Mariah Callen has been playing basketball since she was 6.

“I had two older siblings who also played basketball, so I was always trying to keep up with them from a young age.” she told me recently.

The 5-foot-4 guard is a native of Morgantown, graduating from St. Francis Central Catholic and University High School.

As a Hawk, Callen was a freshman when she was named to the third team all-state. She made second team all-state as a sophomore and first team all-state as a junior and senior. She was all-conference all four years.

She also holds all-time records at UHS in scoring — 1,613 career points; made 3-pointers — 191; steals — 329; and assists — 566.

In addition to being a standout for UHS, she played travel basketball for the NSBC Rampage. Callen said it was one of the best experiences of her life.

“I got to travel and play basketball on the weekends with my friends, so how could it not be a great experience?”

She loves the sport so much, she never tried anything else.

“Basketball is the only sport I have ever played, so not having to focus on any other sport and being able to play year-round definitely helped me to develop as a player.”

After graduation, in 2014, Callen chose to attend Wheeling Jesuit University, where she is in her senior year.

As a junior last season, she averaged 13.2 points per game, 4.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. She shot 84.3 percent from the free throw line, 37.6 percent from 3, and 37.2 percent from the field. She started all 32 games, averaging 36.2 minutes per game.

She scored in double figures in 24 of 32 games. She scored 28 points against Shepherd University, 23 against both Urbana and West Virginia State, 19 against West Virginia Wesleyan and NDC-W, 18 against Pitt-Johnstown and Alderson Broaddus, and 16 against Concord.

She ranked 16th in scoring, fifth in assists, third in free throw percentage and 3-point percentage, and second in assist-to-turnover ratio in the MEC (Mountain East Conference.)

Callen helped lead the Cardinals to a 25-7 record. They won their second consecutive MEC championship, defeating Fairmont State. They made it to the first round of the Division II NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships, where they fell to Virginia Union, 66-58. Callen was named to the second team all-conference team by the MEC.

As a sophomore, Callen started all 33 games, averaging a team-high 36.5 minutes per game. As a freshman, she appeared in 28 games, starting in 17 of them. She played a total of 643 minutes, the most by a freshman.

Callen said playing in college is pretty different from playing in high school.

“In college, it is a lot more time-consuming and demanding. However, both experiences have been extremely rewarding,” she said.

Callen said Wheeling and Morgantown are similar and she’s come to enjoy her second home.

“Wheeling has definitely grown on me over the past three years. It’s not too different from Morgantown, other than the lack of a large university,” she said. “Instead we have two smaller universities (Wheeling Jesuit & West Liberty) so there can be quite a rivalry between the two and that can be pretty fun.”

Those rivalry games between Wheeling Jesuit and West Liberty are what Callen says she is looking forward to most about her senior season

“It is always such a fun atmosphere to play in, so I am really going to miss that once this season is over.”

Callen excels academically as well as on the court. She was named to the 2017 COSIDA Academic All-District II Team. She was one of just five Division II players selected to the District II team. She earned a 3.82 grade point average as a business major.

But it’s not all books and basketball for Callen.

“This summer, I took a trip to the Bahamas, where I got to swim with dolphins. It was definitely an awesome experience to be so up-close and personal with them.”

In her spare time, Callen enjoys being at the pool or on the lake when the weather permits.

She is the daughter of Lori and Stephen Callen, of Morgantown. She has two brothers, Stephen and Jacob, as well as a sister, Kayla. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school though she isn’t sure where yet.

Kerri Kosten is a columnist for The Dominion Post. Email her at