2013-14 boys fabulous 5 - Full house of talent

The Post-Gazette presents the year's top basketball players



PLAYER OF THE YEAR: MALIK HOOKER / New Castle

Height: 6-2 Position: Guard-forward Year: Senior

The scoop: One of the best athletes in the state, Hooker helped New Castle to a perfect 31-0 season and WPIAL and PIAA Class AAAA championships. He averaged 21.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 2.0 blocks. He shot 61 percent from the field and took 21 charges. He finished as the second-leading scorer in New Castle history with 1,627 points.

Behind the scenes: A look at the boys' Fab Five

The PG's Mike White interviews members of the boys' high school Fab Five basketball players in this behind-the-scenes look at their photo shoot. (Video by Andrew Rush; 4/6/2014)

College talk: Hooker is signed to play football (defensive back) at Ohio State. He played only two years of high school football, but was offered scholarships by many Division I colleges. Many believe he also could have played basketball at a mid-major college program.

Most memorable moment this season? Besides winning the state championship, our team manager when he was on the team bus after the game, just dancing and being happy.

Favorite school subject? Math

Food you can't do without? Pizza. I love pizza.

You can't be an athlete in the future, you would be ... : A sports agent.

Other than a parent, someone who has had a big influence on you? My brother, Tyshaan Fitzpatrick and Dave Young [former New Castle star basketball player].

You'd like to be who for a day? LeBron James.

People might be surprised to know ... I like to write poetry.

RYAN LUTHER / Hampton

Height: 6-8. Position: Forward Year: Senior

The scoop: Luther was a four-year starter and finished his career with 1,968 points, the most in Hampton history. His twin brother, Collin, scored 1,033 points. Ryan was a versatile player, making a mark on the inside and outside. He averaged 21.8 points and 7.8 rebounds a game this season. He shot 66 percent from the field and 33 percent (18 of 54) from 3-point range in helping Hampton to a third-consecutive WPIAL runner-up finish.

College talk: Luther was the most heavily recruited player in the WPIAL class of 2014 and signed with Pitt in November. His other two finalists were Duquesne and Dayton.

Most memorable moment this season? Probably just our playoff run, beating North Allegheny and getting to the Palumbo Center, and then our state playoff run, even though we didn't win it all.

Favorite school subject? History.

Food you can't do without? Steak.

You can't be an athlete in the future, you would be ... : Probably a teacher.

Other than a parent, someone who has had a big influence on you? My brothers and uncles, not only in basketball but in life.

You'd like to be who for a day? Johnny Manziel

People might be surprised to know ... I'm probably a better football punter than I am a basketball player.

MAVERICK ROWAN / Lincoln Park

Height: 6-7 Position: Guard Year: Sophomore

The scoop: The first sophomore to make the Fab 5 since Schenley's DeJuan Blair in 2005. Rivals.com ranks him the No. 47 sophomore in the country. Rowan already has 1,482 career points and 142 3-pointers in two years. He is more than halfway to the WPIAL career scoring record of 2,838 held by Valley's Tom Pipkins. He scores a variety of ways and helped Lincoln Park win WPIAL and PIAA Class A titles by averaging 26.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals. Made 66 3-pointers. Shot 89 percent from the free-throw line and made 52 in a row at one point.

College talk: Rowan accepted a scholarship from Pitt last summer.

Most memorable moment this season? Definitely, the state championship game. We were down by 16, came back and won by four.

Favorite school subject? Math.

Food you can't do without? Steak.

You can't be an athlete in the future, you would be ... : A lawyer.

Other than a parent, someone who has had a big influence on you? My grandmother, Mary Rowan. She has always been at all of my games and encouraged me to do the right thing.

You'd like to be who for a day? Ahhh .... can I be myself?

People might be surprised to know ... I like to fish.

KASON HARRELL / Hempfield

Height: 6-3 Position: Guard Year: Junior

The scoop: Harrell is one of the best junior guards in Western Pennsylvania. Hempfield (21-3) won its third consecutive Class AAAA Section 1 title this year and advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals, and Harrell was a starter on all three. He led WPIAL Class AAAA in scoring this season at 23.4 points a game. He also averaged 3 rebounds and 3 steals and shot 89 percent from the free-throw line. He scored his 1,000th career point in January.

College talk: Harrell is considered a Division I prospect for next year. Duquesne, Bucknell, Liberty, Navy and Xavier have showed interest.

Most memorable moment this season? Winning our first playoff game because we haven't done that in a while.

Favorite school subject? Math.

Food you can't do without? French fries.

You can't be an athlete in the future, you would be ... : A basketball coach.

Other than a parent, someone who has had a big influence on you? Bill Swan [Hempfield teacher and former Hempfield coach]. He just does a lot of everything for me.

You'd like to be who for a day? Kobe Bryant, minus the injury.

People might be surprised to know ... I watch WWE.

D.J. PORTER / Obama Academy

Height: 6-5 Position: Guard Year: Senior

The scoop: Porter, the son of former Pitt star and Duquesne coach Darelle Porter, was the most dynamic player on an Eagles team that had the most successful regular season of a City League team since the great Schenley teams of 2007 and 2008. He averaged 21.9 points per game this season and made 51 3-pointers as his Obama team went undefeated before losing to Allderdice in the City League championship. Porter also averaged 8.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 4.4 steals and 2.1 blocks per game this season. For his career, he scored 1,139 points.

College talk: Porter said he plans on attending either a prep school or junior college next season.

Most memorable moment this season? When I got to 1,000 career points.

Favorite school subject? Math.

Food you can't do without? Chicken nuggets.

If you can't be an athlete in the future, you would be ... A coach or a broadcaster or even a trainer.

Other than a parent, someone who has had a big influence on you? One of my coaches, Na'Ron Jackson. I've worked with him a lot on my game.

You'd like to be who for a day? LeBron [James].

People might be surprised to know ... I bite the inside of my cheek and rub my arm. It's a nervous habit.


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