Baldwin basketball trio headed to Chatham as package deal

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Sunday, April 25, 2021 | 11:01 AM


It’s not uncommon for the best of friends to be teammates in a particular sport.

It’s rare that three of them become teammates at the collegiate level.

Baldwin seniors and four-year varsity players Lexi Bernotas, Abby Marzina and Kayla Radomsky have committed to Chatham, a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

“We were ecstatic when Lexi, Kayla and Abby committed to us,” said David Saur, Chatham’s third-year coach. “We really identified them as priorities for us very early in the process. All three are very talented, have played for some really good coaches and come from right here in our backyard. Not to mention they are quality young women, student athletes and come from great families.

“I think all three young ladies will come in with the ability to impact our team right away. They all have played at a high level, in meaningful games and have helped win big games throughout their careers. We are looking forward to more of the same here.”

All three also are proficient in the classroom.

Radomsky, a 5-foot-10 forward, has a 3.9 GPA. She is a member of the Special Olympics and mini-thon clubs and math league and plans to major in nursing in college.

“I chose Chatham for many reasons,” Radomsky said. “The campus is beautiful, everyone is so welcoming, and they have a great nursing school. Coaches Saur and (Jody) Powell are amazing, which is the main reason I chose Chatham. It is also very close to home, which I was looking for in a college.

“I am very exited to be able to continue playing with two former teammates. Not many people can say that they will be doing that. Having Lexi and Abby there with me helps with the stress. It helps me a lot and calms the nerves that come with starting a new chapter in my life.”

Bernotas, a 5-6 guard who suffered a torn ACL last March, also plans to major in nursing.

“I have played basketball with Abby and Kayla my whole life, and when Coach (Saur) approached all three of us, it seemed too good to be true,” Bernotas said. “And when we all committed, we were so happy to continue this journey with one another. We have been lifelong friends and teammates.”

Bernotas is a member of the National Honor Society, math league and mini-thon club and has a 3.8 GPA. She was honored as Baldwin’s homecoming queen last fall

Bernotas also was considering attending Washington & Jefferson, Carlow and Saint Vincent until the opportunity at Chatham presented itself.

“Chatham was within the distance I wanted to travel, it offered the program I wanted to major in, it’s a private school, and I am able to balance my career choice and still play basketball for four more years,” she said.

Radomsky also weighed other options during her college selection process.

“I was considering a few other colleges that are in the same division as Chatham,” she said, “but Chatham definitely felt like a better fit for me.”

Marzina, a 5-7 forward, has a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the NHS, Special Olympics club, math league and mini-thon club. She wants to become a physician’s assistant and also considered attending Penn State Behrend and LaRoche.

“I wanted to stay close to home so I could still see my family,” Marzina said. “I also love the energy that coach Saur and coach Powell have on and off the court, and their coaching styles.

“I am very excited that I’m able to continue my athletic career with two of my best friends that I’ve grown up with.”

The Chatham hoopsters are striving to maintain their recent growth on the basketball court. Last season, the Cougars lost to Westminster, 69-65, on March 15 in the PAC quarterfinal round.

Saur, who was named PAC coach of the year in 2019, is optimistic for 2021-22.

“Since our staff took over the program three years ago, we have set the school record for wins both in conference and overall and hosted multiple home playoff games,” Saur said. “We are poised this season to make a run at a PAC title. We bring multiple high-level players back and add some talented young newcomers.

“We will also add graduate transfer Julianna Skowron from Allegheny College, where she was an all-NCAC selection last season. Julianna, an Oakland Catholic grad, will be a key addition for us in the post as we look to make a championship run. Having a traditional preseason post-covid will be key. Our staff is ready to get rolling already.”

Saur was hired at Chatham after spending two seasons as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Division I University of Louisiana Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference.

He is the first coach of the year award winner in basketball in Chatham history.

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