On campus: Kochka earns playing time at Thiel
College Football Videos
Gateway 2012 graduate Luke Kochka helped the Gators varsity boys basketball team to the WPIAL Quad-A title in both 2011 and 2012 and an appearance in the championship game in 2010.
Now, Kochka is starting over in his basketball career as a freshman at Thiel College, an NCAA Division III school in the Presidents Athletic Conference.
He is one of three freshmen getting playing time for the Tomcats, and he averages close to 10 minutes on the court per game.
“It was a big transition,” Kochka said. “I had to find a new role.”
Thiel is 8-6 overall and 5-2 in the PAC heading into Saturday's 3 p.m. conference game at Geneva College.
The Tomcats won two PAC games last week — 72-64 over Waynesburg and 65-48 over Grove City — to snap a six-game losing streak after a 6-0 start.
Thiel never trailed against Waynesburg, and the Tomcats raced out to a 20-6 lead.
Kochka scored a season-best six points in nine minutes of action against the Yellow Jackets.
He was 2 of 3 from the field, 2 for 2 from the free-throw line, and he finished with two rebounds.
Thiel began the season with a 61-59 victory over Division II Clarion and Kochka's former Gateway teammate Mike Kromka, a junior for the Golden Eagles and one of the team's leading scorers.
The Nov. 12 game ended on a buzzer-beater.
“That game was pretty crazy,” Kochka said.
Kochka knows that it will take time for him to increase his role on the team.
“I just want to help the team any way I can right now,” he said.
Thiel head coach Tim Loomis likes the way Kochka has begun his collegiate career.
“Luke's doing better than we anticipated,” Loomis said.
“He's a fast learner, and he brought in good fundamentals from high school. He's had to convert from mainly being a shooter to now putting it on the floor, rebounding and defending. His defense is really improving.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Serra’s Miller thriving at Seton Hill after rough 1st season
- IUP falls short in Division II men’s basketball title game
- Cal U women win Division II national title with 86-69 win
- Seeing divers succeed drives Clarion coach
- Thomas Jefferson grad wraps up impressive Penn State Fayette career
- Soccer career continues for Springdale grad Weimerskirch
- IUP men win, reach Elite Eight semifinals
- Transfers have helped IUP men advance to D-II Elite Eight
- Cal (Pa.) guard Glenn sets postseason tone
- California dreamin’ ... of national title
- District college notebook: Seton Hill baseball team slugs its way to 6-0 week