Thomas Jefferson grad Lexi Dadig set to play basketball at next level

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Sunday, August 22, 2021 | 10:01 AM


Lexi Dadig graduated with honors from Thomas Jefferson this spring.

A quick, sharpshooting senior guard on the girls basketball team in 2020-21, Dadig plans to extend her playing days at the next level.

The 5-foot-5 Dadig will continue her hoops career and education at Saint Vincent, which won the Presidents’ Athletic Conference championship in women’s basketball last season. Dadig plans to major in early childhood education with a minor in special education.

“I immediately knew Saint Vincent was the right choice for me after meeting with coach (Jimmy) Petruska,” Dadig said. “Not only can I further my basketball career, I can also further my academics, as well. I love how the team always has a winning mentality and I look forward to contributing to winning the PAC next season.

“I’m very excited to continue this new chapter.”

Saint Vincent coach Jimmy Petruska is impressed by Dadig’s competitiveness both in games and at practice.

“Lexi brings a competitive mindset to the game,” Petruska said. “My expectation for her is to come in and add value to the team through her style of play. Lexi’s ability to score and extend the playing court through her range is something we need on a consistent basis.

“She has a great attitude as well, which is extremely important to me as a coach.”

Last season, Thomas Jefferson placed second in Section 3-5A with a 9-2 record, advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals, and ended up 12-10 overall.

The Jaguars defeated seven playoff teams, including section opponents Albert Gallatin three times, Laurel Highlands, Connellsville and Uniontown twice, and Ringgold once. The TJ girls also logged victories against Peters Township (6A) and Southmoreland (4A)

Following the 2020-21 season, Dadig was invited to play in the Roundball Classic held at Geneva College. She also was named to the Big 56 Class 5A all-section team, and nominated in girls basketball for the Positive Athlete Award in Western Pennsylvania.

“Lexi works hard and is a humble kid. She has a nice outside 3-point shot,” TJ coach Lisa Fairman said. “She always gave her best to help her team. She is someone young athletes can look up to on and off the court.”

Dadig’s best game of her high school career was a sizzling 25-point performance against rival Chartiers Valley this past season. She tossed in seven 3-pointers against the talented Colts, who went on to win a WPIAL championship and finish second in the state.

“My proudest accomplishment of my career,” Dadig said, “was scoring 25 against the second-ranked team in the state.”

Dadig graduated with a 3.9 GPA and was involved in TJ vs. Cancer, Big Jag Little Cub, Best Buddies and the Spanish Club.

Besides Saint Vincent, which is located in Latrobe, Dadig was recruited by the likes of Seton Hill, Geneva, SUNY Fredonia, Pitt Greensburg, Carlow, Pitt-Johnstown, and others.

“There will always be a learning process when playing at the next level,” Fairman said, “but I think Lexi will adapt well at Saint Vincent and work hard to show them what she can do.”

Other South Hills athletes on Saint Vincent’s women’s team include Brentwood graduate Anna Betz, a sophomore guard last season, and Baldwin product Abbey Larkin, a junior guard who transferred from Mercyhurst.

With the recruiting for 2020-21 behind him, Petruska is looking forward to watching the Bearcats grow and improve for the upcoming season.

He said the players will “compete every day in practice, and focus all of our energy on improving each day as a team.”

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