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Football

Gorman: Rowan's move hurts area hoops

Kevin Gorman
| Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, 9:45 p.m.

Maverick Rowan started classes Monday at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Good for him.

Bad for WPIAL basketball.

Maybe Pitt hoops, too.

Rowan, who led Lincoln Park to WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships last spring, would have been the top player in Western Pennsylvania.

Which is exactly why the 6-foot-6 junior shooting guard, left the Midland charter school.

Rowan wasn't going to face much competition until the PIAA playoffs, and he'd scored 37 points in the state final.

Transferring back to his home district, WPIAL Class AAA champion Central Valley, could have run Rowan the risk of being ruled ineligible by the WPIAL if deemed for athletic intent.

Ranked the No. 43 prospect in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, Rowan is the rare Western Pennsylvania product who is on the national (and NBA) radar.

That type of hype gets shoe companies involved, and Rowan's father, Ron, has been hired as an adidas rep and a Cardinal Gibbons assistant coach.

That could spell trouble for Pitt, a Nike-sponsored school to which Maverick made a verbal commitment in June 2013.

Don't be naive enough to think that adidas won't steer him to one of its sponsored programs.

Ron Rowan said Maverick remains committed to the Panthers and that the family has had “ongoing discussions” with Pitt coach Jamie Dixon “that have been very productive.”

That's positive news, but given that neither of the last two WPIAL stars to pick Pitt as sophomores, Herb Pope and Terrelle Pryor, signed with the Panthers, history isn't on its side.

Now Maverick Rowan is gone, maybe for good. That's too bad.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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