Penn Hills basketball standout Eddie Daniels learns to embrace every moment

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Sunday, February 21, 2021 | 9:01 AM


After a summer league game before his junior season in 2019, Penn Hills’ Eddie Daniels was woken up by his sister asking him if he’d heard from their mother.

Daniels later found out his mother, Theresa Latimer, suffered a brain aneurysm, forcing Daniels to grow up real fast.

After Latimer came out of a coma a few months later, Daniels had to assist his mother in her rehabilitation, which included the basics such as walking and doing normal household activities.

Ever since nearly losing his mother, Daniels has cherished the importance of every moment and has used it as fuel to how he approaches the game of basketball.

“A lot of kids go through struggles or hard times with their families,” Daniels said. “I know teenage years are hard, but I don’t think a lot of kids have gone through what I’ve gone through. I took the anger out on the court on the defensive end.”

This season, Daniels leads the Indians’ balanced scoring attack with 13.3 ppg, while averaging 3.9 rpg and 2.2 steals per game.

Daniels scored a game-high 18 points for Penn Hills in a 71-32 win over Kiski Area in Section 3-5A action on Feb. 10.

A week earlier, Daniels led the Indians (9-3, 5-0) with 15 points in a 49-43 win over Gateway in section play Feb. 5. Daniels (19 points) was one of four Indians to reach double figures in an 82-37 win at home against Imani Christian on Feb. 3.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive,” Daniels said. “I just take my shots whenever I’m open. We do a good job of moving the ball and everybody eats.”

Last season, Daniels averaged 12.9 ppg and 4.1 rpg, good for a second-team all-section selection.

“I didn’t really shoot the ball last year,” he said. “I’m shooting a lot more 3s and free throws. I always try to work on my defense because that is what determines championships.”

With the WPIAL playoffs around the corner, Daniels feels the Indians still haven’t peaked under first-year coach Chris Giles and hopes it shows up when the playoffs come.

“It took a minute to get used to everything,” Daniels said. “Everything is coming together. We still have a lot to improve on. Most teams are peaking, but we haven’t peaked yet. We just have a lot more work to do.”

Last season, the Indians finished the regular season with a six-game winning streak before falling to eventual WPIAL champion No. 8 Laurel Highlands in the quarterfinals. After qualifying for the state playoffs, the Indians lost to Obama Academy, 73-63, in the first round.

“I’m trying to embrace every moment,” Daniels said. “It’s my last year. I just love basketball. I’m going to go out there and play my hardest all the time with my guys.”

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