West Shamokin players newest additions to Cager Classic
By Bill West
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 1:06 a.m.
West Shamokin boys basketball coach Mike Nagy, the team's top supervisor since the school's creation in 2000, wondered if one of his Wolves might at some point receive an invitation to compete in the Cager Classic.
The school, Nagy acknowledged, sits many miles northeast of the heart of the Alle-Kiski Valley and Highlands High School, home of the annual all-star event.
But West Shamokin competed against numerous teams that had Cager selections, and it had the ability to boost the talent pool with a player such as 1,000-point scorer Justin Barnett, a 2001 graduate.
“We had a big push to get him in, and for whatever reason, it didn't happen,” Nagy said. “So we kind of gave up on it.”
The Cager, however, kept West Shamokin in mind. And this year, for the 17th annual event, it welcomes two of West Shamokin's most celebrated, Anthony Rocco and Jill Glover, to the show — and it gives Nagy as well as girls coach Judd McCullough the opportunity to coach.
“With Anthony and Jill, it's certainly a good year to include us,” Nagy said of the players, each of whom surpassed 1,000 career points in December. “It was icing on the cake when they asked me to coach.”
Nagy will lead the East boys team, which will play at 8 p.m. Saturday. McCullough, who completed his first season with the Wolves, is in charge of the East girls, which will play at 6 p.m.
The men agreed: All-star coaching is an art.
“Offensively, I want there to be some sort of structure,” Nagy said. “I do like disciplined basketball. … However, I don't think the spectators would appreciate us holding the ball and forcing a half-court game.”
Said McCullough: “I think it comes down to having fun. And there's a fine line between goofy fun with razzle dazzle stuff and competitive fun.”
Prior to this year, the Indiana Optimist Club Invitational served as the main local all-star showcase for West Shamokin players.
Rocco and Glover both received offers to compete in that event — opportunities which only made their March schedules busier.
Glover also earned chances to participate in the Roundball Classic at Geneva College and the Hoops For a Cure showcase at Chartiers Valley.
Rocco received a nod for the Roundball Classic.
Only the Cager gives Rocco and Glover a chance to work side by side with players they clashed against.
“I played basketball with St. Joe's and Highlands players all summer long and they always talked about (the Cager) and how much they liked it,” Rocco said.
“It's a little nerve-racking for me being that it's the first year for us. But at the same time, it's not as big of a deal because it's the first time.”
Rocco actually will miss Friday's skill competitions because he must attend an award ceremony at Mount Aloysius College, where he will play baseball and possibly pursue a spot on the basketball team as well.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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.
- A-K Valley PIAA girls basketball playoff preview capsules
- Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley prepare for rematch
- Greyhounds again in underdog role
- West Mifflin ponders late breakdowns in PIAA playoff loss
- Serra Catholic’s PIAA path and foe familiar
- North Allegheny girls enjoy ‘bounce back’ win over WPIAL champion Penn-Trafford
- Hampton, Luther prove too tall a task for Allderdice
- Elizabeth Forward girls advance to PIAA second round
- Charleroi’s Woytovich makes 5-AA first team
- After long layoff, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant girls set for PIAA tournament
- Breaking down the PIAA boys basketball playoffs