Penn-Trafford’s Zach Rocco accepted into Army

Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 5:35 PM

Zach Rocco has been watching his mailbox with increased anticipation just about every day since he applied to Army West Point months ago.

The Penn-Trafford senior point guard knew the application process would be long, and he would have to satisfy all of the necessary requirements to get into the academy.

Recruits don’t just go to Army, they are screened and evaluated over and again. It’s an apply-and-hope deal.

On Thursday, eureka.

Rocco was accepted into Army and has been offered a spot on the basketball team in addition to his appointment.

“It means a lot to me and it feels good,” Rocco said. “All my hard work is paying off. It is an absolute honor to serve my country and play Division I basketball for a great program.”

He will not have to attend the academy’s prep school.

“He was offered a spot in August, and he just had to get in,” said Jim Rocco, Zach’s father and coach at Penn-Trafford. “He may have to get to the school a little earlier. They already congratulated him, and we are heading back up for a game.”

Rocco, a career 1,000-point scorer, is averaging 23 points for the Warriors (14-8), who open the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs at 8 on Tuesday night against Central Catholic (12-10) at Norwin. He also is an exceptional student and is involved in numerous clubs, including one for anti-bullying that he started.

“We’re proud because he has worked so hard,” Jim Rocco said. “He is a special kid. It’s a proud day for P-T.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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