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Grebb Summer Basketball League begins its 5th year

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The J. Budd Grebb Summer Basketball League has added a four-team girls division this summer for its fifth season.

Melanie Greco, who runs winter instructional leagues in Beth-Center, oversees the girls division while the Grebb League chairman is Phil Pergola, the head boy's basketball coach and athletic director at California High School. Running the boys league will be Kenny Johnson, a volunteer assistant at California University in 2012-13 and previously an assistant coach at Frazier High School.

The games will again be contested at the Mechanic Street Playground in California.

The boys' league, which started June 25 and runs through Aug. 1, will include six teams with roughly 10 players each. A supplemental draft will be held two weeks after the start date.

Three games a night for the boys division will be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. The girls will play two games a night at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays from July 8-31.

No more than two high school teammates can be on the same team. A record 19 school districts will be represented this summer.

Last summer Bee Graphix and head coach Bob Kennedy achieved the first perfect season in the highly competitive four-year league with a 12-0 record. They concluded the season with a 72-64 triumph over Fayco Rentals squad coached by Naz Victoria.

In 2011 Bee Graphix eliminated two-time defending league champion Union Cleaners in the semifinals but lost to Northwood Realty in the title game.

The California Borough Recreation Authority sponsors the Grebb league.

Grebb was a longtime basketball and baseball coach as well as teacher in the California Area School District. He was also a member of the California Area School Board and the California Borough Recreation Authority. Grebb also served as an assistant basketball coach at Waynesburg University and was the former head coach at Penn State Fayette. At Waynesburg he was an assistant on the Yellow Jackets' 1987-88 team, which went 34-3 overall and advanced to the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NAIA) National Final Four. Grebb guided the 1982 Trojans' basketball team to a section championship and appearance in the PIAA state tournament. He died in April 2008.

Tradition continues

The Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame continued to honor its best and brightest senior scholar athletes during its 20th annual induction banquet June 21 at The Willow Room in Rostraver Township.

Each honoree receives a certificate of merit reflecting personal dedication to achieving the highest standards of excellence as a scholar and in sportsmanship.

This year's winners included Belle Vernon Area High School's Geno Leone and Heather Ann Wells; Bentworth High School's Jesse Paul Martin and Taylor Pompei; Brownsville High School's Miranda Arison and Brandon Myrga; California High School's Benjamin Thomas and Christina Puhnaty; Charleroi High School's Luke Simpson and Natalie Baker; Elizabeth Forward High School's Matthew Casturo and Braelyn Tracy; Monessen High School's Zachary Abrahamsen and Alexis Malarbi; Ringgold High School's Chris Spahr and Christina Wills; and Yough High School's Domanic Miele and Natalie Beers.

Certificates of achievement were also presented to a trio of Mon Valley student-athletes who won individual WPIAL championships. They included Charleroi's Nick Gavazzi, Class AA 138-pound wrestling champion; Elizabeth Forward's Braelyn Tracy, Class AAA 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle swimming champion; and California's Kaily Clancey, Class AA discus and shot put champion

In alphabetical order this year's induction MMVASHOF class included Brian Miller Bowman, Michael Bright, Gary Cramer, the late Bernie Floriani, William Lee, Ron Paglia and Larry Papini.

Bruce Wald is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.