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Fearless point guard-journalist Chloe Pavlech having a career year in both careers at Maryland

Maryland guard Chloe Pavlech (15) drives on Michigan guard Boogie Brozoski (34) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Maryland defeated Michigan 74-67.
Maryland guard Chloe Pavlech (15) drives on Michigan guard Boogie Brozoski (34) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Maryland defeated Michigan 74-67.(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

In the fall of her sophomore year at Maryland, Chloe Pavlech started reporting on the weather. The reports were unique for what they did not have: namely, any mention of temperature or pressure systems. Hers was an audience of college students, and the weather alerts were accordingly tailored.

"It's not cold cold but it's kinda cold but it's weird cause it's sunny," she tweeted Sept. 17, 2013, her first recorded attempt at understanding College Park's ever-changing weather. "Don't wear shorts and flip flops." She appended a hashtag to make her intentions clear: #ChloeTheWeatherWoman.

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The amateur reports continued through the fall. Her friends loved having a fashion-conscious meteorologist around. But as November approached, Pavlech knew she had to warn of an approaching threat — no, not a tornado or thunderstorm. Basketball season was near, and she was a point guard first, reporter second.

"It was really hard, with classes and the season, being that committed and dedicated to waking up every day early," Pavlech, now a senior starter, explained Friday at Xfinity Center, on the eve of the No. 2 seed Terps' first-round NCAA tournament game Saturday against No. 15 seed Iona.

Journalism can make strange bedfellows for athletes. Play well, and luxuriate in the media attention. Struggle, and face the tough questions. Do nothing, and be ignored. In that regard, the often-antagonistic player-reporter relationship is understandable.

But as a high-level Division I athlete and aspiring broadcaster, Pavlech occupies an unlikely space in the media-sports Venn diagram. She has come to realize that success on the court and in the broadcast studio is possible. And when you can combine the two? All the better.

Pavlech has known she wanted to work in television since fifth grade. What exactly spurred that love, she's unsure of. Her idol was Robin Roberts, the longtime ESPN sportscaster and current anchor on ABC's "Good Morning America." Her dream show concept: "Kind of funny like 'Ellen,' but being like super helpful like 'Oprah.'" She realizes this sounds like asking to have LeBron James' athleticism and Stephen Curry's shot, "but hey, anything can happen."

An accomplished point guard from the Cincinnati suburbs, Pavlech wanted to attend a top basketball school with a top journalism school. Her mom did the research, and in Maryland found a perfect fit. It had been an Atlantic Coast Conference power during Pavlech's childhood, and it had the Merrill College of Journalism. Knight Hall, the school's $30 million facility, had opened in 2010.

"So it was really a win-win," Pavlech said.

As a freshman in 2012-13, she probably learned more about starting for coach Brenda Frese than she did about being an anchor. That was not the plan: A preseason knee injury to presumptive starter Brene Moseley pushed Pavlech off the bench. She started 31 of 34 games and averaged 5.5 points and four assists per game for a team that went to the Sweet 16.

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But then, being a journalism student at Maryland and a point guard for Maryland never has been straightforward or simple. Her basketball schedule occupies such a large swath of the fall, winter and spring semesters that in-school internships are an impossibility. Her course schedule is so particular that she has missed weekend training sessions because she has had to shoot something for class.

"It is a really challenging major," Frese said. "There are times she has to grind."

As her on-court impact lessened with the arrival of point guard recruit Lexie Brown (now at Duke), she made herself at home with her two families. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough remembers coming to Maryland as shy as could be. Now the star junior guard calls herself outgoing, and Pavlech a close friend, and their friendship critical to that development.

In the Merrill College, she had her own cheering section. Teachers came to games. In 2014, she was asked to participate in a symposium at the school on the impact of race in sports. For Pavlech's Senior Day game, Lucy Dalglish, the college's dean, was in attendance.

"She's really contagious," Walker-Kimbrough said of Pavlech. "She's just someone you want to be around."

In both of her careers, it has been a career year. Last summer, Pavlech interned for Comcast SportsNet. This season, she has started all 33 games for the Big Ten Conference champions, the sure-handed foil to the more electrifying Moseley, a bench sparkplug. This summer, she will intern for MLB Network in Secaucus, N.J., shadowing talent, interviewing players, helping with stats and scores.

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In the related news release announcing that Pavlech had won the Joyce-Jenks Family Scholarship, the Association for Women in Sports Media noted that Pavlech is "also a member of Maryland's women's basketball team," as if twice playing in the Final Four were another line in her resume.

"When you just look at it in terms of when she gets on the court, she's got a really high work ethic," Frese said. "She's got a ton of confidence when she plays. I think all of those things transfer when you talk about going into a field like journalism. She's fearless, so she's not afraid to make mistakes."

Or make a fool of herself. Last February, as a winter storm pelted College Park, Pavlech braved heavy snow and gusting winds to step in front of a camera, most likely a smartphone's. She held a Gatorade bottle as a microphone, and as the storm blew her ponytail sideways, #ChloeTheWeatherWoman made her triumphant return: "We need everyone to stay inside," she said in a forceful but measured tone. "Do not be alarmed, but stay inside."

twitter.com/jonas_shaffer

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