The Ivy League had been on Anthony Dallier's radar for quite some time.
Playing basketball in the conference and getting an Ivy League education were long-time goals of Dallier, a Bradford Woods resident.
But Dallier, 18, likely never envisioned such a circuitous path to the league. Last Thursday Dallier, a 6-foot-6 guard, committed to Yale University.
A former standout at North Allegheny High School, Dallier will be a senior at Northfield Mount Hermon, a prep school in Massachusetts.
After starting for the Tigers as a sophomore and junior, Dallier decided to transfer to the prep school and be "reclassified" as a junior, meaning he repeated his junior year of high school.
Rather than being a senior in the WPIAL, Dallier was a junior in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council.
Dallier was named to the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 team in 2011 after his junior year. He already had Division I scholarship offers lined up, but he figured a move to the acclaimed NEPSAC would help him get more looks.
After seeing Dallier play over the summer with his AAU team, Mount Hermon coach John Carroll began to recruit Dallier.
"Playing in that league helped me tremendously," Dallier said. "The exposure I got between [Mount Hermon] and AAU, really helped me find the right [college]."
The decision to leave North Allegheny was not an easy one for Dallier.
"It was really tough leaving my team because a lot of the guys on the team were some of my best friends," Dallier said. "I had been in the varsity program and built good relationships. It was really tough."
The decision to attend prep school also meant, in effect, a fifth year of high school, a common occurrence for many prep school athletes.
"Pretty much everyone who plays a sport up there does it, I almost went and didn't repeat, which would have been rare for my school," Dallier said. "In the end I decided repeating [his junior year] could only benefit me, academically and athletically. Everyone can use another year of development, and there is no rush to get out in the real world."
Dallier averaged 11 points, six rebounds and four assists per game at Mount Hermon this past season. The biggest adjustment for Dallier was going from being the standout on his team to being just another Division I recruit on a court full of them.
"At NA, I was pretty much the focal point of the [opposing] team's defense," Dallier said. "[At Mount Hermon] it was much different. I was probably the third or fourth scoring option for our team. It wasn't the same defensive pressure."
By the time Dallier's first year at Mount Hermon was complete, he had scholarship offers from Binghamton, Bucknell, Davidson, Holy Cross, James Madison, Lafayette and Vermont. The Ivy League does not offer athletic scholarships, but many of the schools were interested in Dallier including Brown, Cornell and Yale.
"The Ivy League was always something I was kind of striving for," Dallier said. "It was something I was really interested in because of the academic benefits and basketball-wise, they had a pretty good conference RPI last year."
Dallier was back around Pittsburgh this summer, living in Bradford Woods and playing the final summer of AAU basketball with his team, the Ohio Basketball Club.
He will head back to Massachusetts to prepare for his final year at Mount Hermon on Aug. 27.sportscollegenational - hsbasketball