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Valley male athlete of the week

| Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007

John Hastings

School: Fox Chapel

Class: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Notable: Hastings scored 16 points to lead Fox Chapel to an upset victory over then-Class AAAA No. 2 Central Catholic on Friday. Hastings got into early foul trouble and spent most of the first half on the bench before leading his team to the win in the second half.

"You can't put a price tag on what Johnny does for us," Fox Chapel coach Ben O'Connor said. "It was no surprise that we were down with him on the bench."

On Jan. 9, Hastings had 16 points in another overtime victory, this time over Penn Hills. Hastings said that his team's pair of Section 2 victories were both crucial, but the win over Central Catholic was bigger because it vaulted the Foxes into sole possession of first place in the section.

"That put us in a great position for the second half of the season," Hastings said. "We're big rivals, and it was a big win to go into their place and win on their floor."

Leading the Foxes is nothing new for Hastings. Last season, he received the rare honor of being elected as a team captain while only a junior. Now in his second term as a captain, Hastings, along with fellow seniors Ahmed Abu-Elmagd and Seth Eisner, have provided a balanced scoring attack, as well as leadership for the younger players.

"I take great pride in (being a captain), and I'm sure the other senior captains do, too," Hastings said. "I'm proud to call myself captain of this team."

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