Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Mt. Pleasant's Ryan Gumbita, Belle Vernon's Kaitlyn Slagus
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School: Mt. Pleasant
Claim to fame: Gumbita, who finished with 14 points, drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Mt. Pleasant (1-2) a 37-36 win over Penn-Trafford at the Penn-Trafford Tournament on Saturday.
“I think it went well. We went 1-1 during the tipoff tournament,” Gumbita said. “The buzzer beater win against Penn-Trafford was good for our program. I'm very excited for this season.”
What are your college plans for next season?
I plan on playing college football next season. I'm looking at Duquesne, West Virginia Wesleyan, Indiana (Pa.) and William & Mary. I want to major in business marketing because I'm a shoe guy and would like to work for Nike one day.
How did you get yourself involved with shoes?
I just got involved with my buddy because we liked shoes. We have been just getting different kinds of shoes. I think we have 110 different pairs of shoes between the two of us.
What is your favorite shoe and why?
The Jordan 11. It's Michael Jordan's favorite shoe to wear and it's such a comfortable shoe.
What are your expectations for this season?
We expect to win the conference this year. We need to get more help from our bench. We are pretty young on the bench, but if we play well we will win the section.
What sport do you prefer, football or basketball?
I prefer football. It has always been because I have been raised in a football family and town.
School: Belle Vernon
Claim to fame: Slagus, who averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds last season, scored 18 points and grabbed 21 rebounds to lead Belle Vernon (1-1) to a 78-69 double-overtime win over Keystone Oaks in the Belle Vernon Tournament on Saturday. Slagus, who is a team captain, scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 56-49 loss to Upper St. Clair on Friday.
“I thought we started off pretty well this year,” Slagus said. “We have started off well as a team and we had strong first quarters. We can build off that.”
What are your expectations for the team this season?
We want to go far as we can. Considering we lost three starters from last year's team, it's going to be tough. But, we hope to make it deep into the WPIAL playoffs and make it to states this year.
What does the team need to do in order to meet these expectations?
We need to work well as a team and we need to have good team camaraderie. The guards need to pressure the guards and we need to get in transition. That's when we get going.
What is it like to not have your sister, Jessica, on the floor with you this season?
It feels different because we had the sister telepathy. Having her not on the court is a lot different and we all have to step up a lot.
Who's your favorite professional basketball player and why?
(Los Angeles Sparks player) Candace Parker. I think she's a really good leader and overall good player. I look up to her a lot.
— Andrew John
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