Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 28, 1988 · Page 44
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 44

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Thursday, July 28, 1988
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Page 44
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16 PG North: Thursday, July 28, 1988 1 Swiss player Valis joining Hampton Robic lands job at UMass reached the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals. "We're losing our two big scorers from last year Rob Shanahan and Mike Ross, but we won North Allegheny's summer league without Norbert," Jewart said. "We can definitely use some added strength on the boards and some inside scoring." Valis says he is primarily an outside scorer. "I'm a good shooter from 15 feet. I don't score often under the basket. But I think I can rebound and score inside in high school with no problem. I'll be playing center since we don't have any tall players." As for areas where he needs to improve, Valis said, "I need to become more physical and work on my defensive intensity and footwork. I also need to become stronger." Experience is no problem for Valis. He accompanied Switzerland's national 19-and-under team to Belgium, Greece, France and Italy last season. He also played for the T.V. Rusebuhl club squad. Valis enjoyed his first American basketball experience, saying, "The Five-Star Camp was great, being taught by coaches like Bobby Knight and playing against such good competition. I enjoyed it." One thing that'll be no problem for . -Valis is communication not only with Americans, but with virtually anyone. He's studied English, French and German and speaks them all competently. He even used a typical high school basketball cliche when discussing Hampton's upcoming season. "I just want to see the team get to the playoffs and do as well as we can from there," Valis said. Thanks to the presence of Norbert Valis, Hampton should do more than that next season. By Mark Madden Post-Gazette Sports Writer After centuries of neutrality, Switzerland will finally assist someone in battle namely Hampton's basketball team in next winter's WPIAL Section 6 battle. Switzerland's 6-foot-7 Norbert Valis, a member of the Swiss 19-and-under national team, will attend the high school for his junior year this fall. He has moved from Luzerne to live with distant relatives Eric and Eleanor Dussling, who will be his legal guardians. Valis, 17, got his first taste of American basketball at a recent session of the Five-Star Basketball Camp at Robert Morris College, where he won Most Improved Player and All-Star honors in the NCAA Division, the camp's second-best division. '"He's a hard-working kid and he played hard," said Five-Star director Howard Garfinkel. "He has the size and desire to be a Division I prospect, and if he gets in weak company he could dominate. He just has to work on his hands and skills." Valis will; after all, the main reason he's here is basketball. His goal is to earn a basketball scholarship and remain in the U.S. for college. ."America's the only country where you can get a scholarship for sports," Valis said. "My coach in Switzerland played American college basketball, and he told me that if I play hard for two years of high school ball here, it's possible a Top 40 Division I school will want me." Hampton coach Tom Jewart has yet to see Valis play, but says, "I'm : assuming he'll be a big help." Jewart has three starters (seniors Matt Thomas, Mark Marmo and Brian Mathieu) back from last season's 24-4 (earn, which won Section 6 and. fcvjM r Si . w jU Vrn tiilPii f g,jH alttgy- . . . By James Lang After spending two years as a graduate assistant coach with the.; University of Kansas basketball pro-. -gram, John Robic is on the move; again. z Robic has been hired as a part-.? time assistant coach at the Universi-.- ty of Massachusetts for the 1988-89 season. He will join former Pitt-assistant John Calipari, who has-been hired as head coach. "I feel that this is a very good-opportunity for me," Robic said. "I think that the program is on its way ... up. I have no doubt that we'll be successful." . ' : Robic graduated from North Hills " High School in 1981 and spent two . years playing basketball at Walsh College. Robic transferred to Deni-: son University, where he became the-, school's sixth all-time leading scorer-, with 1,050 points. Robic arrived at Kansas after: graduating from Denison in 1986. He . gained valuable experience working -under Larry Brown, acknowledged -as one of the top basketball coaches in the country. "Coaching at Kansas was a great: situation for me," Robic said. "Any-' time you have an opportunity to work with a coach the caliber of Larry Brown, you have to feel fortunate. I learned an awful lot in my two years there." Kansas won the NCAA champion-, ship earlier this year, but following: the season, Brown decided to leave Kansas for the head coaching position of the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA. Much of the coaching staff-followed Brown to San Antonio, but' Robic was left behind. "I was searching to find another; job," Robic said. "I flew back to-Pittsburgh and called John Calipari.: We have known each other for a long time and I just wanted to talk to him-about things in general. "When I called, he told me that; there was an opening on his staff. I interviewed for the position and I got-the job. I'm glad that I had the chance to talk with him." Robic's main responsibility as a graduate assistant at Kansas was preparing scouting reports on up-; coming opponents. "I'll have a lot more responsibility," Robic said of UMass. "Coach Calipari demands a lot of his assistants, which is good because you 'learn more. I'll be scouting 'oppo-' nents, doing a lot of game preparation and recruiting.' Change in direction Joe Nethen prepares to go over Reggie Wells during a Connie Hawkins Basketball League game earlier this month. The Shaler graduate recently finished summer school at Marquette University and will be eligible to play for the 1988-89 season. As a freshman at Marquette last year, Nethen played half the season before becoming academically ineligible. High school coaches split on football camps' value Darrell SappPost-Gazette ham said. "We're not in a laboratory situation to say what's right." Peters said, "Whether the kid pays for it or the school pays for it, the money still leaves the program. You could do something else with it." Henry said, "You can burn a kid out sometimes." Rovesti said, "Our players vote every year if they want to go to camp. They always vote to go." "You have to handle each case differently," Naunchik said. "If you know the kid made some kind of effort to sell ads, and if you know he can't afford it because of his economic background, then the booster club handles that. But if you know the kid made absolutely no effort to sell, then he's not worth keeping anyway." Laurel Dagnan, the executive director of Slippery Rock's athletic department and the director of camps and conferences, said the school makes a nice sum on hosting teams. She said about 900 high school players will be at the school this, year, and after costs are taken out, Slippery Rock makes about $50 for every player. The money goes to the athletic scholarship fund. the school. Former Bethel Park coach Bob King used to have his players bring cots and sleeping bags from home and sleep in the gym for a week. Seneca Valley coach Terry Henry also did the same thing a few years ago. "The thing is, you get the kids there and you have them for 24 hours," Henry said. "You can do what you want with them. You have their entire attention. It can make for a long season, though." Nunes said former Butler coach Art Bernardi tried a week-long camp at school years ago, but didn't like the results. Dennis Petersen, who was an assistant at Bethel Park under King, said, "There were a lot of pros and cons with it. One of the cons was, ; since they all slept at the school, if someone came down with a cold, you'd have the five or six kids who slept around him get it." Maybe the biggest controversy surrounding football camps is money. It costs $95 a player for food and lodging at Slippery Rock. It costs $85 a player at California, Pa. Smith said Camp Soles costs between $6,000 and $7,000. "It's like paying to go to boot camp," Petersen said with a laugh. At most schools, booster clubs pay for everything or players raise the money themselves. But at Duquesne, the school district pays for the whole camp. Gedman didn't know the costs of the camp, but Duquesne is a dying steel town. Couldn't the money for football camp be used more wisely? "There's no complaints," said Gedman. "They've been going to camp here for 20, 30 years. They've been doing it so long that it's just a . given." North Catholic's players must come up with the money themselves. "They don't seem to squabble about it," Barchetti said. Norwin players must earn the money by selling patron ads for the game program. At McKeesport, the booster groups pay for the week. Players at Valley also sell ads to raise money. But what if a team's best player, a blue-chip prospect, doesn't sell enough ads? Who pays then? The team members were: Julie Baccanti, Butler; Bridget Borrelli, St. Francis; Cassie Brady, Greens-burg Central Catholic; Kelly Car-roto, Monessen; Kathy Carper, Hollidaysburg; Chris Colcombe, Sacred Heart; Stephanie Gonzales, Se-ton-LaSalle; Krissy Heinbaugh, Hollidaysburg; Linda Keibler, Kiski Area; Meghan Kelly, Kiski Area;-Kovach, Baldwin; Shawn Martin, Thomas Jefferson; Erin McCoy, Hollidaysburg; Cathleen McDonough, Plum; Erin McQuillan, Allderdice; Marcie Popek, North Catholic; and Jen Wisniewski, Kiski Area. The 13-and-under girls squad took the older team's lead. It advanced to the championship game of the inaugural tournament before losing Saturday to Kokomo, Ind., 44-34. CADILLAC IS BACK! UNLESS YOU TEST DRIVE A NEW CADILLAC YOU WON'T BELIEVE THE HANDLING AND PERFORMANCE OF THE FINEST AMERICAN MADE CAR, THE 1 988 CADILLAC. 30 CADILLACS IN STOCK AND COMING teams impressive in national event LINCOLN '" 1Ad!lLAC TOWN CAR . BROUGHAM Maybe more and more teams will , head to camps in the future. Maybe they won't. Some that go to camp will have successful seasons and some that don't will also be successful. "Who's to say what's right," Dur "I really didn't think we could make it to the finals but this team just didn't quit," said Coach Ken Ault, 42. "This was a good experience for me and I think it was good for the girls, too. They responded with all they had, giving me 100 percent effort at all times. "Even though we were younger the majority of our girls are 12-year-olds our depth and balance really won out for us." The 13-and-under Bruins advanced quickly through the bracket by disposing of three St. Louis teams . before defeating Gary, Ind., in the quarterfinals. On Friday night, the Bruins went into overtime to defeat Northern West Virginia (Morgan-town) in the semifinals, 63-54. The team finished 5-1. "I felt we could have competed with 90 percent of the teams involved in the tournament," said 18-year-old coach Mike McConnell, the younger brother of Olympic basketball hopeful Suzie McConnell of Brookline. "The team surpassed any expectations I could have had for it. I believe they played as well together as they possibly could have." McConnell was blessed with a 17-player squad, giving the Bruins a lot of depth, which was "sorely needed when three part-time starters went down with injuries during the week. Baldwin High School sophomore Kelly Kovach was the lone team member to make the all-tournament team, but McConnell praised the overall team balance. FROM PAGE 15 co&ches. I think a camp really gets the kids away from a lot of the distractions at home . . . There's a lot of friends, girlfriends and people when the kids are home. When they get away, I believe it's good. 2' As far as drawbacks, I don't see any as a coach. Maybe as a player, yon could find a few." Is going to camp and practicing three times a day needed for high school kids? Are coaches going a little overboard? Can't the same . practices be held at the high school with the players going home at night? "Its only a week, though," Ged-man said. "It's not going to kill a kid. . People say we're draining the kids and burning them out. But as a' coach, you know if you're pushing them too much." Butler coach Tim Nunes said, "If you go away to a camp, you can sort of do what you want. But I think the kid gets get much more rest at home, sleeping in their own bed." rSome teams actually have tried to have a week-long overnight camp at Bruin-AAU By Joe Greiner It may be the wrong time of the year for basketball to be gaining attention, but the local Bruin-AAU (Western Pa.) teams enjoyed unexpected success last week at the United States Youth Basketball League (USYBL) National Invitational Championship in Orlando, Fla. The Bruins' 15-and-under girls team finished fourth in the 10-team tournament. With wins over Brunswick, Md., St. Louis South, St. Louis West and a quarterfinal victory over St. Louis South, 64-32, last Thursday, the Bruins came out of their pool with a spotless 4-0 record. In the semifinals Friday, the Bruins lost to the New Jersey Lady Monarchs, 74-47, which left the team a; bit demoralized for Saturday's consolation game against States-ville, N.C., a 31-30 loss. The tournament was won by Nuckols, Ohio, which defeated New Jersey in Sunday's final. 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