Caito inks NLI with Wisconsin
Cranston East girls’ basketball star Maia Caito made her college commitment official on Thursday afternoon, as the 6-foot-4 center inked a National Letter of Intent to continue her athletic and academic endeavors at the University of Wisconsin.
After enduring a long and somewhat stressful recruiting process, Caito couldn’t have been happier to put the pen to paper in front of family, friends, coaches and faculty inside the East auditorium.
“It’s a relief,” Caito said of making everything official. “It was kind of stressful, but I knew I wanted to sign in the fall and make my decision early so I could enjoy my senior season knowing where I’m going to go. It’s a relief that it’s all set and done and official now.”
Wisconsin will unquestionably provide excellent athletic and academic opportunities for Caito. On the court, the Badgers play in the Big Ten, one of the premier conferences in the country. The potential to play for the Badgers caught Caito’s attention quickly in the recruiting process, as the possibility of playing in a top Division I conference was definitely enticing. And, after making a visit out to the Madison, Wisconsin, campus, Caito knew that the program was the right fit for her.
“I was interested because it was such a big school and such a big conference,” Caito said. “When I visited, I fell in love with the school. Then I got to know the girls and the coaching staff – that and then the academic side of the school made me want to go there.”
Caito has been one of the top centers in the state throughout her high school career, dominating down low in Division II as a freshman and sophomore. She then encountered similar success after East moved up to Division I for her junior season, as Caito had another standout season as a Third Team All-Division I performer.
“Getting to Division I, there was more competition,” Caito said of how the Cranston East program has helped her develop as a player. “My team and I have always been close, and they know that this has always been a goal of mine. My teammates have always helped to push me to be successful, even outside of East.”
The support was overwhelming inside the East auditorium, which filled up quickly with students and faculty in anticipation of Caito’s signing. It has been that same support and encouragement from her peers that has helped to push Caito to achieve her goals.
“It was amazing,” Caito said of the support. “It meant a lot to me that everyone came out, was here and supported me.”