Pitt hoops recruit Maverick Rowan leaves WPIAL

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After two seasons at Lincoln Park, Maverick Rowan was more than halfway to the WPIAL career scoring record. But he won't get a chance at the record because he will no longer play in the WPIAL.

Rowan, a Pitt recruit ranked among the top juniors in the country, will transfer to Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rowan will move to the Fort Lauderdale area with his family -- his mother, father, two younger brothers and an older sister.

Rowan and his family informed Lincoln Park Thursday of their move. Rowan will leave Sunday for his new school. A 6-foot-7 guard, Rowan scored 1,482 points with 142 3-pointers at Lincoln Park, a charter school in Midland, Beaver County. The WPIAL scoring record is 2,838.

Rowan is ranked by Rivals.com and Scout.com as the No. 43 player in the country in the class of 2016.

Ron Rowan, Maverick's father, preferred to answer all questions about the move.

"I could give you a lot of reasons, but it's really just a family decision," said Ron Rowan.

But a big question is what does this mean to Rowan's verbal commitment to Pitt? He accepted a scholarship from Pitt before his sophomore year. Rowan's play in AAU tournaments and other events this spring and summer came in front of many college coaches, and some wonder if he will open his recruiting.

"As of now he is still verbally committed to Pitt," said Ron Rowan.

Ron Rowan said the reasons for the move were part job, part lifestyle and part basketball. "It was like the perfect storm," he said.

The elder Rowan has landed a job in the Fort Lauderdale area, and he said he also will be an assistant coach at Cardinal Gibbons, which plays in Class 5A in Florida. Cardinal Gibbons was 24-6 last year. With a few other Division I college prospects, Cardinal Gibbons figures to be one of the top 5A teams in the state next season (Florida has eight classifications).

Ron Rowan said the move is also because of climate.

"I told my wife [Tara] four or five years ago that, in the near future, I'm going to Florida with or without you," he said, with a laugh. "My thought process is I'm 51 years old and I have maybe 10 to 15 good years left and I don't want to spend them up here in the snow. I want to enjoy the rest of my good years. Some opportunities came up for myself, my family and Maverick. So we decided on this."

Ron Rowan was gracious toward Lincoln Park, where he was an assistant coach last season. But Lincoln Park played in the smallest classification in the WPIAL and will move up to Class AA next season. Ron Rowan wasn't critical of Lincoln Park's inferior competition, but said, "Maverick had two great years at Lincoln Park, and now we're trying to get him ready for the future and the next level."

Maverick Rowan averaged 26.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals last season.

"We are losing a great player, but, if this is what the family wants to do, then good for them. We're happy for them," said Mike Bariski, Lincoln Park's athletic director.

For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh.

First Published August 21, 2014 3:19 PM

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