As a junior, Marisol Silva helped her Sandia High School basketball team capture a state basketball championship in the largest class in New Mexico.
It is that experience that led Silva, a 5-foot-11 wing player, as a top player on college’s recruiting list. Silva, halfway through her senior season, made up her mind of her college choice, picking Western Nebraska Community College over Region IX schools Lamar Community College and Trinidad State Junior College.
“I decided to come to WNCC because the moment I stepped on campus, I could feel the culture of the program and knew it was best the fit for me,” Silva said. “I know Coach [Chad] Gibney has high expectations for the girls and pushes them to fulfill their potential. I really liked how much the community is involved and how supportive they are.”
It is at WNCC Silva hopes to continue growing as a player.
“My goals at WNCC are to learn and grow as a player and as a teammate,” the Albuquerque, New Mexico, product said. “I want to help the program continue to be successful.”
WNCC head coach Chad Gibney sees bright things from Silva next year.
“Mari is a very good defensive player and she is extremely versatile,” he said. “She has a knack for the ball and always seems to make winning plays. She can guard multiple positions and pursues the basketball off the glass. Mari won a state championship in high school so she is not afraid of the moment and understands what it takes to win at a high level.”
Last season as a junior, Silva was named the MVP of the state championship game in helping her team to the state title. She was second team All-Metro as a junior as well as being nominated for the Metro Defensive Player of the Year her sophomore and junior years. She was also All-Academic last year.
As a junior, Silva average 11 points and seven rebounds game in 32 games. This season, through 11 games, she is averaging 11 points, eight rebounds, and two steals a game. Silva said her senior season was cut short because of an ankle injury.
“Unfortunately, due to an ankle injury, I will be unable to finish my senior year on the floor with my teammates,” she said. “Instead, I will be cheering them on from the bench.”
Silva is a four-sport athlete at Sandia, but it is basketball where she shines. Silva ran track for two seasons, played volleyball for a year, and played club soccer since she was four years old before stopping to play her sophomore year in high school.
Silva plays basketball year around and that is where Gibney found Silva, It was a tournament this summer in Denver that Silva caught Gibney’s eye.
“When I saw Mari play this summer, I loved the effort in how she flew around the court defensively and after rebounds,” he said. “Her toughness and unselfishness will fit in perfect with the culture that we have established at WNCC. Mari loves the game and is an outstanding worker. We are excited to help her develop as a player and person.”
Silva plans to major in criminology at WNCC.