Greensburg Central Catholic freshman Erica Gribble stays step ahead of competition

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Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 11:01 AM


As Erica Gribble was making inroads to high school basketball, she was always a step ahead and a level above her opponents.

Now that she’s playing in the WPIAL, she still is.

“She always played up one or two grade levels,” said her father, Dan Gribble. “She goes against the better AAU programs, too.”

Erica Gribble, a fast-emerging freshman point guard at Greensburg Central Catholic, is ahead of of her years in the recruiting game, too.

She already has two NCAA Division I scholarship offers, from St. Joseph’s and Buffalo, and more than a dozen other schools are chasing her as well. Navy and Villanova are showing strong interest.

The 5-foot-8 Gribble began playing the game when she was 3. She is the youngest in what some might call the first family of North Huntingdon basketball. Her oldest sister, Alayna, is Norwin’s all-time leading scorer and went on to play collegiately at Pitt and St. Joseph’s after winning two WPIAL titles.

Middle sister, Olivia, also was a standout at Norwin and is now playing at Marietta.

Now here comes Erica, whom her father, sisters and numerous coaches say might be the best of the bunch.

She is averaging a team-best 15 points per game. She had 23 when GCC, ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL and state in Class 2A, knocked off defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Neshannock early in the season.

She is silky smooth off the dribble, can pull up from anywhere on the floor and has the court awareness of a seasoned senior.

“I have always been in the gym,” Gribble said. “I learned from my sisters. They have so much skill and talent. They are the reason I am where I am.

“There were a lot of (driveway) fights.”

Gribble decided to attend GCC and play Class 2A basketball over Norwin and 6A, but that has not deterred colleges.

Her attendance at offseason elite camps has caught the eye of high-level programs.

“You can see her growth,” GCC coach Chris Skatell said. “She is just so skilled. She grew up playing against her sisters and on boys teams. You can see the game slow down for her.”

Dan Gribble said Erica has been around the recruiting game for so long, it was just a matter of time before it was her turn to apply what she has learned.

“She went on recruiting trips and sat there and listened to the questions and watched what was going on,” Dan Gribble said. “She was young, but she went to so many of them, she kind of knew the routine.”

Gribble said she has a different game than those of her sisters.

“We’re all different,” she said. “There are so many different talents. They are not all the same.”

Perhaps if you take Alayna, a rangy, 3-point bomber who could also get to the rim, and Olivia, a dead-eye 3-point shooter, and combine them, you might have Erica.

Although, Erica might be further along than the other two at this age.

“It’s her basketball IQ and competitive nature,” Dan Gribble said. “A lot of that is similar to what the other two have, but she takes it to another level.”

Skatell has seen Gribble play at the AAU level. Like Gribble, he is part of the well-known Western PA Bruins organization, known for producing Division-I talent.

“She has far exceeded my expectations,” Skatell said. “She’s playing in a different setting than AAU.”

Her teammates notice her ability and knack for blending in with upperclassmen.

“She has a lot to offer,” GCC junior guard Mya Morgan said. “She is always looking to pass.”

Skatell said Gribble might pass too much at times.

“A little too unselfish, sometimes,” he said. “She can do so much. She is just a great kid.”

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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