By Sue Moore
Gabi Saxman, Schoolcraft girls’ basketball point guard, will be playing basketball close to home next year at Western Michigan University (WMU). She has all the qualifications to make it big, high school coach Steve Kulczyk said.
She has been a four-year varsity player, a Basketball Coaches all-state player last year, a three-time all-league player who received the most votes of any player last year as a junior and honorable mention all-state. She will likely be a member of the 1,000-point club this season, as she hits well from outside the three-point line, her coach pointed out.
“Gabi is the best point guard I have ever coached,” Kulczyk said in praise of his star player. “I believe Gabi is the best ballhandling and defensive player at the guard position in southwest Michigan. Gabi has a tireless work ethic. She remains extremely coachable and humble. Gabi has grown into being a great leader. She always leads by example but now she is less shy about coaching up the younger girls.”
WMU head coach Shane Clipfell said, “We are excited for Gabi to join the Broncos. She comes from a long line of Broncos in her family, including being the niece of our former long-time baseball coach, Fred Decker. She will bring us a great work ethic and we know she has been well coached throughout her basketball career. She is also a proven winner, a great student, and a high-character individual. We welcome Gabi and her family to our Bronco family.”
The 5-foot-6 senior became a starting point guard for the Eagles in her freshman year and led the program to its first regional title in history, earning first team all-conference and all-state honorable mention accolades along the way. After the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, she was named to the Associated Press all-state team and to the Kalamazoo Area Dream Team. She averaged 16.2 points, six assists and six steals, leading the Eagles to an 18-3 record on the season. She will be eligible to compete for the Brown & Gold starting in the 2020-21 season.
“This whole experience is surreal,” Saxman said. She intends to live on campus as will her good friend, Katie Parker, who has signed to play softball for WMU. They have grown up together since kindergarten, when both started competing in athletics.
Her parents are Bob and Kerri Saxman. Her grandpa’s brother is Fred Decker, a legendary baseball coach at WMU. Gabi’s GPA is 4.2, She is planning on going into a nursing career. She will be rooming with the other two incoming freshman on the basketball team. “I am very excited about this upcoming season, but also sad because it’s my last high school season. I hope to continue to get better every day and better my teammates as well. I can’t wait to see how our hard work pays off and I am definitely going to give my team my all for my last year!” Saxman said.