Charleroi's Arnold first pick in Grebb League
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For the fifth summer in a row, the J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer League is ready to hit the Mechanic Street playground in California borough.
The season got its unofficial start Saturday when the league's annual draft took place at Campy's Pizza.
Charleroi Area's John Arnold had the honor of being this year's top pick by Union Cleaners.
“I saw a tall, young kid with size,” Union Cleaners head coach Walt Costello said. “He knows the game and just needs to mature as a player to dominate. He's only a sophomore and his size and raw skill will make an immediate impact on the league.”
With the second pick, Northwood Realty selected Brandon Lawless of Carmichaels. The team is yet to have a coach, so the selection was made by Brownsville senior Cole Novotney. Lawless is a good athlete that finished among the WPIAL's top-10 scorers.
Farmer's Insurance, formerly Fayco Rentals, coached by Naz Victoria selected Elizabeth Forward's Matt Bernadowski.
“This is his first year in the league and he'll be a senior this season,” Victoria said. “During tryouts I saw a really quick kid that played hard and was able to get to the hole. He's going to bring quite a bit of athleticism to our team.”
Besides playing basketball, Bernadowski was a standout receiver for the Warriors football team and finished third in the 110m hurdles and fifth in the 300m hurdles at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
Kenny Johnson, director of the boy's league and coach of Campy's Pizza, selected Charlie Scharbo of Thomas Jefferson with the fourth-overall pick. Scharbo started on the Thomas Jefferson team that finished undefeated in Class AAA's Section 4 this past season.
Dairy Queen, coached by Rodney Taylor, selected Ringgold's Shakel Brooks with the fifth pick.
“He's a high character young man with high upside to be a strong varsity player,” Taylor said of Brooks. “Not much is known about him now, but I believe through the summer league people will begin to learn of the potential he has as a basketball player.”
Defending champion Bee Graphix rounded out the first round with the selection of Darrell Briggs, a McGuffey Highlander and a player his coach compared to Jim Diaz, a former Charleroi Area standout.
“He's a nice swingman,” Bee Graphix coach Bob Kennedy said. “He plays good, sound defense, runs the floor and is a decent shooter. I look for him to contribute immediately.”
League Commissioner Phil Pergola said he's happy to see the league expanded each year.
“We sent an email to all the local athletic directors in the area,” Pergola said. “I also had the WPIAL phone list, so we also sent out text messages. We may have picked up some players by using those methods.”
Eighteen school districts are represented in the league this season led by Belle Vernon Area with nine players on team rosters. Brownsville has eight players in the league and Ringgold six. Bentworth, California Area, Charleroi, and Elizabeth Forward each have four players participating this season. Thomas Jefferson is represented by three players, while Beth-Center and Kiski Prep each have a pair of players. Also represented on this year's rosters is Carmichaels, Frazier, Geibel, Jefferson-Morgan, Lincoln Park, McGuffey and Waynesburg.
Johnson pointed to the Class AAA teams represented as a sign of the league's success.
“Adding the Class AAA schools was big,” Johnson said. “There's a lot of teams from the section that Belle Vernon Area competes in and, as a whole, it makes the competition better and better. We hope to keep expanding.”
Pergola is hoping that players mention the league to their counterparts.
“It definitely helps some of the kids, especially those that are right on the cusp of being really good players,” Pergola said. “Hopefully some of these guys that make all-section or all-WPIAL mention the league in some way. That will continue to help us grow, too.”
Pergola is hopeful that the league continues to thrive locally, too, though. This year, a girls' division has been added.
Sign-ups and tryouts for girls interested in playing will be held Monday through Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the court.
Melanie Greco, who runs Beth-Center's instructional league, will serve as the girls' league director.
Former Monessen and Notre Dame star Charel Allen, who currently plays professionally overseas, will be coaching one of the teams.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.
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.
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle’s faith in Polanco pays off
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Architecture: Pittsburgh history in 10 houses
- Biertempfel: Pittsburgh native faced quick learning curve as Marlins GM
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers
- Pennsylvania welfare employees targeted in crackdown