketball players. Marotta was Chapman’s first client.

“My first impression of Chloe was that she’s a very hard worker,” Chapman said. “She’s one of those rare kids that loves to work out all the time.”

Once the news broke of Marotta’s injury, Chapman used his own past experiences to push forward with his client.

“That was our mindset,” Chapman said. “I got injured a couple times when I was playing. I told her not to think about injury, but think about what’s next. That was training every day to get better physically for the next chapter.”

Marotta said her dream school has always been Marquette.

“Being prepared and ready for that was the biggest thing I could focus on,” Marotta said. “That made pushing through pretty easy.”

Training the former McDonald’s All-American nominee also helped grow clientele for Chapman Basketball Academy.

“(Marotta) is an outstanding leader and role model,” Chapman said. “A lot of kids look up to her and want to be like her. Once word got out of who the best player in the state was training with, a lot of kids wanted to train the same way.”

Chapman Basketball Academy now has over 400 clients from over 20 summer travel programs.

Selecting a school is a tedious process for some, but close family ties made it a simple decision for Marotta. She officially committed to Marquette in November 2017.

Chloe’s father Marc played under head coaches Hank Raymonds and Rick Majerus during his career at Marquette from 1980-’84. Her brother Cam is currently a senior walk-on on the men’s basketball team.

“I did have other looks, but to be honest I always knew I was going to Marquette,” Marotta said. “When I was little my family used to take me to every game. In the end they also had the best team, the best program and the best coaching staff.”

Now that she went down a different athletic route, Marotta said she gets a laugh out of looking at photos of her 4-year-old self dressed up in a Marquette cheerleader outfit.

Fourteen months after her injury, she’s a freshman ready to start her career at Marquette without any injuries.

“Everything is really good,” Marotta said. “I worked really hard in the recovery process and got cleared in July. That’s when I started playing with full contact and I have had no problems since.”

Despite playing at a higher level than ever before, Marotta is acclimating to the Division I level well.

“She doesn’t look like a freshman out there,” Kieger said. “She’s a workhorse. She brings it every day. She’s a rebounding machine. I think she’s going to help us in a lot of ways, and I think you will see her getting a lot of minutes.”

Reigning BIG EAST Player of the Year Allazia Blockton has also been impressed with Marotta’s work ethic.

“Chloe is a workaholic,” Blockton said. “She gets out there and is always crashing the boards. She does anything you need her to do. She has been really great for our team and has been showing great leadership.”

With a large group of seniors on the roster, Marotta is well aware of not just what her role will be this season, but also the opportunity that will present itself down the line.

“I know I’m a freshman, but I want that leadership role for next season when all of our seniors are gone,” Marotta said. “I want to do all of the little things like diving on the floor, communicating with my teammates, playing defense and rebounding the ball.”