Scorpion admires Groat as grandfather and broadcaster

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Friday, March 15, 2019 | 4:07 PM


Dozens of Dick Groat stories have been shared in around Pitt basketball circles in the past few days since word surfaced that the longtime courtside broadcaster and sidekick to Bill Hillgrove was parting ways with the Panthers after 40 years.

Steve Scorpion knows those stories, and many more, only he has dealt with Groat from a much different perspective.

To Scorpion, the boys basketball coach at Franklin Regional, Groat is just grandpap.

Groat, 88, taught Scorpion some of the finer points of the game, from an analysts’s perspective. The pair would break down Pitt games for years.

Scorpion said Groat taught him how to play the game “the right way.”

“We’d read boxscores together and he’d always circle turnovers and offensive rebounds,” Scorpion said. “He always told me to be humble and always keep working hard.”

Scorpion said he is proud to be Groat’s grandson and of the legacy he left at Pitt.

“It’s really nice to hear so many people talk about how great of a person he is and how he would sit and hang out with anyone and tell stories with anyone who wanted to talk to him,” Scorpion said. “Even though he was such a big-time athlete he never once acted like he was better than anyone else. He loved broadcasting for Pitt basketball and loved all of the players there and that program and school. He really does love the game of basketball.”

Groat and Hillgrove worked Pitt games together for four decades.

Groat also has a relative on the PGA Tour. Three-time major winner Brooks Koepka is his great-nephew.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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