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Jim Moelk, one of my youth group leaders and a retired Presbyterian Pastor, said, “Maybe God will give basketball back to you.” Jim Moelk’s words became prophetic. My dream started as I shot baskets in my driveway on a hoop my dad constructed at 165 Glenhurst Drive, then bounced its way to 112 Jay Drive in the same neighborhood as I played one-on-one with my good friend Eddie Adams, a starting shooting guard on the Penn Hills Varsity Basketball Team, and his brother Lee. The dream then bounced its way to Beulah Presbyterian Church’s gym and then on to Grove City College as I attempted to walk-on and to Cleveland’s Richfield Coliseum, Boston Garden, the Hemisfair Arena in San Antonio and to gyms and courts with Sports Ambassadors in Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador, then with PAO in Spain and Portugal as a player, fan and coach. This book celebrates the specific ways God has fulfilled Psalms 37.4 (Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”) in my life, commemorates many special basketball anniversaries, such as basketball’s 125th birthday, the 35th anniversary of our Big Parkway East Church Basketball League, the 50th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Pipers ABA Championship, of Sports Ambassadors’ 65th anniversary, Penn Hills High School’s latest WPIAL championship; and challenges people to advance the Kingdom of God through basketball ministry, as Dr. Naismith envisioned.
It was previously reported that Breeze Williams was the scoring champion, however, after further review and recount, Gage McCracken has been crowned the scoring champion with a 30.8 ppg average, narrowly edging out Breeze Williams who finished 2nd with 30.0 ppg.
StE 122 CR 97- Breeze 30, Tim Planisis 28, Kordell 19, Jake B 17, Paul McQueen 16 and Ryan Cherry 12 for StE; Nick Miller 26, Mark Gates 21, Geno Bianco 14, Ben Mahtani 12 and Joe Wright 10 for CR
Before the game, the commissioner awarded Eric Breeze the George Gervin Award, named for the “Iceman” who won three straight scoring titles in the NBA in the 70’s,. as he won the scoring title with a 33.4 average. Gage McCracken finished second with a 30.8 mark and Nate Wojiechowski came in third with a 29.5 average. Eric Breeze and Nick Miller tied for the high point total this season as they both had 46-point games.
****See Commissioners Update about 2022 Scoring Champion.****
After the game, Eric Breeze won the MVP for scoring thirty points, collecting many important assists and playing strong defense. We all learned after the game that Eric was a teammate of DeJuan Blair’s at Schenley.
Anyhow, congratulations to Eric for winning the double honor of being the scoring champion and the MVP of the championship game. That doesn’t happen that often in our league.
It was a great season with the new backboards and rims.
Commissioner Spalding wants to thank everyone for a great season after a two-year layoff and he looks forward to our usual startup for our next regular season in January. Have a great offseason.
Also don’t forget that the book that was published- YOUR LIFE IS LIKE A BASKETBALL- is available either directly from me or on amazon. It includes many photos, stats and writeups of many teams and players in our league as well as sections on the ABA, NBA and missionary basketball in Central America etc. Let me know if you would like to be part of a missionary basketball team with Sports ambassadors someday.
Thanks again and we’ll see you all on the court in January!
StE 109 DG 95- Eric Breeze had 40, Tim Planisis had 27, Jake Bronder 18, and Paul McQueen 16 for StE; Gage McCracken had 24, Josh Duda 20, Jon 18, and Andy Carter had 12 for DG
CR 89 Fr 64- Nick Miller had 46, and Greg Foster 14, and Ben Mahtani 11 for CR: Turk had 19, Isaiah 13 and KJ 11 for FR
Congrats to Crossroads and St Elizabeth for making it to the championship. It will be a rematch of a previous championship.
It will be Thursday the 19th at 8:00.
CR 86 BP 76- Nick Miller 23, Mark Gates and Joe Wright 15 each for CR; Cody Kramer 27, Charles Ponder 14 and Jaylen Hollins 11 for BP
FR 106 AC 91- Isaiah 25, Turk 19, KJ 17, Blake 16 and Shaq 13 for FR; Tony Houghton 35, Mike McCarthy 22, Sean 16 for AC
StE 79 GB 61- Jake Bronder 21, Eric Breeze 16, Stan Teprovich 12 and Tim Planisis 10 for StE; Ryan Abel and Austin Dedert 16 each, Kevin Stecko 11 for GB