Quaker Valley’s Adou Thiero is embracing a bigger role

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Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 9:01 AM


For the past three years, Adou Thiero’s role for the Quaker Valley boys basketball team has been evolving.

He started as a freshman and averaged 7.5 points per game by being a shooter and distributor for a team that went on to make its third-straight WPIAL finals appearance. Then, as a sophomore last season, his game continued to change as he became more of a scorer and averaged 17.7 points per game.

Thiero has taken his game to a new level this season and has averaged 22.9 points per game while leading the Quakers to a No. 4 seed in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

“When you have a player that plays young as a freshman, as a coach, it sort of puts you on a little journey, and it’s really fun to see how they progress every year in so many different areas,” Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni said. “What’s usually typical of a player that young is they dedicate a lot of time, because they’ve already put so much time into their game to play young and they know there is no other way. Adou is just a perfect example of that.”

Although Thiero has risen to the occasion in the past, he’s put together a breakout season. On Feb. 8, he scored a career-high 41 points against Hopewell. A little over a week later on Feb. 17, he scored 32 against Beaver. He put together another 32-point performance five days later against Montour in a double-overtime loss.

“He’s got the capability, and he’s a scorer in so many facets,” Mastroianni said. “As a young guy, we brought the ball to him more because he was younger and we had some guys around him that could do that. He was basically a shooter. Now he’s still an outstanding shooter, but he’s added so many things to his game.”

Thiero scored 25 or more points in seven games this season and has helped the Quakers earn an overall record of 12-4. Some of those performances came in some of Quaker Valley’s biggest games as well.

He scored 26 points in a win over No. 2 Lincoln Park on Feb. 18 and tallied 27 in a nine-point win over section opponent Blackhawk.

He said that his production this season has come from the work he put in over the summer. After hitting a growth spurt, his physical attributes have also allowed him to get to the rim a lot more consistently as well.

“My finishing at the hoop a lot better this year,” Thiero said. “Last year, I mainly shot threes and got to the hoop a couple times and got foul shots. But this year, I think I’ve been getting to the hoop a lot more and then shooting whenever the defender gives me the room.”

Coming into this year, after the graduation of a few seniors last season, Thiero knew that he was going to have to play a bigger role. He put in the work during the offseason and added a few things to his game, like a quicker first step and his bounce around the rim, so that he could play the role his team needed him to.

So far this year, he’s done just that.

“I figured for me to take it to the next level, I’d have to take it up one or two steps this season and just add to my game,” Thiero said. “I just wanted to be able to do more for my teammates and not let other teams do things to stop me.”

College teams are starting to take notice as well. A few days after Thiero’s 41-point game against Hopewell, he received his first Division I offer from Long Island. He said it was a good feeling to get his first offer, but it’s also just the beginning.

“It was definitely a great feeling just to know a school out there recognized the work I’ve been putting in,” Thiero said. “But now I just have to put in even more work to just keep it and show people why I got it.”

With a first-round bye, the Quakers are set to play the winner of No. 13 Derry and No. 20 Southmoreland at 6 p.m. Thursday at Quaker Valley.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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