ALTON - Marquette Catholic High School senior Jillian Nelson is one of the mainstays this year for the Explorers' varsity girls basketball team. Jillian has been a starter since her sophomore year and is also a soccer player.

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Jillian Nelson is the Jeff Lauritzen-Country Financial Female Athlete of the Month for Marquette Catholic High School.

She wanted to first thank her parents for always "supporting me every step of the way throughout my athletic career, even through the hard times. I would also like to thank my middle school and elementary coaches for helping my passion for the sport grow at a young age. I would also like to thank Coach Lee Green for helping me improve my skills throughout my time at Marquette."

Nelson said this year she led her team in scoring against Althoff and Belleville West. She said she has been playing basketball for nine years and the sport has brought her many of her best friends and a lot of great memories other than playing soccer.

She said her hobbies include: photography, traveling, hanging out with my friends and family, and buying sneakers to add to her collection.

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"I take pictures for all of the events at Marquette," she added.

Jillian believes her high school career has helped me develop time management skills and I have become a well-rounded player and person.

"Playing basketball, and any sport, allows anyone to meet new people and grow their social skills," she said.

Jillian has a Division 2 soccer scholarship to Concordia University, St. Paul.

"I am super excited to experience a new lifestyle, but I am nervous about adapting to the cold winters in Minnesota," she said. "I’m currently undecided, but I have been looking into majoring in Business or Communications. I’m also undecided on a career, but I want to have a career that allows me to travel the world."

Jillian has been on the high honor roll since her freshman year and was inducted into the National Honors Society her junior year.

"I am a guard for basketball and I play either midfield or defense for soccer," she said.

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