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Plum’s Koch named to PAC all-time basketball list

Michael Love

Plum High School and Washington & Jefferson College graduate Jon Koch recently was honored with inclusion on the Presidents Athletic Conference’s 60th anniversary celebratory men’s basketball team.

Koch, one of 60 players to be recognized on the list, finished his W&J career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,812 points.

The 2007 PAC Player of the Year was a durable player, as he ranks third in school history with 108 games played.

Koch’s 507 points scored during his junior year rank as the second-highest single-season total in W&J history.

He knocked down 196 career 3-pointers, including 62 during a freshman season in which he was selected as the PAC Freshman of the Year.

The Presidents Athletic Conference, formally organized in 1955 by charter members Case Institute of Technology, Western Reserve University, John Carroll University and Wayne State University, is celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout the 2014-15 academic year.

The PAC will be recognizing 60 of its standout student-athletes who have competed as members of both present and past league-affiliated institutions in 19 championship sports.

Sixteen of the PAC’s past and present members are participating in the yearlong celebration project. All 10 of the PAC’s current members were automatically included, while past league members must have had at least a 10-year affiliation with the conference to participate.

Both past and present PAC members receive “automatic” selections on the 60th anniversary teams based on the institution’s membership time. Each school also had the opportunity to nominate a limited number of additional “at-large” student-athletes for consideration.

Sport-specific advisory committees, made up of five to six past and present PAC coaches and administrators, determine additional “at-large” student-athletes to be recognized in order to reach 60 student-athletes on each celebratory team.

The anniversary teams for women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, wrestling, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, football, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball already have been released, as well.

Still to be assembled and released are teams for baseball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s track and field, softball and men’s tennis.

Franklin Sr. to be honored

Plum varsity boys assistant coach Bobby Franklin Sr. has been selected as a member of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame Class of 2014.

He is part of the sixth hall-of-fame class in the categories of Legends, Coaches and Contributors.

Franklin, a Cleveland area native, had a standout career at Point Park University from 1973 to 1977.

University of Pittsburgh standout Billy Knight, who earned All-American honors with the Panthers before an 11-year professional career in the ABA and NBA, highlights the Legends category.

Joining Franklin and Knight in the Legends category are Pitt guard Tom Richards (Moon High School), former Duquesne forward Bruce Atkins (Wilkinsburg High School), Robert Morris forward Myron Walker (Aliquippa High School), Rice University guard Anthony DeCello (Mt. Lebanon High School) and Pitt guard Joey David (Upper St. Clair High School).

The class also features John Sikora in the Coaching and Contributors category. Sikora helped found the Pittsburgh Steelwheelers wheelchair basketball club in the mid 1970s.

“This is absolutely one of the most impressive classes we’ve ever had,” said John Giammarco, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club.

“The talent and accomplishment of the players and the success of the coaches is amazing. And the contributors division is filled with people who richly deserve acknowledgement for their many contributions to the game in western PA.”

Franklin has served as a Plum boys assistant with head coach Ron Richards for both of his tenures with the program, a total of 13 seasons.

“This is a nice honor for Bobby,” Richards said.

“He is well respected throughout the area for what he accomplished as a basketball player. But he’s a far better person than he ever was as a player. We’re lucky to have him in our program at Plum.”

The hall-of-fame banquet/brunch is Jan. 24 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Moon Township.

Tickets are on sale now.

The Pittsburgh High School Classic, in honor of the inductees, will be Jan. 25 at Montour High School.

For tickets or more information on the banquet or the day of basketball games, call Giammarco at 412-403-9086.

Additional information on the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame can be found at pittsburghbas ketballclub.com.

Samarco earns AMCC all-star recognition

Plum graduate Alyssa Samarco, a sophomore on the Penn State-Behrend women’s volleyball team, was one of three Lions players to be named to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Women’s Volleyball Team for the 2014 season.

Samarco made her way onto the first team after earning second-team honors a year ago.

She led the team and ranked second in the conference with 377 kills.

Samarco also ranked second in aces per set (0.44) and sixth in digs (455).

She registered season bests at Franciscan with 20 kills and five aces, while making 25 digs against Fredonia.

Samarco earned AMCC Player of the Week honors three times.

Behrend finished fourth overall in the AMCC — it went 1-1 in the AMCC Tournament — and received the No. 5 seed for the Eastern College Athletic Association South Region Tournament.

The Lions faced No. 4 Bethany from the Presidents Athletic Conference on Nov. 12 but were not able to pull out a victory in a 3-0 loss. Behrend finished its season 19-13 overall.

Michael Love is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at [email protected].


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