Blackhawk’s Amalia gives verbal commitment to Robert Morris

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Monday, June 4, 2018 | 8:15 PM


Blackhawk rising junior guard Mackenzie Amalia announced her verbal commitment Monday evening to the women’s basketball program at Division I Robert Morris.

“I just really love the coaching staff and everything else about Robert Morris,” Amalia said. “I knew they were the best fit for me. It’s a place that can allow me to grow as a person on and off the court.”

Amalia averaged 17 points as a sophomore and was named second-team all-state after helping Blackhawk to a 19-4 overall record, a Section 2-4A co-championship with Beaver and trips to the WPIAL semifinals and the PIAA tournament.

As a freshman, she was a part of a Cougars squad that made it to the WPIAL championship game.

“We’re all excited for Mackenzie,” Blackhawk coach Steve Lodovico said. “She had a number of options to choose from, and it’s kind of nice that she is staying local. Robert Morris is a really good program that is doing a lot of nice things each year. I think it’s just a great fit for her.”

Amalia received her first offer from Duquesne in seventh grade. Since that time, she picked up other Division I offers from Niagara, Vermont, Kent State, Valparaiso and St. Bonaventure.

“Having the decision behind me relieves the (recruiting) stress,” said Amalia, who has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average in the classroom.

Amalia will join Blackhawk teammate Mady Aulbach at the Division I level. Aulbach, a rising senior guard with the Cougars, verbally committed to Youngstown State in the fall.

“To have two Division I guards on the team, it’s such a luxury,” Lodovico said. “We’ve been fortunate enough at Blackhawk over the past four or five years to have those kind of kids on the team. Mackenzie is continuing that tradition. We’re very lucky to have Mady for one more year and Mackenzie for two, for sure.”

Madison Amalia, Mackenzie’s sister, was a freshman this past season on the women’s team at Division II St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.)

Amalia continues to play this summer with the Drill 4 Skill AAU program under the direction of hall-of-fame coach John Miller, who won 583 games, eight WPIAL championships and four state titles during his 29 years as a coach at Blackhawk.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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