Fab 5WPIAL and City League Boys' Basketball
All-Section teamsBoys' Basketball: Best of the bestBasketball
coach of the year: Rich Brennan
Peter Diana, Post-Gazette photo illustration
From left: Herb Pope, Aliquippa; DeJuan Blair, Schenley, D.J, Kennedy, Schenley, Steve McNees, Shenango, and Lance Jeter, Beaver Falls.
The Post-Gazette goes up close with the five best boys players in the area:
Herb Pope, Player of the year
College: Made verbal commitment to Pitt during sophomore year, but has opened his recruiting. Connecticut, Louisville and Kansas State, among others, have offered scholarships.
The skinny: Ranked among top 20 juniors in the country. Has size, but also skills of a guard. Averaged 18.3 points and 15 rebounds for WPIAL Class AA champion. Pope was dominant in the postseason, with 16 points and 25 rebounds in the WPIAL semifinals, and 27 points and 21 rebounds in the title game.
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes. Together. Not mixed. Just next to each other.
Favorite TV show: "Law & Order"
Person you'd most like to meet: Vince Carter or Kenyon Martin.
Most memorable moment this season: The Ambridge game when I got my windmill dunk.
Funniest moment: Against Shenango when I went up for a dunk and just fumbled it. I just let the ball go in the air.
People might be surprised to know that you ...: Wait 'til you see what goes down next season with us at Aliquippa.
College: Has a scholarship offer from Xavier. Other Division I schools are interested.
The skinny: A strong inside player who is on the Fabulous Five for the second consecutive year. Averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds for City League champion. Has 1,045 points the past two seasons.
Favorite food: Hot sausage.
Favorite TV show: "The Wayans Brothers"
Person you'd most like to meet: Shaquille O'Neal.
Most memorable moment this season: Just going all through the state [PIAA] playoffs and, really, the whole season. I just want to thank God for letting me get through it.
Funniest moment: How my friend, David Hall, couldn't get a dunk all season. He had something like five chances and messed up on all of them.
People might be surprised to know that you ...: Over the last few years, I didn't play basketball for 16 months because of knee injuries. That's some hard stuff to do.
Where you see yourself in 10 years: Married, with kids and having a good NBA career. And just being a healthy man with my same personality.
College: Division I schools are showing interest. Xavier has offered a scholarship.
The skinny: Has a flair for high-flying dunks, but his all-around game has improved tremendously in the past two seasons. Averaged 16.8 points a game this season in helping Schenley to PIAA Class AAAA final game.
Favorite food: Fried chicken.
Favorite TV show: "106 and Park"
Person you'd most like to meet: Probably Martin Luther King, just because of all the stuff that he did.
Most memorable moment this season: The whole trip to Hershey [for the PIAA final]. Not just the trip to the game, but the whole season, from beginning to end.
Funniest moment: I can't really think of one thing.
People might be surprised to know that you...: I'm an honor roll student (3.5 grade-point average).
Where you see yourself in 10 years: Probably in the NBA.
College: Signed with Duquesne, but was granted his release.
The skinny: A four-year starter who could score and hand out assists with regularity. This season, averaged 28.4 points, 8 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 2 steals. Finished career with 2,192 points, 824 assists and 233 steals.
Favorite food: Steak.
Favorite TV show: SportsCenter on ESPN.
Person you'd most like to meet: That would've been Jason Williams [of the Miami Heat], but I got to meet him last summer. Now, I'd probably say Eminem. I'm just a fan.
Most memorable moment this season: Clinching the section title at Farrell because winning at Farrell was kind of unheard of in our section. And also senior night, just walking out onto the court with my dad.
Funniest moment: We played in a tournament in Disney World this season and one of our starting forwards, Zach Anderson, broke his nose playing catch with a football. He turned away from a pass, looked back and the ball hit him in the nose.
People might be surprised to know that you...: Have tried just about every sport in high school -- basketball, hockey, soccer, football, track. My dad was the cross country coach and I even trained with them.
School: Beaver Falls
College: Looking at Cincinnati and Temple for football, and Akron and Kent State for basketball.
The skinny: Had one of the most successful careers of any WPIAL player over the past two decades. Team was 102-19 in his four years as a starter. Scored 2,243 points, 13th best in WPIAL history. This season, averaged 20.2 points a game for PIAA runner-up.
Favorite food: Chicken salad.
Favorite TV show: "Law & Order"
Person you'd most like to meet: Michael Jordan.
Most memorable moment this season: Just winning the PIAA semifinals against Quaker Valley.
Funniest moment: Watching [Beaver Falls freshman] Todd Thomas play defense. He makes the ugliest faces you could ever imagine when he plays defense.
People might be surprised to know that you...: Can play baseball (he's the starting shortstop for Beaver Falls}.
Where you see yourself in 10 years: Being an agent for athletes.