Hempfield hoops standout Liberatore picks Marshall

Sunday, May 3, 2020 | 5:51 PM

Sarah Liberatore often was asked about her college interest, beginning last year when, as a junior, the basketball standout from Hempfield was beginning to surface on the radars of Division I coaches.

But she opted to keep her decision close to the vest, saying she would rather wait until the time she committed to share publicly.

Liberatore kept her word. The senior guard announced Sunday her commitment to Marshall.

Initially, she was going to attend IMG Academy, a preparatory boarding school in Bradenton, Fla., but, “I decided on Marshall because of the awesome coaching staff,” she said.

She said Marshall offered a few days ago.

“It feels great,” the 5-foot-11 Liberatore said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

The decision process can be trying, and not all athletes like to post every offer and opportunity they receive to social media. Liberatore fell into that category. Some recruits don’t want other schools to see their offers, and others think overexposure can add stress to the situation.

Now that her decision has been made to play for the Thundering Herd in Conference USA, some of the stress is gone.

“It feels great to let it out,” Liberatore said. “I was really stressed for awhile so a weight has been taken off my shoulders. I’m super-excited to get started and get to work.”

Liberatore, a four-year starter, averaged 19.7 points as a senior and went over 1,000 career points with the milestone occurring during the Shootout at Seton Hill in January. She finished with 1,125 points.

“I’m really happy for her,” Hempfield coach Tom Brush said. “She is a great player and an even better person. Her going D-I just shows that hard work and persistence pays off.”

Liberatore comes from a long line of college athletes. Both of her parents played Division I sports.

Her older brothers, Collin and Jack, are Division I baseball pitchers at Indiana State and Ohio, respectively.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.


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