Watertown-Mayer’s Marissa Janning: Swagger, buzz at 100 miles per hour

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 12, 2012 - 10:31 PM

 Averaging 30 points a game with an aggressive style, Janning found more success than she ever dreamed.

hide

Watertown-Mayer's Marissa Janning, the Star Tribune girls' basketball Metro Player of the Year.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

When she was still in kindergarten, Marissa Janning remembers accompanying older brother Matt from their rural Watertown home to his AAU basketball practices in Minneapolis.

"I was bored, so I would pick up one of the loose balls laying around and dribble it up and down," she said.

As it turned out, those seemingly innocuous trips were the seeds of big things to come.

The senior from Watertown-Mayer is the Star Tribune's 2012 Metro Player of the Year in girls' basketball, a sharp-shooting guard who plays with a swagger honed on numerous inner-city courts across Minneapolis and St. Paul.

A quick glance at the numbers and Janning's worthiness becomes obvious:

• 3,587 career points, fourth all-time among Minnesota girls.

• A 30.1 points-per-game average this year.

• A state-record 458 career three-pointers.

• 725 career assists and 601 career steals.

"It's been incredible," Janning said. "I never expected [to have] that kind of success."

Others, however, might say differently.

"Rissy has always been a great athlete," said her father, Jeff, referring to his daughter by the nickname used by her family and closest friends. "She did volleyball, track, wrestling, softball. She even played football in fifth grade. She was pretty good, too."

It wasn't long before Janning's dribbling sojourns turned heads. Soon the country girl was sharing court time with players of urban renown, including former Minneapolis South standout Tayler Hill.

"I didn't get much playing time then, because they were a lot older than me," Janning said. "But when I got in, I was going 100 miles per hour."

That aggressive style became her trademark. She eschewed her local traveling basketball teams, preferring city-based programs like Hill's N.C. Heat and the Minnesota Lady Monarchs before eventually landing with the metro's most visible girls' program, North Tartan.

Even though she sought out better competition during the offseason, Watertown -- west of the Lake Minnetonka area in Carver County -- was her home. As word spread of her basketball prowess, some high school programs wondered if she'd consider transferring.

They needn't have wasted their time, Janning said.

"This is my home," she said. "I never thought about going to a different school."

As her skills and reputation grew, Janning gained national exposure in elite AAU summer tournaments. Yet donning Royals blue was never far from her mind.

"There's a lot more than basketball for me here," she said. "My brother played here, and he's my biggest role model. And I wanted to play with my friends and for my school."

Buoyed by Janning's devastatingly quick lefthanded jumper and innate ability to create her own shot, Watertown-Mayer generated a buzz on the Twin Cities' southwestern fringes.

But not enough team success for her liking. The Royals qualified for the state tournament once, in 2010, in Janning's six varsity seasons. In each of the past two seasons, they lost to Providence Academy in the section playoffs.

"That is one regret," Janning said. "I wish we could have beaten Providence just once."

Next up is Creighton University in Omaha, where a full basketball scholarship awaits. She is expected to challenge for the starting point guard role as a freshman.

"It's amazing how fast this time has gone by," she said. "It's sad, but I'm ready to start the next chapter of my life. I'm excited about that."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Dallas
Colorado 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Is it the right move to replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close