|Born||October 29, 1973|
Michelle Marciniak (born October 29, 1973 in Macungie, Pennsylvania) is a former All American collegiate and professional basketball player who played point guard in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). As a floor general, Marciniak competed for two National Championships during her three year career at the University of Tennessee. Michelle led the Tennessee Lady Vols to their 4th National Championship and was named MVP in the 1996 Final Four held in Charlotte, NC. She was most recently the recruiting coordinator/assistant coach of the women's basketball team at the University of South Carolina from 2003-2008. Marciniak was responsible for two back to back top recruiting classes, rated #18 in 2007 and #7 in 2008, the highest ranked class ever recruited at South Carolina.
Marciniak is currently the co-founder and co-CEO of SHEEX, Inc., a bed linen company specializing in sheets and pillowcases constructed from advanced athletic-performance fabrics.
Allentown Central Catholic High School
Marciniak was the consensus top player in the nation during her high school senior year...named National Player of theYear by 'Parade Magazine', Naismith National Player of the Year, and Gatorade National High School Player of the Year as a senior in 1991 at Allentown Central Catholic High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At Allentown Central Catholic, she competed in the highly respected East Penn Conference (the forerunner to the Lehigh Valley Conference), where she scored 3,025 points for Central Catholic. Her No. 23 jersey has since been retired by the school in recognition of her extraordinary high school basketball achievements. Sports Illustrated wrote about Marcinak playing with a picture of Michael Jordan in her sock, while Michelle was just a junior in high school, in an article titled "She's the Ponytailed Princess of Hoop."
University of Notre Dame and University of Tennessee
After a year at the University of Notre Dame, Marciniak transferred to the University of Tennessee, where she quickly became a leader of the dominant University of Tennessee Lady Vols women's basketball team under head coach Pat Summitt. Summitt had recruited her in high school and in fact, went into labor as she was sitting in the Marciniak's home on a recruiting trip. Summitt quickly wrapped up the visit and flew back to Knoxville to give birth to her son, Tyler. "Spinderella" as Marciniak was affectionately known because of her free wheeling, spinning and slashing style, became a crowd favorite at Tennessee. She scored over 1,000 points and still is in Tennessee's top ten all-time in assists and three-point scoring, after only three years of play.
With Marciniak at point guard, the Lady Vols won consecutive Southeastern Conference championships in 1995 and 1996. In the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship, Tennessee came in second to the Connecticut Huskies in 1995. The next season, Tennessee wasn't expected to be as strong, but lost just four games during the regular season and eventually returned to the Final Four, where the Lady Vols earned a rematch with UConn. Marciniak led the team to an 88-83 overtime victory, then avenged an earlier loss to Georgia to claim Tennessee's fourth national championship. During the season, Marciniak became the focused leader and played a methodical style of basketball that Pat Summitt demanded from her point guards. Marciniak was chosen the Final Four's Most Valuable Player for her inspired play. She graduated in 1996 with a degree in psychology.
Marciniak began her professional career in the women's American Basketball League, playing all two and half seasons of that league's existence. She played for the ABL's Portland Power, Long Beach Stingrays, and Nashville Noise. After her first season as a professional, Marciniak was a first team All Star in a league loaded with talent. Marciniak was signed by the WNBA's expansion Portland Fire in 2000 where she was an integral part of Portland's success. She then[when?] signed with the Seattle Storm eight days later. Michelle found her home in Seattle the next three seasons while playing for the Storm. She was a fan favorite, and received the WNBA Community Service Award due to the countless hours she put in to bring fans into KeyArena.
More significant was her extremely hard-nosed play on the court, as a nationally televised tussle with Los Angeles Sparks player Latasha Byears earned Marciniak a reputation as the Storm player that opponents least wished to foul. Byears intentionally threw a ball at Marciniak's face, and Marciniak, in response, charged the much larger and stronger Byears.
Marciniak retired at 29 years old, after the Storm's 2002 season, to become an assistant coach for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in the powerhouse SEC Conference, where she had played as a collegian. Marciniak served as an assistant on the staff of head coach Susan Walvius from 2003-2008. She is also an occasional color analyst for WNBA and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball games on ESPN Radio and other media outlets.
In 2008, Marciniak and Walvius founded SHEEX, Inc., a company that is said to offer "the world's first athletic-performance sheets". Constructed from materials commonly found in modern athletic wear, SHEEX provide similar moisture-wicking, temperature-control, breathability and stretch not found in traditional cotton sheeting.
- "THIRTEENTH PAN AMERICAN GAMES -- 1999". USA Basketball. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
- 1995-96 Lady Vols
- Marciniak's SHEEX biography
- Marlin Magazine
- SHEEX features
- Michelle Marciniak biography at University of South Carolina Athletics Web Site
- Michelle Marciniak at WNBA.com
- SHEEX.com Official Site