Girls get their turn in Grebb League draft
Youth and height were served in the first ever draft of the J. Budd Grebb Memorial Basketball League girls division on Saturday.
Of the four girls selected in the first round, only one will be a senior in the fall and the top overall selection was incoming freshman Kylie Huffman.
Huffman, a 6-0 guard/forward from California, was actually an automatic pick for Bitonti's Barristers, which is coached by her father, Ray Huffman.
However, league director Melanie Greco said it was very possible that no matter who would have had the first overall selection that Huffman would have been a strong consideration.
“Because of her dad coaching, she was an automatic for his team. But I'm sure any of the other three coaches would have liked to have Kylie on their team,” Greco said.
The second overall pick of the draft was Charleroi's incoming senior Mia Woytovich, a 5-10 guard, who was selected by Tommy Thomas State Farm, which is coached by Charel Allen.
The third pick of the first round was another tall player, Belle Vernon Area's incoming 6-2 junior Kaitlyn Slagus, who was selected by Fredericktown Butcher Shop coach Bill Greco.
Slagus was the first of four BVA players chosen in the top three rounds.
With the final pick of the first round Lagerheads coach Greg Golembiewski stayed close to his heart by selecting Brownsville's Maris Seto, a 5-10 sophomore guard. Golembiewski is Brownsville's girls varsity basketball coach and therefore coaches Seto during the scholastic season.
“I think it was obvious from the first round that the coaches were looking for a combination of size and talent with their early selections,” Melanie Greco said.
In all 40 players were selected in the inaugural draft. Of the 40, there are several incoming eighth grade girls who were added to the draft.
“We wanted to make sure each team had 10 players, so we permitted a few eighth graders in to get us up to 40.” Melanie Greco said. “The eighth graders were agreed upon by the coaches in the best interest of the long-term development of the league. I think that's a good thing.”
The eighth graders were not permitted to be chosen until the final two rounds of the draft until all varsity-eligible players were selected.
In the second round, the first player off the board was Monessen's 5-9 Monet Wade, who will be a senior in the fall. She was drafted by Thomas State Farm.
The rest of the second round went this way: BVA's Brea Rathway to Fredericktown, Brownsville's Keyonna McCrae to Lagerheads and BVA's Meaghan Murphy to Bitonti's Barristers.
In all, BVA led the way with 10 girls selected while Monessen, Bentworth and California had five each, Charleroi and Brownsville four each.
“I was satisfied the way the draft went,” said Greco. “I think the coaches did their homework as much as possible during the tryouts and it looks like we have four pretty good teams.”
In all, there are only eight incoming seniors and eight juniors on the four rosters combined.
League play begins July 8 with doubleheaders being played each Monday and Wednesday, 7 and 8 p.m., at the Mechanic Street Playground in California.
The championship game is scheduled for July 31.
Games in the boys division begin this week and include tripleheaders every Tuesday and Thursday at the outdoor court.
The J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer Basketball League – boys and girls divisions – is sponsored by the California Borough Recreation Authority.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media and can be reached at (724) 684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.