2023 TribLive HSSN Boys Basketball All-Stars

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Thursday, April 6, 2023 | 6:01 AM


Scoring 1,000 points in a high school career remains an impressive feat in WPIAL basketball, but remarkably, the league saw its first 3,000-point scorer this winter.

Combined, the 10 members of the TribLive Terrific 10 accounted for nearly 15,000 career points and they’re not done yet. The list includes five seniors, three juniors and two sophomores.

Terrific 10

Vinnie Cugini

Aquinas Academy

6-2, senior, G

Cugini was the WPIAL’s leading scorer and broke the league’s all-time scoring record in the process. The record had stood since 1993. The Pitt-Johnstown recruit accumulated 3,189 career points. He averaged 43.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and four steals per game this season for Aquinas, which went 20-6 and reached the WPIAL Class A playoffs.

Watch Vinnie Cugini highlights

Brandin Cummings

Lincoln Park

6-4, junior, G

The Pitt recruit looked right at home in big arenas. Cummings averaged 23.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A champion Leopards (30-1). A dangerous shooter, Cummings scored 22 points in the WPIAL finals and a team-high 25 in the state championship. He already has 1,482 career points and two WPIAL titles. Lincoln Park has a 67-15 record in his three seasons.

Watch Brandin Cummings highlights

Dante DePante

Central Catholic

6-3, senior, G

DePante guided Central Catholic to its first WPIAL title in 15 years. He averaged 17.6 points per game and led the team in scoring, assists and steals this winter. He also averaged five rebounds. DePante upped his game in the playoffs and scored a game-high 29 points in the WPIAL Class 6A final. He surpassed 1,000 career points this season.

Watch Dante DePante highlights

Rodney Gallagher

Laurel Highlands

6-0, senior, G

The West Virginia football recruit led Laurel Highlands on another deep playoff run this winter. Gallagher averaged 22.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game for the Mustangs (24-4), who reached the WPIAL 4A semifinals and state quarterfinals. The two-time WPIAL champion scored 2,034 career points. The team went 82-18 in his four seasons and won three section titles.

Watch Rodney Gallagher highlights

Daemar Kelly

Penn Hills

6-5, senior, G

The Quinnipiac recruit capped his Penn Hills career with a WPIAL Class 5A title. A big guard who plays above the rim, Kelly averaged 16 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game for the Indians (23-4), who won a section title and stretched their season to the state quarterfinals. A four-year starter, the team went 74-21 over the past four seasons.

Watch Daemar Kelly highlights

Peter Kramer

Hampton

6-4, junior, G

PIAA transfer rules made him ineligible for the playoffs, but Kramer proved himself as one of the WPIAL’s best in 22 regular season games. He averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists per game for the Talbots, who went 20-2 with him in the lineup and won the section title with an undefeated record. He won a WPIAL title as a sophomore at Shady Side Academy. Kramer topped 1,000 career points this season.

Watch Peter Kramer highlights

Alier Maluk

Imani Christian

6-11, sophomore, C

Maluk showed why college coaches see him as one of the top prospects in his class. He averaged 15.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game as Imani Christian (23-6) won WPIAL and PIAA Class A titles. He’s a skilled shooter for his size, making 10 of 29 attempts from 3-point range and shooting 78% from the foul line. One of his best stat lines came in the state finals. He had 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks to celebrate in Hershey.

Royce Parham

North Hills

6-8, junior, F

Parham averaged a double-double and was a matchup problem for opponents on a nightly basis. The versatile big man averaged 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Indians (20-7), who won a section title and reached the WPIAL 5A semifinals. He scored a career-high 47 points in one game and finished his junior season with more than 1,500 career points.

Watch Royce Parham highlights

Meleek Thomas

Lincoln Park

6-4, sophomore, G

ESPN ranks Thomas as the fourth-best sophomore prospect in the country, and his opponents this winter won’t disagree. Thomas averaged 24.9 points, 9 rebounds and 4.6 assists for a team that won WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A titles. He showed his talent in the closing seconds of the state finals when he made the winning shot with 11 seconds left, a floater in the lane to capped a 22-point effort. He had 25 points and 14 rebounds in the WPIAL finals.

Watch Meleek Thomas highlights

Makhai Valentine

Steel Valley

6-3, senior, G

Valentine averaged 36.2 points per game and his 63-point night in January ranked third-best in WPIAL history, but the talented playmaker did more than score. He also averaged 11.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 blocks for the Ironmen (16-11), who shook off a slow start to the season and won a section title. The team reached the WPIAL Class 3A semifinals and also the second round of states. He had 1,780 career points.

Watch Makhai Valentine highlights

• • • • •

2023 TribLive HSSN Postseason Awards

Girls Head of the Class

Boys Head of the Class

Girls Terrific 10

Boys Terrific 10

Girls Player of the Year

Boys Player of the Year

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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