Penn-Trafford’s Olivia Pepple shines in early season games

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Monday, January 2, 2023 | 1:43 PM


One of the top backcourt players in the area, Penn-Trafford junior Olivia Pepple scored 19 points to help lead the Warriors to a 71-50 win over Albert Gallatin in a Section 3-5A game, then scored 21, including five in overtime, in a 46-38 win over Kiski Area last week.

Pepple (5-foot-9) is the leading scorer for the Warriors (8-1, 2-0), who are ranked No. 3 this week. Pepple is averaging 19 points per game.

Pepple took some time to sit down and answer a few questions:

What have been the team’s strengths so far?

So far this year, our strengths are our defense and our heart. We have a will to win that other teams don’t match.

What is your favorite thing about basketball?

Winning games with my teammates and pushing each other to get better every day at practice. I love to see our hard work pay off.

Coach John Giannikas mentioned some Division I schools are beginning take interest in your game?

Yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to have Division I interest. I currently have a full scholarship (offer) to Fairleigh Dickinson, and have been in contact with other schools as well.

You had an injury earlier in the season that you sustained in warmups before a game. How it that going?

My foot injury was a small setback this season, but I’ve been doing physical therapy to try to strengthen and regain motion in my foot. The pain hasn’t gone away, but it’s tolerable to play with.

How has the move to Class 5A been so far?

Class 5A is going to be tough. Most people think that because we play smaller schools, it’ll be easier, but that’s not true. There’s a lot of good teams this year, but I have confidence in my team that we’ll win games.

What AAU team do you play for?

PA Swoosh.

Who is your favorite pro athlete?

Giannis Antetokounmpo.

What is your second-favorite sport?

Volleyball.

Any unique collections or hobbies?

I pretty much spend most of my free time in the gym shooting.

What is your dream NIL deal?

Nike.

Why do you wear No. 11?

Growing up, I always liked number 15, but as a freshman, someone already had that number. That’s when I took number 11 and haven’t wanted to change ever since.

Does basketball run in your family?

Yes, my great-grandma, grandpa and mom all played basketball growing up.

Favorite band or musical artist?

I don’t have an absolute favorite artist, but I really like Harry Styles.

Favorite movie?

“Black Panther.”

Favorite streaming show?

“Outer Banks.”

Favorite court to play on?

My home floor at Penn-Trafford.

Best player you’ve gone against?

Lizzy Groetsch (of North Allegheny).

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Chipotle.

The toughest game on Penn-Trafford’s schedule is ______.

Oakland Catholic.

Coach Giannikas’ favorite line is _______.

“Shoot with confidence.”

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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