WEIRTON - Madonna Hall of Fame Inductee Joanna Bernabei has been named as this year's commencement speaker.
Bernabei is a 1993 graduate of Madonna High School. During her time at Madonna, she held a 3.8 grade-point average and was a member of the National Honor Society. She continued her educational career at West Liberty University, where she graduated cum laude in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology. She received her master's degree in sports administration from Eastern Kentucky University in 1998.
Bernabei excelled in several sports in her time at Madonna but is best known for her accomplishments as a member of the girls basketball program as a 1,000 point scorer for Madonna. In 1992, she was the captain of the Class A All State Team and OVAC Class A-AA Team and received the Dapper Dan Award in 1992. In addition to her basketball accomplishments, she was a member of the 1993 state championship track relay teams in the 800 meter relay and shuttle hurdle relay, as well as the runner-up in the 400 meter relay. In 1992, she was an OVAC Champion Doubles Champion.
In 1993, she took her basketball talents to West Liberty where she was named to the NCAA D-2 All American Team in 1997. She is one of only five players in men and women college basketball history to score 1,000 points and have more than 1,000 assists in her career. She holds the single game assist record with 24. She holds the national career record for Division 2 in assists for a career with 1,107. She was the WVIAC Player of the Year in 1997.
After graduating from West Liberty, Bernabei become the head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan Women's Basketball team. In 2006, she was an assistant coach for the University of Maryland Women's Basketball Team, which won the national championship. She coached a total of 10 years in NCAA Division 1, which included three years at West Virginia University, four years at the University of Maryland and three years at Eastern Kentucky University.
Bernabei is married to Joe McNamee and has two children, Luke and Caden. She resides in Morgantown. She is the daughter of Nancy and the late John Bernabei, and has two sisters, Patti Robinson and Paula Cordray, and one brother, J.J Bernabei.