Former Southmoreland standout Stone lands another D-I offer

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Sunday, August 6, 2017 | 6:24 PM


AAU basketball has become the perfect matchmaker for Brandon Stone.

Six-foot-11 male seeks high-level Division I scholarship.

Stone, who left Southmoreland after three years to enroll in a prep school, caught the attention of numerous Division I college coaches during the NCAA’s recent evaluation or, “live” period, with his Bridge City AAU team.

Stone showcased his skills while playing in tournaments in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Las Vegas. Offers have been flowing in, with St. Joseph of the Atlantic 10 Conference the latest to offer.

A highlight package filled with deep 3-pointers, driving layups, fast-break finishes and dunks — some coast-to-coast — displayed his versatility.

Stone is considered a swing-forward; a modern big man who roams the perimeter like a guard but can finish like a center.

Long and lean, he has shown the ability to handle the ball in traffic and create shots.

Penn State remains his top offer, but Stone is in no hurry to commit as he gets ready to attend The Christ School in Arden, N.C.

More offers likely are to come.

Stone said “at the earliest” he would commit after his junior season, which he will repeat after reclassifying at The Christ School. He’ll play two years there with plans to graduate in 2019.

The latest time to decide, in his estimation, would be after his senior season.

“It’s a big honor and it’s very exciting,” Stone said of the growing attention. “It means a lot that so many schools and coaches believe in my abilities as a basketball player, student and person.”

Stone has nine other offers, from Duquesne, Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary’s, Appalachian State, Youngstown State, Stony Brook, Canisius, Bowling Green and Central Connecticut State.

He averaged a double-double last season and helped lead the Scotties to the WPIAL quarterfinals for the first time since 1987. He averaged 25.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

Heat week

A football preseason custom that began in 2013 will continue Monday with the start of heat acclimatization. Meant to get players acclimated to hot and humid weather for training camp and early-season games and practices, “Heat week” is rooted in safety and is mandatory. Players are guided through the noncontact workouts and given cool-off breaks in between drills. Players can wear helmets and shoulder pads.

Teams will condition for five days, and players must participate in three consecutive workouts to be eligible for camp, which begins Aug. 14.

Practices can’t last more than five hours and must be a minimum of three hours. Players get a two-hour recovery period between workouts.

Sliwoski adds offer

Hempfield senior quarterback Justin Sliwoski picked up arguably his most prominent Division I scholarship offer last week as Dayton came calling.

Dayton is a Division I-FCS school that competes in the Pioneer Football League.

Sliwoski’s other offers are from Georgetown of the Patriot League, and Ivy League schools Dartmouth and Columbia, which do not offer athletic scholarships.

Sliwoski (6-2, 195 pounds) threw for 1,954 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 578 yards and nine scores as a junior.

Ace for Cerilli

Incoming Norwin freshman golfer Salvatore Cerilli hopes his shot-making skills carry over to his first high school season. Tryouts begin Aug. 14.

Cerilli made a hole-in-one — on his 15th birthday — during the Tri-State PGA Parent/Junior Tournament last month at Latrobe Elks Golf Club. He used a 7-iron to ace the 162-yard 10th hole.

Bryan honored

Junior basketball player Zach Bryan, a Norwin graduate, was named the male recipient of the River States Conference Bill Melton Champion of Character Award.

The honor is bestowed annually to a male and female student-athlete in the conference who is “recognized for excellence in academics, athletics and the embodiment of the NAIA Champions of Character values.”

A team captain and point guard, Bryan was the only Celtics player to start all 30 games last season. He averaged 7.9 points and 3.5 assists, while carrying a 3.4 GPA.

Bryan was the first recruit at Carlow, which began its program in 2014-15.

Honorees at PNC

The PIAA Class 4A champion Mt. Pleasant softball team will be recognized Tuesday night during the Detroit Tigers-Pirates game at PNC Park.

Two other local state champions received the same acknowledgement last week during a Pirates home game: the Hempfield softball team and Latrobe baseball team.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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