Standout guard Peter Kramer returning to Hampton

Saturday, June 11, 2022 | 9:01 AM

The Hampton boys basketball team will get some excitement this upcoming season when coach Joe Lafko collects his 500th career coaching victory.

The Talbots this summer received some other exciting news.

Peter Kramer, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who last March helped Shady Side Academy to its first WPIAL boys basketball title since 1999, is transferring to Hampton. He will be a junior in the fall, after averaging nearly 16 points per game at Shady Side Academy as a sophomore last season.

“I’m excited to come back and play with my friends again,” Kramer said. “It will be fun.”

Kramer attended grade school and middle school in Hampton School District but enrolled at Shady Side Academy prior to his freshman year to play with his older brother Alex. The two played together for two seasons and this past winter, they helped the Bulldogs to a 20-7 record, including a 66-54 victory over Avonworth in the WPIAL Class 3A title game in which Peter finished with 18 points, eight assists and one momentum-altering alley-oop dunk.

With Alex graduating, Peter talked with his parents about returning to his home district and being reunited with his childhood friends. The Kramers, who live in Hampton, agreed.

“I wanted to play with my brother (at Shady Side Academy),” Peter Kramer said. “That was something special to me. I think it was just cool to win a WPIAL championship with my brother. That meant a lot.”

Peter Kramer plays on the same Junior AAU team, the Mason Elite, as Hampton 6-foot-8 forward Liam Mignogna, and Mignogna’s father, Matt, was Kramer’s basketball coach for a number of years. Kramer is also close friends with another rising Hampton junior, forward Robert Coll.

“I’ve played with Liam and Robert (Coll) my whole life, since I was a little kid,” Kramer said.

Kramer is expected to join the Talbots’ roster in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club summer league. Hampton, which is dropping to Class 4A this season as part of the WPIAL’s enrollment-based realignment, defeated Shaler, 57-45, on June 2 at North Hills to improve to 3-2 this summer. The Talbots also have scheduled games against Fox Chapel (June 7), North Catholic (June 9), Highlands (June 16) and North Hills (June 21).

“I thought for a summer league game, there were a lot of positive things that the kids were able to do,” Lafko said after the victory over Shaler. “I liked the way the team scored in some transition in the second half. It’s a learning experience for all of these guys.”

Hampton guard Brennan Murray, who will be a senior four-year starter in the fall, led the Talbots’ attack and caught the eye of at least one college coach, who stopped him in the North Hills hallway for a chat.

“We’re playing good,” Murray said. “It’s building the chemistry. Getting Peter (Kramer) back will be helpful.”

Added rising junior Alex Nyilas, “I like how we get good competition and it gets our team chemistry up, playing in the summer.”

This winter, their coach will join an elite club. Lafko, who has coached 32 seasons, including the past 26 at Hampton, owns a record of 499-322 and won’t wait long to reach the milestone victory during the 2022-23 season. Lafko played for a pair of coaching legends, Henry DiVirgilio at Frazier and Ron Galbreath at Westminster.

“That’s been a career goal of mine, personally,” Lafko said. “I had the fortune to be coached by a lot of those guys and benefit from their experiences and saw what they went through. I’m really happy to have an opportunity to maybe early in the year get to 500.”


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