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June 26, 2008

Summer hoops league kicks off

The Pittsburgh Basketball Club opened its Pro Am summer league at the Greentree Sportsplex on Wednesday night. The summer league features several players from Pitt, Duquesne, West Virginia, Robert Morris, as well as many other Pittsburgh-grown players who are playing at various Division II and Division III teams.

The following is a breakdown of the teams that current or former Pitt players play on:

Team PMW
Keith Benjamin
Tim Frye

FWG Realty
Ashton Gibbs
Tyrell Biggs
Brad Wanamaker

UPMC-Cancer Institute
Nasir Robinson
Ryan Tiesi
Gary McGhee

Aliquippa GE
Dwight Miller
Jermaine Dixon
Levance Fields
DeJuan Blair
Jaron Brown

Team PGT
Travon Woodall
Sam Young
Gilbert Brown
John DeGroat


Week One:
FWG Realty 71, Aliquippa GE 59

Aliquippa GE was without Pitt players Dixon, Fields, and Blair on Wednesday night, as Dixon was finishing up course work in Florida, Fields was in New Jersey at the Steve Nash camp for point guards, and Blair was at Amare Stoudemire's camp for power forwards. All three are expected to return next week.

In lieu of those three Panthers, Aliquippa GE got a last-minute addition to their roster in former Pitt player Jaron Brown. Brown was just 2-of-7 from the field, but he added five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. In a manner reminiscent of his days at Pitt, Brown hustled all over the court.

Incoming Pitt freshman Dwight Miller might have been the most athletic player on the floor in this game. The 6-8 swingman showed a good all-around game, contributing 21 points, including two three-pointers and a pair of monster dunks. He also grabbed five rebounds. Miller finished 7-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He looks comfortable as a slasher, three-point shooter, and even a perimeter defender.

FWG had three solid performances from Pitt players. Ashton Gibbs was paired with Brad Wanamaker in the backcourt, with Gibbs playing the point and Wanamaker at the two, although Wanamaker played the one when Gibbs wasn't in. Gibbs led with 18 points, including three three-pointers. Wanamaker added eight points and also had two steals. Biggs finished with 10 points and five rebounds.


UPMC Cancer Institute 79, PMV 68

The score was tied 34-34 at halftime, but UPMC made a second half run thanks to a deeper bench. Nasir Robinson and Gary McGhee were paired together sparingly, but the Pitt duo made a big impact for the minimal time they were on the floor. Robinson has a nice wide body and worked all over the floor. He finished with just eight points, but did not get as much playing time because of playing on a deep team. He finished 3-of-4 from the field, with two steals, and was 2-of-4 from the free throw line. On one of his drives to the hoop, he showed off his quickness. Robinson does a lot of the little things, similar to Jaron Brown, but he also has some explosiveness on offense.

McGhee finished with eight points and five rebounds, including a monster dunk. Tim Frye was impressive from three-point range for PMV. He finished with 11 points, and was 3-of-4 from three-point range.


SSS 80, PGT 70

PGT had just seven players on its team, but they held a 43-40 lead at the half before running out of steam as the game wore on. Woodall was just 4-of-12 from the field (1-of-7 three-point range), but he had three steals, three assists, and five rebounds. Playing the point, Woodall showed good decision-making on the floor.

PGT was missing three key Pitt players in Sam Young, Gilbert Brown, and 2006 Pitt grad John DeGroat. SSS was led by recent Duquesne commit Melquan Bolding, who finished with 17 points. Bolding was 3-of-4 from three-point range, and also scored 11 of the first 12 points for his team. Bolding initially gave a verbal commitment to Louisville in 2006, but he chose not to sign with the Cardinals as part of the early signing period and signed with Duquesne last month.






Tony Greco can be contacted at pittpath@hotmail.com


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