Latrobe’s Anna Rafferty gets first Division I offer from Kennesaw State

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Thursday, June 11, 2020 | 6:23 PM


With the NCAA “dead” period — the time when college coaches cannot have contact with potential recruits — extended to July 31, basketball players who usually wade in the AAU recruiting waters at this time of year have been left to their own devices.

AAU season has yet to begin, so past highlights and word of mouth must suffice to forward a player’s path to Division I basketball.

Anna Rafferty is among those affected by the wrath of covid-19 restrictions. But one thing is clear about the rising, 6-foot-1 junior forward from Latrobe, and it’s a big plus: colleges already know about her.

Rafferty, a light-footed post presence with a budding upside, picked up her first Division I scholarship offer, from Kennesaw State (Ga.).

A member of the Western PA Bruins AAU program, Rafferty averaged a double-double as a sophomore with 12.6 points and 10.0 rebounds.

“If thing were regular, in a normal scenario, and Anna would be playing in tournaments in April and May, she’d probably have five or six offers by now,” said John Tate, the executive director of the Western PA Bruins. “We know what type of player (Kennesaw State) likes to recruit.”

Kennesaw State is led by former Pitt coach Agnus Berenato.

“Agnus likes true post players,” Tate said. “Anna fits that mold. One we get going again in August and September, I expect her to get more offers.”

Latrobe coach Mark Burkhardt labeled Rafferty a Division I prospect when she was a freshman.

“Anna’s tremendous work ethic on the court, in the weight room and, more importantly, in the classroom, have made her a Division 1 prospect,” Burkhardt said. “She has greatly improved her strength, shooting and footwork the past two years. She is a dominant post player who has the ability to run the floor like a guard.”

The Bruins have quite a pipeline going to Kennesaw State.

Berenato recruited former East Allegheny star Amani Johnson, who has become a household name in just less than two seasons, as well as a few others from the WPIAL. Among them on the Owls roster are rising senior Brenna Hoover (Blackhawk), and incoming sophomores Gabi Legister (Chartiers Valley) and Gillian Piccolino (Keystone Oaks).

“The thing with this year, specifically, is about relationships (with coaches),” Tate said. “We have that track record and that helps the girls.”

A memorable game for Rafferty came last last season against Penn-Trafford when she had 25 of her team’s 40 points — and 12 rebounds — in a 44-40 section loss.

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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