Freshman phenom Aneesah Morrow makes big first impression at DePaul


In Doug Bruno’s 36 years coaching DePaul, he’s never had a freshman quite like Aneesah Morrow. 

“We’ve had some very good freshmen here, but I don’t think anyone has made this kind of national impact this quickly.”

In Morrow’s first collegiate game, she scored 31 points – the most by a player in their debut under Bruno.

“I was shocked,” noted Morrow. “I went and told my mother, ‘Oh my god! Did you hear that?’ I was really surprised.”

The 6-1 forward does more than score – she’s averaging better than 11 rebounds per game, grabbing 19 against Xavier. It’s added up to six Big East freshmen of the week honors, a Big East player of the week award and a National freshman of the week accolade.

“I think her coming in and being competitive and wanting to work, wanting get better – obviously, her skill of rebounding is unmatched,” remarked DePaul senior guard Deja Church. “She’s doing stuff fifth year people aren’t doing.”

“The first-time I laid eyes on Aneesah as an eighth grader, we knew she was going to be special,” Bruno explained.

Sports are in Morrow’s bone marrow. Her mom Nafeesah was all-conference at Nebraska –which the Harlan High School graduate chose over DePaul — while her dad Ed played for the Huskers national championship football team.

Then, there’s Aneesah’s four siblings, the three eldest having played college ball, including her sister Nazlah who transferred to DePaul this year from Miami Dade junior college.

“Everything is competitive, but it’s a good competitive attitude towards one another.”

As for who’s the best basketball player?

“Me,” Aneesah laughed.

The competition extends to the classroom.

“I’ve been always on honor roll, but I’ve always had all A’s and a B. My mother would be like, ‘You are the only daughter that didn’t get all A’s.’ I’m like, ‘Okay. Now you’re challenge me?’ So, the last two quarters I got straight A’s and I ended up with a 4.3 GPA. My sister that graduated before me had a 4.2. So, I won in the end. That’s super competitive.”

After starring at Simeon, Aneesah had 24 scholarship offers across the country, but unlike her mom who decided not to play for Coach Bruno in the 90s, Aneesah decided to make her impact close to home.

“She told me that she really wanted to play for coach Bruno, but her decision was because she wanted to get away from home, but mine was the complete opposite.

“I felt like I could make an impact here in my hometown. I was born and raised here. So, I’m like, ‘why not stay home?’ I have all my family here to support me and with COVID going on, it’s like you never really know when you’ll be able to see your family.”

In a family filled with star athletes, Aneesah hopes to become the first to turn pro – further bragging rights in this competitive household.

“It would mean a lot. Not only would I be the first in family, I would be the first from Simeon, as well. Just being different and bringing something to teams and organizations that no other person has brought and that’s amazing.”

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