February 22, 2020
Story by: Ed James
ROBBINSVILLE/HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Molly Aromando, a senior at Trenton Catholic Academy (Hamilton, NJ) and lifelong Robbinsville resident, recently accepted a basketball scholarship offer from The College of Saint Rose (Albany, NY) and signed a National Letter of Intent. The Golden Knights, an NCAA Division II program, are members of the Northeast 10 Conference.
“I’m so excited to be continuing my academic and basketball careers at Saint Rose,” said Aromando. “Coaches (Karen) Haag and (John) Ardizone are great people and teachers of the game. The Northeast 10 is one of the best conferences in Division II. I got along really well with my future teammates on my visits. I plan to be a teacher and coach, and their School of Education is excellent. And I love the campus in Albany, which is a beautiful city.”
Aromando, a smooth, versatile 5’11” guard with excellent range, playmaking ability and tenacity on defense, first attracted attention from colleges as the MVP of her AAU team, the Central Jersey Hawks-Lightning, coached by John Mayo. Her play in AAU and at TCA has enabled her to be only the second Robbinsville native to earn a basketball scholarship. Peddie grad Lisa Lebak, a star guard at Division I Quinnipiac from 2009-2013, was the first.
Aromando is also the first Robbinsville resident to play Girls Varsity Basketball for the legendary Lady Mikes. She has been building a laudable legacy at TCA since her arrival in Fall 2018. She enrolled there after two standout years at Robbinsville High School, where she earned a 4.1 GPA, letters in two Varsity sports (soccer and basketball), all-conference honors and recognition as one of the Top 100 Sophomores in NJ Girls High School Basketball.
During Aromando’s time at TCA, the Lady Mikes, under head coach Bob Fusik, have been among the best teams in the state and nation.
In 2018-19, TCA finished 25-4 and ranked #6 in the state. The Lady Mikes won Burlington County Scholastic League (BCSL) Liberty Division, Mercer County Tournament and NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public B titles. Aromando became a key contributor after sitting the first 30 days of the season per state transfer rules. In her best outing, she registered 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists vs. Pennsauken.
This season, TCA has played a schedule filled with state and national powers. The Lady Mikes have more than risen to the challenge, posting a 22-1 record as of February 21. They are currently ranked #2 in NJ and in the Top 25 in several national polls, including MaxPreps (#14) and espnW (#24). The roster includes four senior D1 commits (three basketball; one track), as well as one junior and two freshmen with many D1 offers.
“I love my teammates,” said Aromando. “They are talented players and great people. We spend a lot of time together. We have so much fun. And we have each other’s back. You can see that in games. We play unselfish, team basketball.”
Indeed. TCA scores a whopping 72 points per game, but no player averages over 13 per game. Six average between 10 and 13 per game. As many as 11 players may see the floor. So individual contributions aren’t always visible in box scores.
Still, Aromando has made her mark on the Lady Mikes super season. In her last 10 games since returning to the lineup after an injury, she has contributed 7.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. In a recent start against Westampton Tech, defending Central Jersey Group 3 champions, she delivered 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots. In another start in the MCT opener vs. Nottingham, Aromando exploded for a career-high 23 points on 8-13 shooting, including three 3’s, and recorded 6 steals, 6 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and 2 assists. And in the MCT quarterfinals against Hightstown, she registered 9 points, 6 steals, 4 assists and 3 rebounds.
“I’ve never cared about stats,” said Aromando. “My teammates feel the same way. We just want to win and play the right way. We have big team goals this season. We know we have to continue to work very hard, get better every day and bring our best each game to achieve them.”
Aromando also excels off the hardwood at TCA. She was named TCA’s Female Scholar-Athlete in 2018-19. She has made the Honor Roll of Distinction (no grades less than an A) in every semester of her TCA career, has earned an A in every class she has taken in high school (except for one B) and maintains a 4.0 GPA taking Honors and AP courses. She also serves as Student Council President, leads the TCA Chapter of Catholic Athletes for Christ, is a Peer Tutor and spent part of the past two summers as a volunteer for Project Appalachia, in which members of the St. Gregory The Great Catholic Church youth group perform home repairs for those in need in rural West Virginia.
“TCA welcomed me from Day 1 like I was family,” said Aromando. “It’s been that way ever since. The school community is so caring. The experiences, opportunities and support I’ve had here have been incredible. I’ll always cherish my time at TCA.”