Eighth grader Erica Gribble gets Division I basketball offer

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | 8:33 PM

Irwin’s Erica Gribble won’t play varsity basketball in the WPIAL until the 2022-23 season.

But the promising backcourt standout and youngest sister of Norwin’s Gribble family already has a Division I scholarship offer.

Gribble, an eighth grader at Greensburg Central Catholic, was offered by St. Joseph’s, where her older sister, Alayna Gribble, is a standout grad student guard.

The middle sister, Olivia, plays college basketball at Marietta.

One of the state’s top prospects in the Class of 2026, Erica Gribble is a 5-foot-8 point guard who plays AAU for the popular Western PA Bruins. She is active on the youth camp circuit and first attracted attention from St. Joseph’s, which hosted an elite camp. The school also watched her play in an exposure event at Spooky Nook.

“We were a little surprised,” her father, Dan Gribble, said of the offer. “We expect her to get offers when she’s in high school, but we didn’t think it would happen in eighth grade.”

Dan Gribble coaches the middle school team at GCC. Erica attends GCC now, but her father said she is “undecided” on a high school destination.

She will either play at Norwin or a Catholic school, he said.

Erica has trained with Pete Strobl of The Scoring Factory, as well as Nick Ionadi and AAU coach Ronnie Drennen, the former Belle Vernon girls coach. She has played in tournaments against boys and has held her own.

She even gave Jada Williams, the No. 1 recruit in the nation, a game when they played one-on-one in a Slaam Combine event in the South Hills.

Williams, a UCLA commit from San Diego, was flown in for the event.

Alayna Gribble is Norwin’s all-time leading scorer. She began her college career at Pitt before joining St. Joseph’s to get her master’s degree and play two more seasons. Olivia Gribble, like her older sister, is a 3-point threat.

Could Erica Gribble be the best of the three?

“I think she’s a combination of them both,” Dan Gribble said. “She has such a high basketball IQ. She has seen so many games.”

The youngest Gribble isn’t the first Pittsburgh area girls player to get an offer this early.

Karis Thomas, a sixth grader from Washington, was offered by Duquesne last February.

Cali Konek, who played at four high schools including Franklin Regional, was offered by Duquesne when she was a freshman at Imani Christian. She now plays at Charlotte.

On the boys’ side, Imani Christian’s 6-10 freshman Alier Maluk has offers from Pitt and LSU. Kentucky coach John Calipari recently visited Imani Christian to get a look at Maluk.

Pitt recently offered an eighth grader, too, in 6-4 Darryn Peterson, of Canton, Ohio.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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