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Gateway grad joins Washington & Jefferson women's hoops team

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Michael Love | The Times Express
Gateway senior Katey Wilson cheers on her teammates during a WPIAL Quad-A first-round playoff game on Feb. 14, 2014, at Baldwin High School.

Katey Wilson battled knee issues throughout her time with the Gateway varsity girls basketball team.

That varsity tenure ended on a tough note as she suffered another knee injury right before the start of the 2013-14 season.

Her senior campaign was over before it started.

But through it all, she maintained her goal and desire of continuing her education and basketball pursuits at the next level, and she will do so in the fall at Washington & Jefferson College.

Wilson made her decision final about a week ago, and, she said, she is pleased to make the move to the NCAA Division III school.

“They watched me play my entire junior year, and they knew what kind of player I was and still am,” Wilson said.

“I am glad they still have faith in me after this injury, and they know I will come back stronger. I am so excited to be able to play for coaches like (head coach Jina) DeRubbo and (assistant coach Emily) Hays.”

Washington & Jefferson has enjoyed success in and out of the Presidents Athletic Conference.

The team was 21-9 overall and 14-5 in PAC play in 2013-14.

The Presidents made it to the PAC championship game before falling to Thomas More, and W&J qualified for the ECAC Division III South Tournament.

Wilson's decision came down to W&J and Pitt-Greensburg.

“I said to her it is important to go to a school where she feels the most comfortable and a place where she would be comfortable even if she wasn't playing basketball,” Nesbit said.

“At the end of the day, she felt comfortable there, but she was torn with the possibility of playing again with (Gateway grad) Amanda (Estok) at Pitt-Greensburg.

“They showed up at games even though she wasn't playing. That showed a lot about the coaching staff and the program and how much they cared. That meant a lot to Katie.”

Wilson played for Gateway as a junior, and she averaged double figures in scoring (9.6 ppg.) over 27 games to help the Gators win their third straight section title and finish the season at 21-6 overall.

The Gators were young this year. With Wilson out, Jada Epps was the lone senior in the lineup.

Gateway was able to navigate through a tough section slate and earn the program's fourth straight WPIAL playoff appearance. The Gators battled Mt. Lebanon tough in the first round at Baldwin High School, but the No. 2-seeded Blue Devils prevailed.

“The girls all stepped up, and they had another good season,” Wilson said. “They worked so hard. I wish I could've been on the court with them, but I wanted to do whatever I could to help them.”

Wilson said her rehab work is going well. She said she's not able to run, but she's able to do everything except impact exercises.

“I still have some healing to do, but I am progressing,” Wilson said.

Nesbit knows the work ethic Wilson possesses and how it will help her with the challenging transition.

�“I expect her to be on the floor and ready to go for her freshman season in the fall,” Nesbit said.

“She is so mentally tough and determined. Those attributes will help her be a success at the next level.”

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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