MARION -- The brand new Southern Illinois University women's soccer program has its first local player.
The Salukis won't play a match until next fall but when they do they'll have Marissa Basi from Marion High School on the field.
Basi, who recently completed her junior season and has another year with the Lady Wildcats, announced on her social media pages Thursday her intentions.
"Blessed to announce my commitment to play D1 soccer at Southern Illinois University Carbondale," Basi posted on both Facebook and Twitter. "Thanks to all my family, friends, and coaches that shaped me into the player and person I am today. I can't wait to stay close to home and help build a program at SIUC!"
Basi recorded 32 assists this past spring, a total that will put her on the IHSA's all-time records list for a single season, and helped Marion to 17 victories, tying the school record total for wins. Basi also learned recently she was named All-South along with teammates Blake Clark and Nicole Szidik.
Basi is the first local player to announce publicly that she will join the new SIU program, which will compete independently in the fall of 2019 and join the Missouri Valley Conference in 2020.
"I could not be more proud," Marion coach Jaime Clark-Verbeck said. "SIU could not get a better young lady to represent them on or off the field."
SIU's announcements so far have only been about the team's coaches. Grant Williams was named the head coach and former professional goal keeper Libby Stout has been named as an assistant.