There is no denying that Wagner girls’ basketball is a better team with Nicole Melious on it.
The Lady Falcons are 50-7 since she arrived as a freshman during the 2019-20 campaign, when Melious earned NYC’s high school Rookie of the Year honor and the Warren Jaques award, as the best high school player on Staten Island, and made NY All-State third team.
After Melious’ performance this past PSAL regular season, the Georgia Tech commit is now writing her own legacy on Staten Island as well as the rest of New York City, where she is following in the footsteps of fellow legendary NYC guards Stephon Marbury and Kenny Anderson, both of whom played for the Yellow Jackets.
Not sure just how good the Staten Island native is right now? The impressive numbers backup the 5-foot-9’s dominance this year: 961 total points (40.4 p.p.g.), 10.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists per tilt. Plus, 13 straight double-doubles, four triple-doubles, six 50-plus, five 40-plus, eight 30-plus, and four 20-plus points games.
In fact, Melious scored under 20 points just once during the year.
Then, there are the recognitions from the basketball community at large. Melious earned an invite to the prestigious Wootten 150 Camp twice, Lucas 160 Camp three times, currently holds World Exposure Basketball’s No. 22 ranking, and picked up a nomination as a 2022 New York Gatorade Player of the Year finalist.
Melious’ extraordinaire play has not gotten lost on Wagner Head Coach Tom Rizzo.
“She’s a generational talent,” Rizzo said. “She’s a pleasure to coach. She can do it all on the court. She is giving Staten Island a treat. We are witnessing something truly special. She will go down as the most decorated basketball player in Staten Island high school history.”
Hoopers NY Head Coach Bryan Williams, Melious’ AAU coach, also offered up high praise for the star player.
“Nicole is the female Step Curry,’ Williams said. “She can shoot from anywhere on the court. She is the best shooter I’ve seen, with (great) range, from a female. She is intense and wants to win. Point blank, she’s a phenom.”
With all the success Melious has experienced, she has managed to stay humble while expressing gratitude to all the people that have helped her along her basketball and life paths.
“First and foremost, I’d like to thank Coach Rizzo and Scott McBratney from Wagner for always having my back and trusting me to succeed,” Melious said. “Special thank you to Bryan Williams for always believing in me, my trainers, especially Matt Reeves and Gerry Mosley, who have been there with me since the beginning. Matt is taking my game to another level. They are like family.”
Not to mention the Mabrey family, with Dara–who is a senior on Notre Dame’s hoops squad–and her siblings becoming part of Melious’ ever-important extended family.
“Finally, Dara, Roy, and Marina Mabrey (who won a national title with Notre Dame and plays for the Dallas Wings of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Mabrey family has taught me so much and have been like big sisters to me, and Roy has been like a brother,” she noted.
So, what is next for the blonde-haired lethal sniper?
Melious said she like to bring home a PSAL basketball title and is looking to break the 2000-point career high school mark this season.
Then, eventually surpass the PSAL scoring record of 2345 points and eclipse the Staten Island prep school marks of 2174 points for girls and 2566 for boys, held by Kelsey Carey (St. Joseph Hill and Fairfield University) and Kyle McLarney (Moore Catholic High School and Notre Dame), respectively.
The PSAL playoffs tipoff for the second-seeded Lady Falcons on March 1st at 5:00 p.m. against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
— Jerry Del Priore