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Charleroi's Obade now playing overseas

| Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Millersville's Elijah Obade, a Charleroi graduate, was named to the PSAC East First Team and also earned PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Millersville's Elijah Obade, a Charleroi graduate, was named to the PSAC East First Team and also earned PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Former Charleroi High School and Millersville University of Pennsylvania standout Elijah “Eli” Obade has signed a contract to play professional basketball team Astrum Levice.

Astrum Levice is located in Levice, Slovakia, just 75 miles from Budapest, Hungary, and 139 miles from Vienna, Austria. The club competes in the Mattoni National Basketball League (NBL) Czech Republic. Obade left for Levice at the end of August, and the season begins this month. A 6-foot-9-inch, 250-pound post player, Obade enjoyed a superb 2012-13 senior season for the Marauders.

He averaged 11.7 points, 11.1 rebounds per game and shot 58.1 percent from the floor (137-236) from the floor while starting all 30 of the team's games.

Obade set a single-season school record for blocked shots (75) and totaled the most rebounds (334) by a Millersville player since 1970. He ranked in the top 10 nationally in rebounds (fifth), blocks (eighth) and his 14 double-doubles ranked ninth. Obade was one of only two players in NCAA Division II to rank in the top 10 in all three categories.

He was Millersville's first-ever PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year selection and was also named All-PSAC East First Team. Obade anchored a defense that allowed just 65.3 points per game and ranked fourth in the PSAC in field goal percentage defense and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense.

A transfer from Delaware Technical and Community College where he averaged eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game in 2009-10, Obade also led the PSAC in rebounding and blocked shots in 2011-12. He is the first player in eight seasons to lead the PSAC in rebounding two consecutive seasons.

He was a three-sport star at Charleroi High School, also competing in football and track and field. During his senior scholastic season, Obade averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks per game for the Cougars. Obade earned eight varsity scholastic athletic letters overall.

In 2012-13, Obade helped the Marauders enjoy their finest season since the 2007-08 team won 22 games and advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

This past season, Millersville compiled a 19-10 overall record and finished third in the PSAC-East with a 14-8 mark. In the conference playoffs the Marauders defeated Shippensburg before losing to West Chester in the quarterfinals.

Obade joins recent Marauders Makal Stibbins and Charlie Parker as players to have played professionally in Europe.

WPIAL news

Recently, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) renewed its contract to conduct the league's baseball championships at Consol Energy Park in Washington, Pa., until 2017.

The home of the Frontier League's Washington Wild Things, Consol Energy Park has hosted the WPIAL baseball championship games since 2005.

Tim O'Malley, WPIAL executive director, praised Wayne Herrod, Consol Energy Park's special events manager, and his staff for conveniently scheduling the dates.

“We are extremely pleased with the Washington Wild Things' facility, and I believe it's the second nicest in the area with PNC Park obviously being the first,” O'Malley said. “We couldn't be more excited to keep playing our championship games at such a nice venue.”

The WPIAL baseball championship tournament will take place in early May 2014, and the top two teams in each of the four classifications will battle in the championship game at Consol on May 27-28.

Last spring's four WPIAL baseball champions were North Allegheny (Class AAAA), South Park (Class AAA), Beaver (Class AA) and Western Beaver (Class A).

The WPIAL softball championships will be May 29-30 and held for the ninth consecutive year at California University of Pennsylvania's state-of-the-art softball complex at Roadman Park in California, Pa.

Turning up WPIAL gold at California's Lilly Field in 2013 were Canon McMillan (Class AAAA), Greensburg Salem (Class AAA), Riverside (Class AA) and Neshannock (Class A).

Bruce Wald is a contributing writer.

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