Pittsburgh athletes of the week: Chartiers-Houston's A.J. Myers, Mars' Tai Johnson
Claim to fame: Myers scored a career-high 39 points, including eight 3-pointers, to reach the 1,000-career point plateau in a Feb. 5 win over Fort Cherry. The win advanced the Bucs (12-10, 6-8 Section 3-AAA) to the postseason.
What does it mean to you to score 1,000 career points?
It's really a blessing to be able to score that many points.
You actually scored your 1,000th point on your first career slam dunk. What was that like?
It was a pretty awesome feeling. It was a pretty exciting moment in my career to finally get a slam dunk.
What's your team's outlook entering the postseason?
We just have to go in thinking we're a playoff team and we can win. We're not just a team that's making it and just going to lose in the first round. We need to have a mindset that we're going to go out and win.
How would you describe your playing style?
Just an aggressive player that gets to the rim, and then if you give me the 3 I can pull up and hit the 3 as well.
What's your favorite class in school?
I'd probably have to say American Culture 3. I just like learning about our history.
Claim to fame: Johnson scored 24 points to lead Mars (17-5, 11-1) to a Feb. 4 win over Hampton to claim a share of the Section 1-AAA title with the Talbots.
Your team has done well despite being led by a group of underclassmen. What's led to your team's success?
As a team we all play and practice hard, and we're all very close to each other. We have a good coach, and she makes it very easy for us to play together on the court.
What's been the biggest adjustment to the varsity level?
Just playing against a lot of older girls, because last year I was only playing against eighth grade, but this year it's against other ninth graders, 10th, 11th and 12th graders. … The speed is a little faster. You have to react to a lot of things.
What will it take for your team to make a run in the WPIAL playoffs?
We all have to play as a team and we have to play together, and we have to stay positive and encouraging toward each other.
How did you get started playing basketball?
My parents are into basketball. They played when they were in college, so they always have basketball on the TV, and when I was younger that's mainly what I would watch. It was very interesting and looked very fun so I started playing, and I realized that I loved the sport and I wanted to continue.
Where did your parents play basketball in college?
My mom played at Illinois University, and my dad played at Mary Washington University.
What's your favorite class?
My favorite class is biology, because I think it's very interesting and it comes easier to me than most of my other classes.
— Alex Oltmanns