Pittsburgh Basketball Club director John Giammarco (center) with his son, Steven, and former Pitt greats Kirk Bruce (left) and Billy Knight (right)
What a wonderful weekend for a basketball junkie.
Thanks to the Pittsburgh Basketball Club, run by John Giammarco, I spent Saturday listening to basketball stories at the PBC Hall of Fame banquet and Sunday watching basketball games at the PBC High School Classic at Montour.
A week earlier, I attended the Pittsburgh Athletic Association Mercury Awards. Afterward, we thought about how remarkable it was to be at an event where guest speakers included Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi, Penn State’s James Franklin, West Virginia’s Tom Bradley, along with former Pitt coaches Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill and former Panthers All-Americans Jimbo Covert and Bill Fralic.
On Saturday, I had the privilege of hearing the stories of WPIAL and college basketball legends such as Pitt greats Billy Knight (Braddock), Tom Richards (Moon) and Joey David (Upper St. Clair), Duquesne’s Bruce Atkins (Wilkinsburg), Robert Morris’ Myron Walker (Aliquippa) and Rice’s Anthony DeCello (Mt. Lebanon).
Interestingly, Knight talked about the potential for a business opportunity that would bring him back to Pittsburgh and have his life come “full circle,” which makes you wonder if he’s a candidate to become Pitt’s next athletic director.
Members of Pitt’s 1974 Elite Eight team: Tom Richards, Billy Knight, Mickey Martin and Kirk Bruce.
Master of ceremonies Randy Cosgrove poked fun at Richards for his $2.8 million salary and for marrying a cheerleader. Richards was quick to correct that his wife played college basketball, as did his children.
David delighted the crowd by reminding that not only was he the former Pitt player who married a cheerleader, but that the Mt. Lebanon coach can still dunk at age 50. He got a laugh when saying he’d love to have Richards’ salary but wouldn’t want to take a pay cut. DeCello might have had the best story, one about his hustle style helped him get dunked on by former Arkansas and Milwaukee Bucks star Sidney Moncrief.
What was great was to see the tremendous turnout for basketball in a “football town,” to hear the legends pay homage to their mentors, coaches, friends and families and to see their teammates show up in support and how that made them feel like time had stood still.
Former Duquesne greats Bruce Atkins, B.B. Flenory and John Moore.
(Photos courtesy of Pittsburgh Basketball Club).
Chartiers Valley’s Matty McConnell
#TribHS roundup: Chartiers Valley routs Lincoln Park
Question: When, if ever, did Matty McConnell play a game in which he did not make a 3-pointer? The Chartiers Valley star and Robert Morris went 0-for-7 from beyond the arc but still scored 31 points.
First quarter nightmare for Monessen against Aliquippa, by Jeff Oliver.
Aliquippa senior guard Stephon McGinnis, who received the PBC summer league MVP award just before tip-off, scored 20 of his 32 points at the start.
McGinnis scored 20 points in the first quarter, including four 3-pointers, as he hit all eight of his shots.
“(McGinnis) was just phenomenal,” Salvino said. “He hit everything he threw up, and on our end, we didn’t get any offensive rebounds early on. We did a terrible job of boxing out. But things got a little better after that.”
Snyder takes his best shot for Seneca Valley, by Jerry Clark.
Knoch’s Austin Hannes
Knoch boys adjusting after losing point guard Hannes to injury, by William Whalen.
Serra Catholic’s Katie Sieg
Serra Catholic’s Sieg learning to lead in senior season, by Dave Mackall.
Highlands’ Ashlyn Jonczak
Versatile sophomore Jonczak has Highlands in playoff hunt after 3-16 season, by Bill Beckner Jr.
#TribHS roundup: Pine-Richland squad wins PIAA spirit title
#TribHS highlight reel: Softball standouts make commitment to Marist
It has been a wonderful ride, not always easy, but if you are reading this, you made it better! http://t.co/BzTnn9HhCl
— Jam the Gym (@JamtheGym) January 26, 2015
Valley News Dispatch notebook: Longtime volleyball coach Toy steps aside
— Jam the Gym (@JamtheGym) January 26, 2015
ON THE MAT
Franklin Regional’s Devin Brown executes a flip during warmups
Hip to flip: WPIAL wrestlers find tumbling skills translate to mat, by Bill West.
Burrell’s Al Beattie lifts Norwin’s Hayden Rice in their 285-pound bout
Top-seeded Burrell wrestling sets gold standard, by Doug Gulasy.
Kittanning head coach Brandon Newill watches Nick Croyle wrestle Pine Richland’s Grant Felt
Kittanning wrestlers get ready for final WPIAL Class AA tournament, by Matt Grubba.