Marist retires jersey of former star Rachele Fitz
Rachele Fitz couldn’t stop smiling as she looked up into the
rafters and saw her No. 12 jersey hanging high above Marist’s
The Red Foxes’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder became the
first women’s basketball player to have her jersey retired by the
school Friday night.
With her family in attendance, Fitz’s jersey was unveiled near
those of men’s basketball greats Rik Smits, Drafton Davis and Steve
”It really is incredible,” Fitz said. ”I never could have
thought when I came here five years ago that I’d end up with the
career I had.”
Serenaded by the boisterous crowd of 2,800, Fitz was in awe.
”The whole day was surreal,” said Fitz, who is playing
professionally in Luxembourg. ”I couldn’t stop smiling because I
knew if I did I would cry.”
Fitz – a three-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of
the year – finished her career with 2,447 points and 1,006 rebounds
and helped guide the Red Foxes to a 116-21 mark during her time at
the school, nestled nearly 90 miles outside New York City in the
She was instrumental in leading the Red Foxes to the NCAA
tournament the past four seasons and as a freshman helped the team
advance to the regional semifinals for the first time in school
”I was just one small part of the success we had and I was
blessed with really great teammates,” Fitz said.
The 6-foot-3 star sat on the bench during the game and received
a bevy of awards during the game. She was honored by Dutchess
County with a proclamation naming Feb. 18 in her honor. She was
also given a framed jersey as well as framed photos from her
The Marist cheerleaders, mascot and many members of the student
section wore special Fitz shirts.
Even with Fitz having graduated, the Red Foxes are back in the
Top 25 and riding a 20-game winning streak – the second longest in
Her replacement on the court, Brandy Gang, wouldn’t let the
24th-ranked Red Foxes lose on a night they honored their greatest
player. She matched her career-high with 19 points to help Marist
beat Manhattan 60-42.