Thomas Jefferson’s DeAngelo, OLSH’s DiMichele named Trib HSSN scholar-athletes of the month for February

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | 5:10 PM


The TribLive High School Sports Network is recognizing some of the best and brightest student-athletes in Western Pennsylvania.

School administrators, athletic directors, coaches and teachers have the opportunity to nominate one female and one male scholar-athlete to receive the TribLIVE High School Sports Network Scholar Athlete of the Month Award.

Nominees must be in good standing at a school that HSSN covers to qualify. They must have a 3.25 GPA or higher and must be actively contributing to a school-sanctioned athletics team in a positive way.

Nominations will be accepted from the first through the 14th of each month. Trib readers and fans then vote on their favorites from the 15th to the 25th. New nominations will be accepted and voting will take place each month from October 2019 through May 2020.

Winners for each month will receive a plaque, recognition in the Tribune-Review and on TribLIVE High School Sports Network and their school will receive a $200 donation toward their STEM program.

To nominate or vote, visit TribHSSN.TribLIVE.com and click on the Scholar Athlete of the Month banner.

Here’s a closer look at Feburary’s Trib HSSN scholar-athletes of the month:

Alyssa DeAngelo

School: Thomas Jefferson

Class: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: One of the WPIAL’s top basketball players, DeAngelo has led the Jaguars into the PIAA Class 5A tournament by averaging 16.5 points per game. A Fairmont State recruit, she has scored more than 1,000 career points, becoming the seventh player in school history to reach the milestone.

She was recently named first-team all-section. Last year, she was a second-team selection after helping TJ reach the WPIAL championship game.

DeAngelo carries a 4.3 grade-point average and is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, AP Humanities, Interact club, Big Jag Little Cub and International club. She helps with TJ vs. Cancer, and she is a captain of a team raising money for TJ’s Mini-THON. In addition, she is a part of the planning process for an upcoming blood drive.

She plans to study nursing at Fairmont State and wants to become a nurse anesthetist.

How do you think the season is going for the girls basketball team?

I think our season has been going extremely well. We have definitely had some growing pains throughout the year, but we are coming together at the perfect time.

What will it take to keep advancing in the PIAA tournament?

Hard work and definitely focus. I feel like at this point in the season, many players start to feel burnt out, so as long as we can keep working hard and stay focused on our goals, we will ultimately be successful.

What are your best attributes on the court?

I do my best to remain level headed. I know as a captain that my teammates need me to be at my best. I try to do whatever I can each game to get others involved and help my team win. If it’s a good day, all of that will fall into place as well as my outside shot and drives.

What will you remember most about playing at TJ?

I’ll mostly remember the feeling that I felt when we made it to the Pete last year. It will also be hard to forget all of the memories that I’ve made with my friends and teammates throughout my four years at TJ.

Why did you choose to play at Fairmont State?

I ultimately chose Fairmont State because from the second I stepped on campus, everything felt right. The coaches were always positive I was someone they wanted on their team, and it’s just a great atmosphere.

Why did you choose the nursing program?

I have always wanted to go into medicine. I enjoy helping others, and I decided this was the right path for me. I eventually want to become a nurse anesthetist because I thoroughly enjoy that aspect of the nursing profession.

What are your favorite activities outside of basketball?

Honestly, I spend most of my free time at some type of basketball workout. I do enjoy spending as much time with my family and friends as possible.

What type of courses are you taking?

AP psychology and AP biology as a senior with the hope that they will help prepare me for my college classes.

What are your thoughts on the new high school?

I think the new high school is extremely nice. As a district, we are definitely at an advantage with all the opportunities the new school brings.

How do you want to be remembered at TJ?

I want to be remembered as someone who always worked hard for what they wanted on the court and the classroom. Additionally, I hope all of my team’s accomplishments during my four years will be remembered, and that the youth players will want to make just as much of an impact in the future.

Jake DiMichele

School: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Class: Sophomore

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: DiMichele has played basketball for two seasons at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. In that span, he’s won two WPIAL titles. The sophomore guard helped the Chargers claim the championship late last month with 30 points in a 81-72 win over Sto-Rox.

He finished the regular season at the WPIAL’s third-leading scorer at 29.0 points per game and has helped OLSH advance in the PIAA Class 2A tournament.

In the classroom, DiMichele has a 4.29 grade-point average and has been on the highest honor roll each quarter in his high school career.

How did it feel to win another WPIAL championship?

It felt great to win another WPIAL championship. Growing up and hearing my parents and cousins talk about winning championships, I always dreamed of winning some of my own. So, it feels great to carry on my family’s legacy and win another title.

How did this title compare to last year?

Honestly, last year will probably always be the most meaningful to me because I won it with my brother. With that being said, this year felt great because there was a lot of uncertainty coming into the year because of how many seniors we lost. Winning the title is just a testament to how much work my teammates and I put in during the offseason.

What has been the key to the sustained success for the OLSH boys basketball team?

I feel like OLSH’s key to success has been the way not just the program is run, but the entire school. At OLSH, you have to be at the top of your game every day and there isn’t a lot of room for mistakes, and I feel like that translates on to the court as well.

What are the key attributes that you bring to the team?

The key attributes I bring to my team are definitely the ability to score the ball, my basketball IQ and rebounding.

What makes you and Dante Spadafora so tough to defend?

I think what makes me and Dante so hard to defend is how versatile we both are. We can both shoot from the outside and get to the hoop. Our ability to keep the defense guessing not only opens up opportunities for ourselves but for each other and the rest of our teammates.

What type of basketball skills have you learned from your dad?

Pretty much everything I’ve learned in basketball came from my dad. He taught me everything I know about the game. I’ve been watching basketball with him since I was young, and he always finds new tips to tell me. Everyone knows how good of a shooter he was, and I think I can say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

What will it take to succeed in the PIAA tournament?

To succeed in the PIAA tournament, we just have to keep doing what we’ve done all year. If we buy in to playing defense, boxing out and just giving 110% every game, we can go very far in the state tournament.

What do you like to do outside of basketball?

Outside of basketball, I don’t really do much. I really like to watch movies with my family. However, my favorite thing to watch on TV is definitely WWE. I’ve been a huge fan of wrestling since I was little, and my dad, brother and I watch it every single week. My favorite wrestler has always been John Cena.

What is your favorite class in school?

My favorite class in school is definitely theology because I’m big into my faith. I also think it’s interesting to learn about the back story of my faith, and it really helps you understand how great God really is.

What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

The last movie I saw was “The Godfather” for the first time. Honestly, I think it’s definitely the best movie ever made. I come from an Italian family, so you can probably see why I like it so much. I feel like the most underrated part of the movie is the music that they play in the back.

What is your dream job?

My dream job has been the same ever since I picked up a basketball. I wanna play in the NBA one day.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

I’ve never been a big vacation guy. I’ll go out of town for AAU tournaments and things like that, but besides that, I would rather just stay in McKees Rocks.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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