Skip To Main Content
Spotlight on All-American Basketball Player, 2024 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee Nicole Anaejionu '99

The 2024 Marian Athletic Club (MAC) Hall of Fame celebration on Sunday, March 24, 2024 will mark the third consecutive year that deserving individuals and teams will be inducted to the Marian Athletics Hall of Fame. Ahead of the celebration, Marian interviewed All-American Basketball Player Nicole Anaejionu '99, slated for induction March 24: 

Nicole, congratulations on your induction into the Marian Athletics Hall of Fame! Looking back at your time as a student-athlete at Marian High School, what are some of your fondest memories on the basketball court? 

NA: My favorite memories are definitely winning two State Championships during my time at Marian! I would also say the summer camps we did every year at Michigan State were awesome (and exhausting!). It was so much fun having that time to bond with my teammates before we started a new season. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the epic team meals we had before games. I know that isn’t a memory on the court, but those moments off the court helped fuel (literally!) our success season after season. My teammates were the best and I will always cherish the times we had together! 

You were an integral part of the Marian basketball team's success during your time on the team. Could you share with us a defining moment or game that stands out to you from your high school basketball career? 

NA: A defining moment for me was when Coach Cicerone put me on the varsity team as an incoming freshman. I had gone through tryouts just expecting to make the freshman team, maybe JV, but clearly Coach Cicerone saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself at the time. I wasn’t exactly thrilled when she delivered the news—I didn’t know anyone on varsity, and I wasn’t sure I had what it took to compete at that level. But, thanks to Coach and my teammates, I matured exponentially as a person and player on that team. And by the middle of the season, I realized I was exactly where I was supposed to be. 

After your impressive high school career, you went on to play collegiate basketball at both Penn State and University of Detroit Mercy. How did your experiences at Marian prepare you for the challenges and opportunities of collegiate athletics? 

NA: My experience as a Marian student-athlete definitely prepared me for life beyond high school. The Catholic League was full of top tier athletes and our team always had a chance to compete against other great teams across Michigan on the road to the State Finals. I learned how to be a team player and a leader, and display great sportsmanship. All of this prepared me to compete at the collegiate level. Additionally, Marian has always had a rigorous academic curriculum, and there was no question that we were students first and foremost. My teachers cared about me, challenged me, and ultimately prepared me for the college (and grad school) experience.  

Reflecting on your journey from Marian High School to where you are now, what advice would you give to current student-athletes who aspire to achieve success both on and off the field/court? 

NA: My advice is to ground yourself in your faith, continue to work hard in all that you do, and use your God-given gifts to inspire and empower others. I poured a lot of time, effort, and sweat into basketball. Not only did it unlock doors for me to travel to different places and meet new people, but it allowed me to fortify my faith and develop a strong work ethic that has undoubtedly helped me thrive in my career. When I look back at my basketball career, success for me was synonymous with winning. Now, I view success through the lens of how many people I can positively impact, whether it’s through my day-to-day work as a television executive or by sharing my personal experiences to encourage others.  

Finally, as you prepare to be honored alongside other distinguished individuals in the Marian Athletics Hall of Fame, what does this recognition mean to you personally, and how do you hope your legacy will inspire future generations of student-athletes at Marian High School? 

NA: Every time I had basketball practice at Marian, I remember looking at the walls outside of the gymnasium and seeing pictures of other student-athletes who made an impact throughout the school’s history. It never crossed my mind that I would one day be among those faces. I can honestly say that I played for the love of the game, and my gifts made room for me. My passion, dedication, and hard work led me to play at the collegiate level and professionally in Poland. I leverage these same skills and attributes today in my role as an executive at a television studio. Should future generations of student-athletes come across my name and read about my journey, I hope they are inspired to work hard and dream bigger, knowing that extraordinary opportunities are within their reach.   

Thank you, Nicole! 

Joining Nicole in this year’s Hall of Fame Class are Lacrosse Legend Caroline Forester Crowe '15, track and field standout Dana Carey '11, and longtime Marian Head of School Sr. Lenore Pochelski, IHM, who was instrumental to the growth of the athletic program and a guiding member of the Catholic High School League's (CHSL) Executive Committee. Additionally, former student-athletes representing the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state championship soccer teams of 2003 and 2004 will be on campus to represent both teams' induction to the hall of fame. 

Once again, Jennifer Hammond, FOX 2 Sports Reporter and 2024 National Sports Media Association (NSMA) Michigan Sportscaster of the Year, will be the evening's host for the third consecutive year. Hammond will lead the inductee panel in an interactive talk show-style format that promises to be entertaining for all ages. 

While tickets are free of charge, attendees are encouraged to register and contribute to the Hall of Fame effort if possible. Additionally, registrants and sponsors have the opportunity to write personalized messages to the inductees during the registration process. Sponsors will take part in a private meet-and-greet event with inductees that will include photo opportunities and a champagne reception. Hors d'oeuvres and light refreshments will be served to all. 

The Hall of Fame Class of 2024 joins 2023 inductees longtime contributor Denny Flynn, groundbreaking tennis coach Julie McKnight (posthumously inducted), all-American swimmer Mollie Pultie '15, and dual sport threat Stephanie Storen Jett '93 (basketball & volleyball) and 2022 inductees Barry Brodsky (soccer), Mary Cicerone (basketball), Jay Louis-Prescott (field hockey & soccer), Bill Thompson (swimming) and Dave Feldman (athletic director). 

  • Alumnae
  • Athletics