Andrew Wormsley to be inducted into Quaker Valley hall of f ame
Andrew Wormsley has five tattoos, each of which holds some kind of significance to the former Quaker Valley basketball star.
Three of those tattoos signify Wormsley's faith. But the first tattoo he got, when he was 18 or 19 years old, is just as telling. It's the Michael Jordan “jumpman” symbol, symbolizing Wormsley's love of basketball and his admiration of the former Chicago Bulls star and Pro Basketball Hall of Famer.
“I very much identified with the mythology and the story of Michael Jordan and wanted to express that on my body somewhere,” Wormsley said.
Wormsley did his best Jordan impression — albeit on a smaller level — during the 1996-97 season, leading Quaker Valley to the WPIAL Class AA boys basketball championship, the only one in program history.
For that, the 1997 graduate will be inducted into the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame the weekend of Sept. 28-30. He will be enshrined along with five other individuals and the 1971-72 boys basketball team.
“I was very surprised,” he said. “I didn't think it was on the horizon — it wasn't something I was expecting, so I was very surprised and, of course, honored.”
As a senior at Quaker Valley, Wormsley earned all-section, all-WPIAL and all-state honors. The forward led the Quakers on a memorable run through the WPIAL playoffs, which included a 20-point comeback victory over Shenango in the second round and a 57-49 win over New Brighton in the WPIAL championship game.
Quaker Valley's run ended in the PIAA quarterfinals, with Wormsley missing the final shot, but his leadership gave the Quakers WPIAL gold.
“As a captain, he led a very, very young team,” said Quaker Valley athletic director Mike Mastroianni, coach of that WPIAL championship team. “We had another senior starter on that team, and then we started two freshmen and one sophomore and brought two other sophomores off the bench.
“It's probably one of the youngest teams ever to win the WPIAL championship, and a lot of it had to do with his leadership.”
Wormsley went on to play at Westminster College, where he helped the Titans make a transition from the NAIA to the NCAA during his career.
He scored more than 1,300 points during his time at Westminster, good enough for 11th on the all-time scoring list, and was inducted into the Westminster Hall of Fame in 2010.
“He might have been one of the top two players in the league, just because of his athleticism,” said current Westminster coach Kevin Siroki, an assistant during Wormsley's sophomore and junior seasons. “He could do a lot of things well. He could shoot it, or he could go to the rim, post someone up. He did a lot of dunking on guys, as well.”
Like his idol Jordan, Wormsley specialized in dunking. His former coaches all have at least one dunk story about Wormsley.
“I can see them almost like they were yesterday, and now those are over 10 years ago,” said Westminster athletic director Jim Dafler, Wormsley's coach with the Titans.
While Wormsley began dunking consistently during his sophomore season at Quaker Valley, he credits his time at Westminster with making him a more complete player. Dafler said Wormsley worked hard at improving his shooting, rebounding and defense. That, in turn, helped him play professionally for five years in Denmark, Finland and Belize.
His basketball career now over, Wormsley lives in Sewickley and works selling medical devices at Philips Respironics in Murrysville.
His new passion is filmmaking, as he spends his free time filming and editing movies in the Pittsburgh area with people he met in a screenwriting class.
“(Filmmaking) all starts very small, as an idea, and then grows from there,” he said. “That's something that's very attractive to me as a human being, and something I can devote myself to, similar to the way I devoted myself to basketball.”
Doug Gulasy is a freelance writer.