Blogs > Gettin' Schooled

A boys basketball blog hosted by Daily Times reporter Christopher A. Vito

Friday, November 28, 2008


Haverford pitcher/outfielder J.J. Sims and Garnet Valley first baseman Matt Hendrixson announced their commitments to play baseball at the University of Rhode Island.

Interestingly, Sims and Hendrixson played together during their middle-school days at the All-Star Baseball Academy in West Chester.

Sims, a swifty base-runner, swiped 17 of 18 bags last season for the Fords. Hendrixson, who boasts a sure hand at first base, also has power potential at the plate. He batted .300 for the Jaguars in 2008.

For more on their commitments, check out Saturday's edition of the Daily Times.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More on Lijah Thompson

Monsignor Bonner senior forward-center Lijah Thompson gave a verbal commitment Friday to Robert Morris University. His decision was first reported by the Daily Times Sunday. Here is more from interviews with Lijah and his coach at Bonner, Brian Daly:

BRIAN DALY, Friars coach
...on Thompson's potential:
"I think everybody agreed that his ability is at a slightly higher level conference-wise but he believes in the idea of a solid education and finding the right place and feeling comfortable."

...on Thompson making his choice:
"I told him before he left to prepare himself and take some quiet time. I said, 'You have to have two answers prepared. One is, 'Thanks for the offer but I need to speak to my parents first.' And the other is, 'I really want to be a Colonial. I want to play for Robert Morris. When he texted me real late (Friday), I knew which answer he gave them."

LIJAH THOMPSON, Friars senior
...on making his choice:
"I wanted to go somewhere where it would be real easy to fit right in. I wanted to go where it wouldn't be too hard to adapt to after high school. When I saw the school, I knew this was it. And my mom (Cheryl), she was all for it. She was so happy for me."

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boys Soccer teams off and running

This week marked the first installment of the boys soccer notebook, which will print weekly every Thursday in the Daily Times.

You can always count on the Super 7, which has Thomas Arkue and the Upper Darby Royals, pictured, at the top of the county rankings.

In this week's notebook, we take a look at Penn Wood's Menuh Wiah, a Liberia native who leads the county with 12 goals in the early going. There's also good stuff about Haverford coach Jorge Severini, who notched his 200th win, and much more.

Keep an eye out every Thursday for the latest in Delco boys soccer.

There are plenty of intriguing matchups to keep an eye on tonight, Week 4. (Can you believe it? We're already a quarter of the way into the season.)

For starters, the Central League game between Strath Haven and Garnet Valley has the makings of being the game of the week. Haven needs a huge game from Lonnie Richardson, a running back/safety, if it is to upset the Jaguards.

For the rest of the games, here are the quick-hitters and our expert panel's picks. (Note our loose use of the word 'expert'.)

The Daily Times was the first to report on the college commitments of Chester's Rahlir Jefferson and Glen Mills' Aaric Murray to Temple and La Salle, respectively. Here are the official stories, found only in Friday's edition of the Daily Times.

Have a good weekend and check back next week for more.

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Chester's Jefferson chooses Temple

Another day, another Big 5 college commitment.

Chester senior forward Rahlir Jefferson gave his word Thursday night to Temple and coach Fran Dunphy that he will continue his career with the Owls. This comes on the heels of Glen Mills' Aaric Murray and Jefferson's Chester teammate Karon Burton picking La Salle.

I spoke with Jefferson, former Chester coach Fred Pickett and first-year coach Larry Yarbray tonight and here are some the extras from the interview with Pickett and Yarbray. (Look for a full report in Friday's edition of the Daily Times):

FRED PICKETT ... On Rahlir's mode of picking Temple:
"At the end of the day, I was shocked he committed like that. I'm happy for him, because we teach our kids to really thoroughly look at this and be selfish with it. We tell them to have a relationship with the head coach and know the style of play and the players they're bringing in and that you have to fit into it."

On Rahlir's role at Chester:
"For this team to be as good as they became, they all had to sacrifice something. He sacrificed a whole lot. He was quite often the third, fourth or fifth option and that's basically because (of where) he kind of just would fit in with our game. There were times when he would go a quarter or a quarter-and-a-half without getting any shots up. He was the consummate team player."

On getting extra looks because of his teammates:
"No question about it. When those guys were being recruited, (the coaches) would come to see them and they'd be impressed with Rahlir. It worked out for him because he loves Temple. Something clicked with him and coach Dunphy. Temple is a marvelous school, very diverse. They have everything."
LARRY YARBRAY ... On Rahlir's decision:
"You take a lot of visits and hear a lot of coaches talking. He heard what GW and Penn State had to say and liked Temple's pitch more. He's a quiet guy who doesn't give you a lead as to where he's leaning toward, but something told us he always had Temple at the top."
On making his choice before the season:
"I think a lot of guys want to get it out of the way before you start working out (for the upcoming season). That was his intention, I guess."

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Glen Mills' Murray picks La Salle

Glen Mills center Aaric Murray wasted no time, announcing his college choice well before his senior season got underway. Murray will attend La Salle next fall and continue his career with the Explorers.

A full report on Murray's verbal committment will appear in Thursday's edition of the Daily Times. Here are some the extras from my interview with him:

On his choice:
"Basically I was comfortable with everything there. Coach (John Giannini) was real with me. Everything he said to me was the truth and I got a good feel for the players. The campus itself, I liked that. I liked the population there. I liked everything. It was a great feeling. The teachers can actually help you individually because there's only 30 per class. I don't know. I felt it in my heart."

On when he had made up his mind:
"I was at home for the weekend and before I left for school, I told Coach G I wanted to go there. When I saw my coach (Glen Mills coach Craig Mellinger) Monday morning, I guess Coach G must've already told him. He was smiling real hard."

On Mellinger's help in the process:
"He was there for me, but he didn't want to influence me into going to one of the schools. He let me decide for myself."

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

All-Delco Week in full bloom

Three down, five to go.

All-Delco Week for the spring season is well underway. So far Chichester's Aurora Kan was named the golf Player of the Year, and Penncrest's Karen Shump defended her status as girls track Athlete of the Year with her fourth-such honor.

Now we move onto today's honoree - Penncrest's Anthony Batch, whose superb all-around season earned him boys track Athlete of the Year. Batch had the second-best time in the state in the 400 - his best event - and won all but one race this year, the 400-meter final at states.

In other high school news:
Batch's teammate Jerry Thompson made his commitment to South Carolina recently. Thompson, an All-Delco pole vaulter for two seasons, looks to continue that down in S.C., though he could pursue a future in the decathlon.

And finally, Chichester has hired Tom Dougherty as its new boys basketball coach. Dougherty has a bevy of experience, having coached at Sun Valley, Academy Park and Neumann-Goretti among others. He will replace Alan Munford, who left the Eagles to accept a head-coaching vacancy at his alma mater of Harry S Truman H.S. in Levittown.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chester's Johnson picks Robert Morris

Russell Johnson, a 6-6 forward from Chester, announced Wednesday that he has committed to Robert Morris University.

Johnson, who averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds, emerged as the Clippers' third-leading scorer during their run toward the District One and PIAA Class AAAA titles.

Unsure whether he has met NCAA Clearinghouse standards, Johnson awaits the call to ensure his eligibility next season. He said he'd like to improve his SAT score by another 100 points, and he's registered for the standardized test next month.

"I'm waiting for the NCAA to call me back," Johnson said. "If they say it's OK, I'll take some summer classes to get ready for the season."

Johnson became the Clippers' second Division I commit from this year's recruiting class. Teammate Nasir Robinson gave his word to Pitt last season.

"High-caliber Division I schools were after Russell," said newly-retired Chester coach Fred Pickett. "He's going to have a good career. I've said it before - I think he'll get his team to the Big Dance. I just know it."

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Friday, April 18, 2008

At the 'Times', our hands are full

In case you haven't noticed, these last couple days have been a whirlwind for us at the Daily Times. Allow me to provide the rundown:

American Christian's Tyreke Evans commits to Memphis, which is what we predicted. I'm sure you've heard by now, but the Evans family and the school did not permit the Times entry to the press conference, making our jobs far more difficult. (It's not easy telling the story from the parking lot.)

Two of the more-entertaining baseball games took place. Joe Perry (pictured) and his Chichester teammates weren't able to hold off Del Val League frontrunner Sun Valley, 3-2.

And in the Central League, Springfield erased a six-run deficit and threw out the game-tying runner at the plate for the final out of an 11-10 win over Strath Haven. Though he went 0-for-3 at the plate, shortstop James Simpson made up for it with his relay toss to catch the runner at home.

One of the nation's top high school quarterbacks - Delaware County's own Tom Savage - will make an announcement today at Cardinal O'Hara High School. The Lions' junior QB is expected to announce that he will attend Rutgers following his June 2009 graduation. And, of course, the Times will be there.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BREAKING: Evans picks Memphis

The drama is over. The suspense has been quelled.

American Christian guard Tyreke Evans ended that Tuesday, choosing Memphis over a quintet of other potential suitors. He announced his decision at a 3 p.m. press conference at the school, where ESPN camera crews were on hand for the live-televised announcement.

For more on Evans' signing - and info on a host of other local players giving their word to play at the next level - pick up a copy of Thursday's Daily Times.

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Today is the day

Media outlets from here to Bristol, Conn., and likely beyond, will descend on Aston today for a press conference at American Christian and featuring Tyreke Evans.
The top unsigned recruit in the nation, Evans will make his announcement today at 3 p.m. in a nationally televised event. ESPNEWS and ESPNU will carry the live feed.
According to several sources familiar with Evans' situation, it is believed that Evans is a lock to commit to Memphis. It makes sense: Memphis coach John Calipari had his contract renewed yesterday, when a mere hours earlier, freshman Derrick Rose announced he'd enter the NBA Draft.
Of course, it still remains a possibility that Evans (named an All-American by McDonald's and Parade Magazine) could end up at either Villanova or Texas.
The Chester native and three-time All-Delco pick, who averaged 29 points this season, will tell the nation today.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Garnet Valley duo commit

Garnet Valley seniors starting pitcher Eric Van Wyk and shortstop Justin Lamborn recently have announced their committments to play baseball at the college level.

Van Wyk, who is 2-0 and has not given up a run through 16 innings, is headed to La Salle where he will continue his pitching career. Lamborn, who leads the Jaguars (5-1) in hits in this young season, will play at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.

Want to know more about their committments? Check out Wednesday's Daily Times for a feature story on the Garnet Valley duo.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

First baseball notebook of season

Think you're overworked? Ask Penncrest's Andrew Kirk how he felt.

Kirk, a strong right-hander for the Lions, had thrown eight months out of the year between a handful of teams. His arm overworked, Kirk sat out last season with his biceps muscle having contracted.

The result is a stronger Kirk who now has more bite on his best two pitches - fastball and curveball.

What else is going on in Delaware County baseball?

Glen Mills catcher Jeremy Bartz put down the ball and bat for the weekend so he can work on the barbells. He and the Bulls powerlifting team are vying for a national high school title.

At Monsignor Bonner, the Friars are still having trouble with their new field. But pitcher Ryan Haley (1 run in 7 innings) is taking coach Joe DeBarbieri's mind off the intangibles.

The baseball notebook, which features a Super 7 ranking, will appear in the Daily Times every Wednesday. Keep an eye out for it. And for the latest, stay logged onto Gettin' Schooled.

American Christian guard Tyreke Evans has not made offical the plans for his immediate future. But we do know a little more than we did on Tuesday:

Villanova is still in the running. Evans visited with Wildcats coach Jay Wright Tuesday night.

His decision will be made April 16. That's when Evans has scheduled a press conference at American Christian to make an announcement.

So now it's a case of wait-and-see with Evans and his college playing career. We'll keep you posted.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ridley's Egee gives word to Columbia

Steve Egee could have chosen football.

A first-team all-state selection, Egee quarterbacked Ridley to a state-semifinal appearance. He threw for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. He had a district-title medal to validate his worth on the gridiron.

Instead, Egee chose basketball.

"I always kind of knew I'd be a basketball player at the next level," Egee said late Saturday night, shortly after giving his word to play hoops at Columbia.

The cool side note for Egee - a 6-2 guard - on heading to Columbia will be playing his brother, Kevin, twice a year. Kevin will be a senior for Penn next season.

"I'm sure my parents are going to circle the dates we play," he said jokingly.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ridley's Robinson commits to E. Stroudsburg

Ridley senior Dan Robinson announced Wednesday that he will continue his basketball career at East Stroudsburg.

The 6-7 forward was considering University of Sciences, Wheeling, Kutztown, Bloomsburg, Philadelphia U and New Hampshire.

Robinson noticed that more coaches were after his services during his PIAA Class AAAA tournament performance. In leading Ridley to its second-deepest state-tourney run, Robinson averaged 20 points per game.

"After the season, I definitely had more coaches coming to me," Robinson said. "I had it narrowed down by then and made my mind up this week."

Robinson's 20.5 ppg. ranked fourth in Delaware County this season. He finished as Ridley's eighth 1,000-point scorer. For more on Robinson's commitment, check out Thursday's Daily Times.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Playing basketball in college?

I'll be the first to tell you all that I love my job - I really do. Covering games, meeting new people daily and telling their stories is like nothing else.

But I can't be everywhere.

So here's my pitch: if you're a player and you're headed to college to play basketball, let me know. And I'll reciprocate with some much-deserved coverage. This goes for coaches and parents, too, or simply anyone who can confirm a student-athlete's commitment to a school (Division I, II, III or otherwise).

I'd like to think I have a good relationship with most - if not all - of the coaches in Delaware County. But in case something slips by me or the coaches (Hey, we're all busy. It can happen), just drop me a line either through e-mail or right here on the blog. And I'll make sure that player gets some ink ASAP.

The District One Class AAAA championship might have been pushed back to Sunday, but there are some good games out there today. Here are my must-see tilts.
  • AAAA: Ridley vs. Souderton, 1 p.m., at Plymouth Whitemarsh. Going into states on a winning note will be on Ridley's mind.
  • AAAA: Penn Wood vs. Pennsbury, 1 p.m., at Norristown. The third seed in states is on the line.
  • AAA: Holy Ghost Prep vs. Upper Moreland, 1 p.m., at William Tennent. Gotta pull for HGP, my alma mater, in this one. Winner gets a berth in the state bracket.

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