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Sewickley Academy star chooses Davidson

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sewickley Academy basketball player Tom Droney carved his name among the most prolific scorers in WPIAL championship game history.

But when the 6-foot-6, 196-pound combo guard accepted Davidson's scholarship offer Wednesday, he said the ability to find the open man will mark his college game as much as his point totals.

"I like scoring, but I love getting guys their open shots and getting the assists," said Droney, who scored 40 points last February while leading Sewickley Academy to a 71-57 victory against Serra Catholic in the WPIAL Class A title game

Sewickley Academy coach Win Palmer said Droney has several characteristics -- aside from his 23.7 scoring average -- that make him a unique high school player.

"No. 1 is his court vision," Palmer said. "No. 2, he is a tremendous passer -- both off the dribble and off the catch. No. 3 is his shooting ability. He has improved so much. No. 4 is his work ethic. He wants to be the best, and he is going to work as hard as he needs to -- and then, he is going to work after that.

"He kind of breaks the mold. There are guys in college and the NBA who have those type of (varied) skills, but you don't see that in high school very often."

Droney, who will be a senior this season, has a 3.4 grade-point average and plans to major in business. He said he considered three other finalists -- Harvard, Boston College and Virginia -- but he chose Davidson because of his relationship with coach Bob McKillop.

"He is a tremendous coach and proven winner," Droney said. "It is also a place where I think I can step in and play right away."

Droney, one of the most highly recruited athletes in the WPIAL Class of 2010, plays point guard at Sewickley Academy and for his AAU team. But he said Davidson also will consider him as a shooting guard.

Droney said Pitt, Notre Dame, Duquesne, St. Joseph's, Wake Forest and West Virginia offered scholarships, but the interest from at least one school had waned recently.

"Notre Dame and I parted ways a little bit ago," Droney said.

Droney, who called Pitt coach Jamie Dixon yesterday, said Dixon was "upset" when he told him of his commitment to Davidson.

"He said he really wanted to get back after me," Droney said. "They sent two scouts to watch me play at the Reebok All-American camp (last week) in Philadelphia.

"Pitt is one of my favorites. I love Pitt to death. Coach Dixon is a great guy, but they (are recruiting) a guard in my class."

Isaiah Epps, a 6-2 senior point guard from Plainfield, N.J., has given Pitt a verbal commitment. Droney said Davidson has not received a commitment from any senior guards.

When asked if he would consider other offers before signing day in November, he said his commitment to Davidson is "solid."

Droney, who lives in Green Tree, averaged 21.7 points per game as a sophomore in 2008 and 15 points per game as freshman. He was named to the all-state first team this year after leading Sewickley Academy (23-5) to the PIAA quarterfinals.

Palmer says he's thrilled with Droney's decision -- with the school Droney chose and the timing of the announcement.

"Now, he can concentrate on improving as a student and basketball player," Palmer said. "He can go back to being a normal teenager."

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