1-on-1: Bernadette Laukaitis credits family for her success at Holy Family University

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Bernadette Laukaitis is in her first season as the head women's basketball coach at her alma mater, Division II Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia.  

Laukaitis grew up in the Northeast, where she starred at St. Hubert Catholic High School. She recalled how Holy Family opened the door for her to play college basketball.

"I sat down with (then head coach) Mike McLaughlin, watching my sister play before me. She had played a couple of years before I got there, and he sat me in his office and said, 'Listen, I see something special in you and I would love for you to be a member of our team.' And that was my moment. It was just like, 'Oh my gosh, really to play college basketball, at Holy Family.' I mean, to be able to follow my sister's footsteps, while I've been watching her and her teammates play, and just saying, 'Wow, could I really have this opportunity?' "

Laukaitis was a star player for the Division II Tigers, and she went on to be an assistant coach for them. She then took over as head coach at Division III Cabrini University, and later spent a decade as an assistant at Penn before taking over the Holy Family program this season. 

She's had success at every stop, and she credited her family for the strength behind her success.

"My brothers were football players, and obviously they played basketball in their own respect as well. My brother still thinks he should be the shooting coach for my team to my sister, saying her being the better athlete out of the two of us. 

"We just have fun with it. But I mean, if it wasn't for them, I definitely wouldn't be where I am today. I feel that, even just their belief in me, coming in and watching me coach. Just watching them over there, just the support I've always had."

You can listen to the entire interview with Laukaitis by checking out the latest episode of the KYW Newsradio original podcast 1-on-1 with Matt Leon. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
You can follow him on Twitter @Mattleon1060.