Jeannette youth basketball team enjoys season of success
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The City of Jeannette rallies around its sports teams — that is always true — whether it is one of the high school's varsity programs, or a group of third-and fourth-graders participating in a youth developmental basketball program, Jeannette residents always come through.
“The support I have received from people in Jeannette has been amazing,” said Dan Cooper, head coach of the aforementioned Jeannette youth basketball program.
“Without that support we could never make this happen.”
What happened was a tremendous turnaround from a season ago — the program's first — when the group did not manage to win a game.
This season, the group won them all and, as a reward for their efforts, entered two tournaments to showcase their talent.
The team earned the tournament appearances by going 13-0 against teams from Greensburg, Norwin, Hempfield, Southmoreland, Penn-Trafford, Ligonier Valley, Connellsville, Latrobe and Plum.
Jeannette advanced to the semi-finals of a tournament a few weeks ago at Aquinas Academy in Greensburg before bowing out to an all-star team from Hempfield.
The team was set to play in another tournament — this one to be held in Hempfield.
On the floor, Jeannette is led in scoring by Sani Heatherington, Elijah Cooper and Nick Dicario. Toby Cline has handled duties at point guard while Tyriq Blake has been a stalwart on defense – the strength of the team.
“We are very good defensively,” said Cooper.
“Even last year when we did not win a game, our defense was very good.”
The developmental program would not exist in Jeannette without off-floor contributions from local businesses and residents who have pitched in to make the program a success.
Westmoreland County Commissioner Tyler Courtney sponsored shooting shirts, a Jeannette-based construction company sponsored uniforms and dozens of residents helped to support the team through donations and fund-raising efforts.
“We have received so much generosity from the community,” said Cooper.
“Adrian Batts, the high school coach, has given some of his time to help us and Rick Pitzer (owner of Pitzer's Restaurant in Jeannette) gives us a room in his restaurant and pizza so we can watch game film and have a good snack.”
Cooper said the support of Jeannette residents and businesses is evidence of the pride the community takes in its sports teams and in its young people.
“They do it because they want the best opportunities for our young people” said Cooper.
“They do it because they believe in our kids.”
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.
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.
- Steelers notebook: Injury to RT Gilbert opens door for Adams to start
- Black Friday trends, tactics change, but Americans still love bargains
- Stakes high as ex-Saints receiver Moore faces his former team
- Allegheny County Council wants to hike members’ $3K expense accounts
- Penguins GM prepares for emotional series against Carolina
- McKeesport’s Davis is vice chair of county Dem party
- Aerobics center offers services to Greensburg VFD
- Police identify driver in North Side crash that killed pregnant woman
- Youngwood gets 1st full-size grocery in nearly 20 years
- Braddock agency is a lifeline for commuters
- No federal funds to help enforce Pa. ban on texting by drivers