Penn Hills will be well-represented at Roundball Classic
The Penn Hills boys basketball season was one to remember as the Indians captured their first WPIAL championship since 2003.
Though the season ended early in the state playoffs, a trio of seniors have the honor to participate in another high school game — the Roundball Classic.
Guard/forward Daivon Stephens and guards Cory Fulton and Cam Wiley will compete in the all-star game. Coach Dan DeRose will lead the boys Class 6A team, which will include Stephens and Wiley, in the Class 5A vs. Class 6A game.
“It goes to show that all the hard work paid off. I’m just going to play my game and go with the flow but make sure I’m aggressive at the same time,” Wiley said.
The top senior basketball players in Western Pennsylvania will showcase their talents at the annual Roundball Classic all-star games set for April 20-21 at Geneva College in Beaver Falls.
The showcase will feature seven games, featuring players from all six classifications and two teams filled with WPIAL standouts that span all classifications.
Stephens and Fulton want to make sure they show how they stack up against the top players in the area.
“There are going to be a lot of good people playing in it. I can’t go out there and play bad. I need to show them that I’m top dog in the WPIAL,” Stephens said.
Fulton added: “I’m going to go out there and leave a mark. It’s one of my last few high school basketball games so I’m going to go out there and try to do everything I can.”
Fulton, who will play on the East team in the East vs. West game, was honored when he found out he was selected to play since he has a personal connection to the event with his father, Cory Sr.
“It means a lot because when my dad went to Allderdice, he got selected for it. It means a lot to follow in his footsteps and play in a game just like he did,” Fulton said.
The elder Fulton participated in the Roundball Classic when it was a bigger showcase that attracted the top basketball talent, like Penny Hardaway, throughout the country.
There will be three games on that Friday night with an East vs. West game filled with players that span all classifications in the WPIAL. The girls game will tip at 6 p.m., while the boys game starts at 7:30. The night ends with boys District 10 vs. Class 2A/City League at 9.
There are four games on Saturday: Girls Class 4A/District 10 vs. Class 3A/2A/A at 2 p.m.; girls Class 5A vs. 6A at 4; boys Class 3A/A vs. 4A at 6; and boys Class 5A vs. 6A at 8.
Team practices, which are open to the public, will be April 18 at Geneva.
A recognition dinner for players will be April 19 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Cranberry.
Penn Hills captured its fifth WPIAL title and first in 15 years after defeating Pine-Richland, 60-56, in early March. However, the Indians season abruptly ended after losing to Allderdice, 44-41, in the second round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs March 14.
But the senior class always told each other in their early high school days they would be the class to bring a WPIAL title to Penn Hills.
“It shows how hard we worked during the summer — running track, running hills and in the weight room,” Fulton said. “It’s just a testament to how hard we worked during the summer.”
Andrew John is a freelance writer.