Gorman: Minnie's PIAA play a 'Cinderella story'
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Elijah Minnie endured one of the biggest recruiting ordeals in recent Western Pennsylvania history without ever receiving a scholarship offer.
That's about to change.
Minnie was ruled ineligible by the WPIAL and PIAA when Monessen contested his transfer to Lincoln Park, a charter school in Midland, alleging that he was recruited.
The 6-foot-9 junior missed the first 13 games of the basketball season before the ruling was finally overturned.
Following a 42-point performance in an 86-84 victory over Bishop Carroll in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals, Minnie is about to become a major-college prospect.
“I think his performance Friday night might give him national attention,” said Lincoln Park athletic director Mike Bariski, also a Leopards assistant coach. “It came from everywhere: outside, inside and above the rim. He did a little bit of everything. He's a wiry, muscular kid and athletic. He runs so well for a big kid and jumps out of the gym.”
The audience included Virginia Tech coach James Johnson and Hokies assistant Kurt Kanaskie, who were impressed but worried.
“I think before the playoffs are done, it's going to be a madhouse,” Bariski said. “Everybody is going to want him. The head coach from Virginia Tech said, ‘He's the best-kept secret around, and I hope he stays that way.' ”
Minnie's size and averages of 22 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots in 14 games this season have also caught the attention of DePaul, North Carolina State, Pitt, Temple and West Virginia.
But academics will determine whether Minnie can play Division I basketball. He didn't pass any courses as a freshman at Monessen and spent his sophomore year at Summit Academy, a school for court-adjudicated youth.
Minnie is in a credit-recovery program that will allow him to improve his grade-point average if he completes six courses this summer and next school year. Schools are as interested in his transcript as they are his scoring.
With 6-7 junior Ryan Skovranko, 6-1 sophomore Antonio Kellum and 6-5 freshman Maverick Rowan, Minnie is one of four D-I prospects at Lincoln Park.
And maybe the best.
“It would've been a travesty if he hadn't played this season,” Bariski said. “Nobody would have seen him. Would his senior year have been too late? Who knows? It's been an absolute Cinderella story.”
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.
- Steelers rookie says Sam, his former roommate, has changed
- Fire victim’s ex-boyfriend jumps from Tarentum Bridge
- Steelers aim to create more turnovers this year with speedier defense
- Locke gets rocked as Pirates are knocked off by Diamondbacks
- Two cars strike horse near Fayette fair
- Steelers notebook: Shoulder pads get technological boost for Ravens game
- Rossi: Buying trust is a must for Pirates
- Fraud case reopens old wound
- McKeesport convenience store sells winning ticket
- Roundup: Huntington Bancshares to cut 200 jobs; Kennametal posts drop in 1Q profit; more
- Sewickley Township fraud case reopens old wound for New Stanton woman