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Division II school right fit for Bazzoli

| Saturday, May 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Seneca Valley basketball player Easton Bazzoli

Offers were on the table from several schools, but when it came time to decide the best fit for his academic and basketball needs, Cedarville University in Ohio was the place for Seneca Valley star forward Easton Bazzoli.

Bazzoli had some Division I offers, but opted for the Division II school because, “I feel this is an up-and-coming program with good coaches and I like the academics.”

The campus is only four hours from Pittsburgh — it is located about 50 miles southwest of Columbus — so Bazzoli was happy that friends and family could make the trip to see a game from time to time.

The coaching staff from Cedarville came to visit Bazzoli and watched him play. Seneca Valley ran a controlled offense predicated on defense, but in some instances when Bazzoli got to run the floor, the staff from Cedarville liked what they saw.

“I like his multidimensional skills,” said Cedarville head coach Pat Estepp. “I love big guys who can do a lot of things and being a big guard (for us) was crucial.

“His personality seemed to fit, too … both our system and our program. Easton is tough. I was impressed at how he never quit. He passes well and is a competitor.”

Bazzoli said he played some of his best basketball when the Raiders were running the floor, and when he learned more about the Yellow Jackets, he felt he could contribute right away for the program.

“This year, I drove to the basket better,” Bazzoli said. “I got physically stronger. Last year, I hung more around the 3-point line, but now I can get to the foul line better.”

Cedarville runs a lot of motion, according to Estepp. With Bazzoli being one of his top two recruits, the coach couldn't be more excited.

“He will be key for us,” Estepp said. “We are in our second year at the Division II level, and we lost six seniors, so we need guys who can step in and play as freshmen. Easton has that kind of work ethic which has us excited.”

Bazzoli earned a full scholarship and said he can't wait to get started working with his new team.

“My roommate also got some Division I offers, but when we met, we felt we could make an impact right away and hopefully win a national title,” Bazzoli said.

Bazzoli said he plans to study business and may look into sports management or communications as other possibilities.

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jeclark@tribweb.com.

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