One Last Dance: Marotta’s leadership will be key in final season

Senior+forward+Chloe+Marotta+gets+into+her+defensive+stance+during+practice+Oct.+24+at+the+Al+McGuire+Center.+

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

Senior forward Chloe Marotta gets into her defensive stance during practice Oct. 24 at the Al McGuire Center.

After dropping a career-high 28 points against Toledo in the Golden Eagles’ final game of the season last year, it would have been understandable if senior forward Chloe Marotta had decided to end her career on a high note.

But she’s not done yet.

Marotta announced on MUTV’s Golden Eagle Sports Report this past April that she would return to Marquette for a fifth season on the NCAA COVID-19 extra year of eligibility.

“It’s finally starting to feel a little real,” Marotta said. “I’m excited. Honestly, for my last year, I’m playing it like every other year. You know, don’t try to think about being in your last year, but more so just enjoy it. Enjoy every moment.”

Her return gives Marquette a veteran presence after losing graduate students Lauren Van Kleunen and Jordan McLaughlin.

Senior forward Kennedi Myles said she was thrilled to welcome Marotta back to the team this year. 

“I’m really excited. Chloe gives us a lot of energy and a lot of spunk. She competes every single day and that’s something that we needed to have back. I’m glad to have her back,” Myles said.  

Marotta said that the decision to come back wasn’t a tough one to make.

“Most importantly, I wanted to play for Coach Duffy for four (full) years,” Marotta said. “It was a pretty easy decision given that I love Marquette this much, but I would do it over again in a heartbeat.”

Another big part of why Marotta decided to return was because she felt she still had more to give to this program.

“(I want to) just be able to impact the younger girls,” Marotta said. “(I want to) show them my sense of experience. I can lead them and use my voice and my experience on the court.”

Head coach Megan Duffy said that Marotta’s leadership is something that will be the key to Marquette’s success as a team this year.  

“Chloe’s been phenomenal just leading our group,” Duffy said. “The thing is she’s so selfless. You know the energy she brings, she’ll run through a wall for anybody.”  

Junior forward Liza Karlen and senior transfer guard Nia Clark also harped on her humble and caring nature. 

“She also is one of those people that has great relationships with everyone. She goes out of her way to make those relationships. We all respect her on and off the court,” Karlen said.

Clark, Marotta’s roommate, said Marotta’s kindness helped make her transition from Xavier to Marquette a smooth and easy one.

“She gives to others a lot. She’s very giving and caring. She goes hard for not only herself or for Coach Duffy, she goes hard for the person standing next to her, to the right or left of her. Chloe helped me a lot with my transition here,” Clark said. 

Coming off the Toledo game last year, Marotta said that she is looking to build on that performance, but also wants to continue to be the gel for this still young team.

“Going into this season, I want to still be that glue kid,” Marotta said. “The sense of always getting offensive rebounds, boxing out hard and getting assists to my teammates. Whatever my team needs is really where I’m going to fit in.” 

Marotta’s determination and hard work in practice have not gone unnoticed and she has led by example as one of the most experienced players on the team. 

“Her work ethic is off the charts. I think she leads by example more than anyone on our team,” Karlen said. “You’ll see her work in games, you saw her work during practice. Everyone follows her in that way.” 

As with every season, this year presents a new challenge for Marotta as the veteran on the team. 

“One of the things I told (Chloe) going into her fifth year is by the time you leave here at the end of springtime, what impact have you made (for) the people below you, the younger guys?” Duffy said. “What can you show them along the way?” 

After her final year, Marotta plans to coach for her brother’s AAU program, Club 52 and hopes to play overseas. 

“I have the 13U girls, so I’ll be able to coach them, and I’m really excited about that,” Marotta said. “I want to go play overseas still. I won’t probably talk about that until after the season.” 

Currently, Marotta is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration, but also plans on attending law school.

“Law school has been my insight (in) to what my parents did,” Marotta said. “What else can I do? Keep going to school and figure out life, but also to be a regular college student will be cool too and fun.”  

Last March in the WNIT against Purdue, Marotta surpassed her late father, Marc, in total rebounds. He played for the Marquette men’s basketball team from 1980-1984 and posted 612 rebounds in his collegiate career. She currently sits at 624 rebounds and is looking to add to that number in her final year.

“Creating my own legacy here is that sense of beating my dad on those rebounds or being a better leader,” Marotta said. “If my dad was here, he would (say), ‘Yeah, you killed me on that’ and (there would) definitely be a sense of competition there.” 

As her final chapter at Marquette begins in a week, Marotta said there are no words to describe what Marquette has meant to her these last four years.

“Marquette will have changed me for my entire life,” Marotta said. “If I look back and think about where I became a better person, I would say that it was at Marquette due to my coaches and teammates.” 

This story was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @KaylynnWrightMU.