Trio of Connellsville-area players set to showcase skills in Roundball Classic

| Thursday, April 3, 2014, 10:09 p.m.

The 2014 Roundball Classic will have a local flavor to it as several area seniors will compete in the annual event that brings some of Western Pennsylvania's most talented players together to showcase their skills.

This year's games will be played April 12 at Geneva College's Metheny Fieldhouse in Beaver Falls.

Trent Bauer of Connellsville will play for the Class AAAA boys all-star team while Ryan Gumbita of Mt. Pleasant and Jordan Pratt of Uniontown will play for the Class AAA all-stars.

The Class AAA boys will take on Class AA at 6 p.m., followed by the Class AAAA vs. Class A game at 8 p.m.

“It's a great privilege and an honor, and I'm thankful for all the people that helped me get there,” Bauer said.

Bauer finished the 2013-14 season with 274 points, averaging 16.1 points per game for the Falcons (11-10). He's grateful to represent Connellsville again on the hardwood.

“We bonded a lot as a team,” Bauer said of this year's team. “We fought through adversity, and we have a lot of great memories.”

At 6-foot-10, Bauer is the tallest player on the Class AAAA roster. He's looking forward to using his size in the game, and he's also anticipating the chance to play with some friends.

“I have a lot of friends that I've played with in AAU, and I'm excited to play with them again,” Bauer said, noting that Matt Renzi of Franklin Regional, Tom Kromka of Gateway and David Haus of North Allegheny are just some of the friends he has made through basketball over the years. “It's an incredible honor (to play in this game), and I'm excited about it.”

Bauer has received a partial scholarship to Shippensburg, where he will play basketball and study business.

Gumbita received a football scholarship to West Virginia Wesleyan and will study business marketing. While Gumbita was a football standout at Mt. Pleasant, he also had a huge impact on the basketball team. Gumbita scored his 1,000th career point in a 73-55 victory over East Allegheny in February. He finished the 2013-14 season with 254 points and averaged 11.5 points per game. Mt. Pleasant finished second in Section 3-AAA and went 15-7 overall.

For Gumbita, playing in this game is a special achievement.

“It's an honor to play in that game,” Gumbita said. “I didn't expect to be picked, but I guess my coaches put in a good word for me. It means a lot to me. It's up there with some of my best moments.”

Gumbita is also thrilled to have the opportunity to play against some friends from other schools.

“I'm just excited to play with the top guys in the WPIAL,” he said. “Triple-A is playing double-A, so it's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to playing against the guys (Collin Bisignani, Billy Hipp and Brian Graytok) from Greensburg Central Catholic.”

Like Gumbita, Pratt is also a 1,000-point scorer. He hit the milestone in an 84-37 victory over Mt. Pleasant in February. It was also the game that clinched the Section 3-AAA title for the Red Raiders, who finished with a 22-3 record. Pratt scored 499 points in his senior season.

There will be at least 10 Division I athletes competing in the boys games.

Prior to the boys games, there will be two girls all-star contests. Class AA will meet Class A at 2 p.m., followed by a Class AAAA vs. Class AAA clash at 4 p.m.

The participants will have scrimmages Wednesday, which are free and open to the public. A recognition dinner will be held Thursday at the Marriott Pittsburgh North in Cranberry. Tickets for the games are $8 and can be purchased at the door only.

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