Obstacles face Clairton basketball teams
TribLIVE Sports Videos
New Clairton basketball coaches Matt Geletko and Charles Shealey have odds to overcome before their seasons even start.
Both are taking over talented teams, but neither walked into ideal situations.
Clairton's boys basketball team, as usual, will start the season late because all five of its starters are members of the Bears football team that will play in the PIAA Class A title game Friday in Hershey.
“But I knew this was going to happen when I took the job,” said Geletko, a longtime assistant coach at Serra Catholic under Bob Rozanski.
Clairton's starting five arguably consists of the Bears' five best football players. Tyler Boyd, Titus Howard, Terrish Webb, Bryon Clifford and Armani Ford are expected to start, although the full lineup won't be on display until January because of Boyd's national football all-star game commitments and Howard's recovery from an elbow injury.
So how does Geletko have his team prepared?
“The good thing is that we still have 12 guys in practice every day right now, and we've got some kids who are going to help,” said Geletko, who especially is pleased with youngster Rasheed Pacely, a talented forward.
“We'll go 10 or 12 deep when we have everyone. The football players have been in this position before, so they know how to handle this.”
Clairton's season won't begin until Dec. 21.
“I really think this team can be a real contender,” Geletko said. “There's an awful lot of talent here.”
Shealey is an pro at bad timing.
A star at Schenley High School in the 1970s who later became the all-time leading scoring at Delaware State, Shealey received an NBA tryout in 1980. It was with the Los Angeles Lakers, who had just drafted a guard named Magic Johnson.
“Too many Hall of Famers,” Shealey said with a laugh. “Just didn't work out.”
Through a couple of weeks of practices, Shealey finds himself without enough players.
Two of his starters, Taleese Ogletree and Justice Hall, are out with injuries sustained in a scrimmage last week. Both senior forwards are expected to be significant contributors, and while they should return, Shealey isn't sure when.
“We sure would like to get them back,” Shealey said. “But the good thing is this team has six seniors, so that will help get us through.”
Shealey is a positive person, and he hopes his personality is going to rub off on his team.
Expect the Lady Bears to play with passion.
“That's the kind of basketball I like to coach, and that's what I think you're going to see,” Shealey said. “When I played, I was a pretty low-key guy. But when I coach, I really think that a lot of enthusiasm comes out of me. I want that to show in these girls. We just want to play a high-intensity style of basketball.”
Like the Clairton boys, the girls team will begin play Dec. 21.
“We have a lot of talent on this team,” Shealey said. “The girls have responded pretty well to me, and I think it's going to go well. I can't wait for the season to start.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached 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.