Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 17, 2022

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022 | 12:20 AM


Two years ago, a freshman at Laurel Highlands burst onto the boys basketball scene as Rodney Gallagher helped lead the Mustangs to a surprise district championship run.

Now another ninth grader from a Fayette County school is making headlines as his high school career is off to a Notorious start for Uniontown opponents.

Notorious “Tori” Grooms enjoyed another big week last week in leading the Red Raiders to a pair of Section 3-4A victories.

“Tori is such a dedicated basketball player,” Uniontown coach Rob Kezmarsky said. “We realized he would start as a freshman.”

He has not only started but been a big part of the Red Raiders’ success as they have won six of their last eight games.

“He continues to score and is getting better and better every game,” Kezmarsky said.

Last week began on Tuesday with a 34-point road victory at South Park. Grooms led Uniontown with 22 points, many of them coming from the charity stripe.

“His game against South Park, he did a great job and went 7 for 7 at the foul line,” Kezmarsky said.

Friday may have been the biggest win of the season for the Red Raiders, and Grooms led the way again.

Against an Elizabeth Forward team that entered the game tied for first place with Belle Vernon in the section, Grooms scored 25 points as Uniontown rolled at home, 67-43.

“He handled the basketball very well for us,” Kezmarsky said. “He can shoot with players on him and plays bigger than he is.”

As impressed as he is with Grooms’ success on the court in the early days of his scholastic career, Kezmarsky is just as impressed with what the freshman is doing off the floor and in the classroom.

“He made highest honors the first nine weeks,” he said.

As we close in on the midway point of section play this week, Uniontown is tied with Elizabeth Forward for second place behind Belle Vernon.

Kezmarsky likes what he has seen thus far from his Red Raiders but knows there is a lot of growth and improvement on the horizon.

“We still are very young starting two freshmen,” he said. “We are working to improve every game and Tori is a vocal leader, even though he is young.”

2022 Trib HSSN Players of the Week

Week 3 – Tanner O’Grady, Upper St. Clair

Week 2 – Ben Mayhew, Propel Braddock Hills

Week 1 – Makhai Valentine, Steel Valley

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