Jeannette coach pleased with performance at Tre Cunningham Memorial Basketball Tournament

Sunday, June 25, 2023 | 5:11 PM

There was no one better than Jeannette senior Tre Cunningham in 2018 when he was named the Tribune-Review’s Boys Athlete of the Year.

He helped the Jayhawks win the WPIAL and PIAA Class A football title, and he was named the Tribune-Review’s baseball and boys basketball player of the year.

Cunningham’s passion was baseball, and he played that sport at Division III La Roche.

Tragically, a motorcycle accident in 2020 took Cunningham’s life.

This past weekend, the Jeannette Education Foundation held the third annual Tre Cunningham Memorial Basketball Tournament.

Ten teams participated, with Belle Vernon defeating Westmont Hilltop in the championship game.

Belle Vernon’s Zion Moore was named tournament MVP. He received a $1,000 scholarship.

The other teams in the tournament were 2022 champion Latrobe, Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Steel Valley, Yough, Monessen, Norwin and Jeannette.

“The foundation does a great job raising money to help programs in the district,” Jeannette basketball coach and athletic director Adrian Batts said. “They do an unbelievable job.”

Batts said the tournament went well, especially for his young team. The Jayhawks lost twice in the tournament, falling to Westmont Hilltop on Thursday and in the semifinals Saturday.

“This was good for my players,” Batts said. “We upset Yough in the quarterfinals and lost to a very good Westmont team. They’ve been playing all summer, and this was the first time we played in a tournament.

“I was pleased how the freshmen played and how our veterans performed. You can’t emulate games at practice. We played against bigger classification teams and played well. I just told them ‘Go out and have fun,’ and they did.”

Batts then reflected on what Cunningham meant to his basketball team and the other athletic programs at the school.

“He was a leader and someone kids could and should look up to,” Batts said. “We lost a great one in the community of Jeannette.

“He was a better person than an athlete, and he was a great athlete. He was really polite, cheerful and always smiled. He enjoyed what he did. When we needed him to, he took over games.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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