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District Colleges

Gateway grad Kromka excited to return to college court with St. Vincent

Michael Love
| Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
Gateway graduate Tommy Kromka, at left, had many battles in high school with Plum graduate Austin Dedert, at right. Now, the local duo will be college teammates as Kromka will join the men's basketball team at NCAA Division III power St. Vincent.
Alisa Jacobson | For The Tribune-Review
Gateway graduate Tommy Kromka, at left, had many battles in high school with Plum graduate Austin Dedert, at right. Now, the local duo will be college teammates as Kromka will join the men's basketball team at NCAA Division III power St. Vincent.

Gateway graduate Tommy Kromka saw action in four games as a freshman on the Carnegie Mellon men's basketball team during the 2014-15 season.

He averaged one point in limited action.

Kromka said he enjoyed his one season with the Tartans, but a change in his academic pursuits away from engineering led him to leave Carnegie Mellon.

Fast forward through one year of study at CCAC Boyce, and Kromka has arrived at a new academic and athletic venture.

He will resume both at St. Vincent College.

Kromka will have three years of athletic eligibility with the Bearcats men's basketball team, the defending Presidents Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champions from the 2015-16 season.

“St. Vincent was in the picture during my original recruiting process,” Kromka said.

“There was a specific engineering program I was looking for, and Carnegie Mellon had it. When I was visiting schools, I noticed how strong St. Vincent's (men's basketball) team was.”

After realizing a shift in his academic course of study was in order, Kromka took a step back and explored all of his options.

“I played with some great players at CMU,” Kromka said. “I improved and learned a lot. I went from always being on the court at Gateway to being on the bench almost all of the time as a (college) freshman.”

Kromka considered not playing college basketball again and just focusing on the academic side of things.

But while watching Gateway games involving his brother and sister this past winter, he said the fire and desire to play the game was reignited.

“People told me to check out St. Vincent,” Kromka said. “I contacted (head) coach (D.P.) Harris and got the ball rolling. I saw a couple of games this past season, and I liked what I saw.”

He finalized his decision in May and St. Vincent, he said, was at the top of his list through the entire second recruiting process.

Kromka will get a chance to make an impact right away after several seniors moved on from a team that went 22-7 overall, 15-3 during the PAC regular season, captured the conference tournament crown and qualified for the NCAA tournament.

He will be Bearcats teammates with 6-foot-6 forward Austin Dedert from Plum. Both Kromka and Dedert had a number of physical battles during their high school days.

“I am extremely excited for my future at St. Vincent,” Kromka said.

“The program has had a lot of success, especially recently. There is some nice talent coming back. We should be able to make waves in the PAC again. I am definitely pumped for this.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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