Dizon hired as Kiski Area girls basketball coach

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | 9:40 PM

Nick Dizon built a basketball coaching philosophy and gained experience at the high school level as an assistant coach the past three seasons with the Gateway varsity boys program under the direction of veteran mentor Daryn Freedman.

He also served as the head coach of the Gators ninth grade squad.

Through Freedman, Dizon, a graduate of Woodland Hills and Penn State Greater Allegheny, attained additional coaching with a girls age-group team the past three years through Basketball Stars of America AAU.

With a detailed coaching resume built, Dizon felt it was the right time to take that next step, and Kiski Area has allowed him to do that. The school board Monday unanimously approved a recommendation to hire Dizon as the school's next varsity girls basketball head coach.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” said Dizon, who helped lead the Gateway boys to playoff appearances each of the past three seasons, including a 12-11 overall record and a 6-4 mark in Section 3-5A in 2017-18.

“I learned so much the past three years, and I am ready for this new challenge. I fully embrace the opportunity to lead this program at Kiski.”

Dizon takes over for Nick Ionadi, who stepped down in late February after six seasons.

The Cavaliers showed improvement the past two seasons and finished the 2017-18 campaign 8-13 overall and 3-9 in Section 4-5A, one game out of a WPIAL playoff spot.

A number of lettermen will return next season, including sophomore Harley Holloway, a Valley News Dispatch first-team all-star and all-section selection. Junior Violeta Kenzevich and sophomore Hannah Potter both were honorable mention all-section.

Dizon said he looks forward to meeting the players at all levels of the program and hopes to get started with workouts as early as next week.

“I've followed them for a couple of years, and I've been impressed with the work they've put in from the ground up,” Dizon said. “It shows a lot about their heart and character. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity to lead this group of girls.”

Dizon played in college two years at La Roche College before moving on to Penn State Greater Allegheny.

He owns the PSUGA record for most field goals in a single game (16) as part of a 38-point effort in a loss to conference leader Penn State Beaver in 2012. He is tied for most blocks in a single game (5) and is second in career field goal percentage (48.3).

Dizon played his final two high school seasons at Woodland Hills after spending his freshman and sophomore years at Serra Catholic.

As a sophomore, he helped Serra's 2007 team reach the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.


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