The Scranton Prep senior was a nearly flawless 9-of-10 shooting for 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had five assists as the Cavaliers beat Susquehanna Township, 71-50, in their PIAA Class 4A first-round game.
Other sports you play: Football
Athletes you admire: Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter.
Any sports teams you follow? I’m a Colts fan for football. Baseball, Yankees. NBA is the Cavs and college is Notre Dame.
Superstitions or rituals on game day? I usually take a nap before every game. Depending on what time the bus is, I can go from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Most famous athlete you’ve ever met? Mike Tyson. It was at a boxing match around here. He just randomly showed up and was sitting there. I went over and asked him for a picture and got one. It was crazy. He had his posse with him. I was really young. I might have been 5 or 6.
Next up is Wilson in the state playoffs. Give us a mini scouting report. They have two very good players, their point guard and their small forward/shooting guard. I think he had 70 3s on the year. I think we have to play them the way we played a couple teams prior in the district tournament. We have to take away the heads of the snake. Take out their two best players, and if we play our game, we should be alright.
You were down a dozen in the District 2 final against Nanticoke. Are you still feeding off that momentum? I think we’re feeding off the first game of districts. Playing against Meyers, we played a really good game and it just led into the next one. We may not have started off the Nanticoke game the way we wanted to, but it was just one bad half we had the whole time. I think we’re still riding that wave. Coming back against a good team like that in the arena, that pushed us a little bit farther than we were before that. We’ve been through a lot of adversity, especially that, and I think we’re ready for whoever is going to come.
You had personal adversity with the stress fracture, too. When did you finally feel like you were 100 percent again? It took a couple weeks or so. I know I hit a few shots at end of games to tie games or go up, but I wasn’t playing the way I should in the first couple quarters, and then I’d turn it on at the end and make shots. I took a little bit longer than I expected because I had to get my wind underneath me. Like three weeks after I came back I felt fluid and back to normal.
Who is the one person who has had the biggest influence on your athletic career? I’d say my brother. Watching him as a young kid, I appreciated what he would do. And he had a lot ot do with how I played football, too. He didn’t play before he went to high school and he played at Prep. That had a lot to do with it.
Did you play football before your junior year when you became the quarterback? I was a wide receiver as a freshman. Sophomore year, I played wide receiver and quarterback, but I didn’t get any first-team snaps until the summer going into junior year.
Do you ever look back at your football career and say what if? I always wonder if I didn’t play football, but I don’t think I’d be as good a basketball p[-layer if I didn’t play football. It had a lot to do with my strength training. We’d lift probably every day during the summer, five days, and in the school year we’d lift Monday, Wednesday, Friday. It helped my conditioning, too, during the summer because of all those hot days and I had an AAU schedule, too.
One person you would like to play one-on-one against. I could pick a lot of people here, but probably Luka Doncic from the Mavs. I think that would be a fin 1-on-1 game because he’s just as big as me, and he has a similar skill set, but obviously a lot better. And he’s like 19 years old.
What’s the biggest thrill you’ve had in sports? Probably my junior year when I made that buzzer-beater against Abington Heights. Or Valley View when we played them in football and the last touchdown we scored. That was really something.
After high school, we know you’re going to play basketball at Lafayette, but what’s your major going to be? I’m planning on business right now. I don’t know what field I want to get into yet, but for now I’m going to be a business guy.
Who’s one teammate guaranteed to make you laugh? Greyson Schermerhorn. He is just something different. He is quite the character himself.
You guys seem to get along so well. How long did it take to develop that chemistry? It took probably two years for me because I was up on the varsity team as a freshman. I knew some of the guys in my grade coming in, but the core guys right now, I didn’t know the other seniors like Jake Strong or Greyson very well. Me and Mari knew each other from AAU, but it took two years to get the chemistry down playing with them, and the relationship just came with it.
Who’s the teammate who’s made the biggest improvement this season? Brian Boland. When I was hurt, he had to do a lot more when I was out. He became a lot better leader, in my opinion. I think he learned how to control the game better now.
Best coach Andrew Kettel sportcoat. The purple one, by far.
One teammate from another team you would like to have as a teammate. I would say either George (Tinsley from Abington Heights) because of AAU because we played really well together, or Nate Kreitzer from Nanticoke. I like how he plays real hard all the time.
Three people you’d like to have dinner with. George W. Bush, Will Ferrell and Dennis Rodman.