Muhlenberg basketball duo leaving indelible marks on respective programs

Liddic, Chili were great leaders, great players

When Spencer Liddic left his Clarks Summit home and headed down Interstate 81, he saw the University of Scranton's John Long Center, where many men's basketball championships have been won.

But he opted to keep driving.

"I didn't want to be that close to home," Liddic admitted.

Same for Alex Chili, who left her Rockville, Md., house and headed north on Interstate 270, where she went around Baltimore, home of perennial Centennial Conference women's basketball power Johns Hopkins.

Instead, Liddic and Chili chose Muhlenberg College.

The Mules' basketball programs have been the better for it. The school's academic reputation received a healthy boost, too.

Liddic and Chili are done playing basketball at Muhlenberg. The seniors are putting the finishing touches on their degrees, which they'll receive in May.

But long after Liddic settles in to his job at J.P.Morgan in Delaware and Chili finds a suitable apartment and professional basketball contract overseas, they will be remembered as two of the best basketball players and people that Muhlenberg has ever produced.

"I don't think people will realize what she really was and how good she was until one year, two years or three years from now," Muhlenberg women's coach Ron Rohn said, "when they come to games and watch and don't see things they got used to and took for granted."

Mules men's coach Scott McClary called Liddic a "great leader because he has great perspective.

"He's a great leader because he lives the best example you can live as far as right and wrong, as far as work ethic, as far as what kind of student he is, having the right priorities in his life. You cannot find a better walking example than Spencer Liddic."

The numbers support the coaches' beliefs.

Liddic grabbed a Centennial Conference-best 1,015 rebounds and had more double-doubles (43) than any conference player.

Chili scored more points (2,002) than any male or female in conference history and made more 3-pointers (336) than any other woman.

Both were second-team Academic All-Americans this season.

Both are finalists for the Jostens Trophy, which acknowledges athletic prowess, academic standing and contributions to their communities.

"We were lucky to have her when we had her," Rohn said. "I know someone like that doesn't come down the pike very often."

"[Liddic] has a very strong personal relationship with the other players," McClary said. "I can't imagine pointing to a better leader."

Chili was looking at several Division I schools, including UNC-Wilmington, while at Walton Johnson High School.

"The first few letters I got from the Muhlenberg Mules and Ron Rohn, I was a little skeptical," she joked.

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