After enduring her fifth knee surgery and playing the year with a broken wrist, Pima Community College hoops standout Abyee Maracigan has become the epitome of a warrior.
Dedication and perseverance describe the 5-foot-10-inch player’s work ethic, but factors that kept Maracigan on the basketball court go beyond words.
“My family, my team and my coaches are what pushed me to be a part of something so amazing,” she said about her career. “I didn’t want to miss out on it and, if anything, it has made me love the game so much more, and learn so much more.”
Possibly her closest teammate at Pima is Tia Morrison, who thinks highly of Maracigan.
“She’s tough,” Morrison said. “She tore her ACL like three times, twice on one knee and recently on the other and had some meniscus surgeries. She’s my hero, she came back and busted ass after every surgery. Nothing can stop her and I admire that so much.”
The most recent injury came in the region championship game on the Aztecs’ home court. Silence took over after Maracigan went down. After the game, her spirits were high and she guaranteed she’d play at nationals, which she did.
However, she didn’t make it past the first game. That’s when she realized it was time for another surgery.
Despite the injuries, she has been a proven winner since she first stepped foot on the court.
Maracigan helped lead Flowing Wells High School to two state championship games in her high school career, one of which the Caballeros won.
She continued her successful career when she accepted a scholarship to play for the Aztecs in 2008. Her experience has been nothing short of “amazing,” she said.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better place to play or a better team to be a part of,” Maracigan said. “These were the best two years of my life. Just being able to play with my sisters and being able to play in front of my family has meant everything to me.”
From her first day, she helped a once lowly Aztec team that had seen limited success become not only a regional power but a national one as well.
“She knows how to win,” said Todd Holthaus, Pima’s women’s basketball head coach. “Her attitude is infectious. She’s a glue kind of a player, she’s just a winner of a kid.”
When they arrived as freshmen, Maracigan and Morrison quickly connected.
“We’re both competitors,” Morrison said. “We both want to win, and we definitely do what we can to make sure we win.”
“Me and her are really good friends on and off the court. That gives us good chemistry. She’s just fun to be around and she keeps that mentality on the court.”
During Maricigan’s two years at Pima, she averaged 12.4 points, just over seven rebounds and four assists per game. Those numbers earned her scholarship offers to Nebraska-Omaha and Idaho State.
She ultimately chose Idaho State but her aspirations reach beyond playing basketball. Maracigan hopes to become a teacher and a coach.
“I want to coach basketball eventually and I want to be able to make a difference in kids’ lives,” she said.
All-NJCAA Region I Division II team (‘09, ‘10)
All-ACCAC first team (‘09, ‘10)
NJCAA Division II All-American
third team (‘09, ‘10)