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Basketball

Latrobe basketball standout Graytok commits to American

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Monday, May 1, 2017, 6:36 p.m.
Latrobe's Laura Graytok drives past Penn Hills' Tayonna Robertson during their WPIAL Girl's Basketball contest at Latrobe High School on Friday Feb.10, 2017 in Latrobe.Penn Hills defeated Latrobe 67-42.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Latrobe's Laura Graytok drives past Penn Hills' Tayonna Robertson during their WPIAL Girl's Basketball contest at Latrobe High School on Friday Feb.10, 2017 in Latrobe.Penn Hills defeated Latrobe 67-42.
Latrobe’s Laura Graytok (24) drives to the basket against the Hempfield Spartans in the fourth quarter Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, at Hempfield Area Senior High School in Hempfield.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Latrobe’s Laura Graytok (24) drives to the basket against the Hempfield Spartans in the fourth quarter Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, at Hempfield Area Senior High School in Hempfield.

Laura Graytok always envisioned leaving the state to play college basketball. That being said, it should not come as a surprise the Latrobe standout accepted her first out-of-state scholarship offer.

About a month after receiving an offer from American, Graytok made a verbal commitment to the Patriot League school located in Washington, D.C.

She also had offers from St. Francis (Pa.) and IUP.

“When I visited (American), it felt right,” Graytok said. “I like the staff and the program. It seemed like a really good fit. I know a lot of my friends who have committed in the past committed around this time. I didn't have a reason to wait it out.”

Graytok, a 5-foot-7 junior guard, averaged 21.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals last season for the Wildcats. She has 1,037 points with one season left at Latrobe.

Known for playing at a fast pace on both ends of the floor, Graytok likes getting to the rim and drawing contact, but her perimeter game has become strong. She often attracts multiple defenders.

American first took notice during last AAU season.

She plays AAU for Drill 4 Skill, run by former Blackhawk coach and WPIAL Hall of Famer John Miller.

Miller comes from a basketball family, but so does Graytok. She has two brothers playing college basketball. Sean is a freshman at the Coast Guard Academy, and Brian is junior at Washington & Jefferson.

Sean played at Latrobe, Brian at Greensburg Central Catholic. Having brothers who went through the recruiting process is a plus little sister recognizes and appreciates.

“They really helped me with what to ask and what to find out, because they've been through it,” Laura said. “They played a big role in me committing to American. They knew how much I liked it there.”

Latrobe coach Mark Burkhardt said American is a great fit for Graytok basketball-wise and academically.

“Laura's skill set, work ethic and speed will help her succeed at the next level,” Burkhardt said. “She is also position-flexible, having the ability to play either point or shooting guard.”

And Graytok said American mentioned the possibility of playing either position in the backcourt.

“I just want to find my role,” Graytok said. “I really liked the way the girls play when I watched them. And we have taken some AAU trips to D.C., and I really like that area.”

With her decision made, Graytok can get down to business, which happens to be her major.

“It's nice to have it out of the way,” she said.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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