Yough’s rising basketball star Crosby working to expand his game

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Thursday, January 27, 2022 | 6:50 PM


Terek Crosby is a gifted athlete and a natural scorer on the basketball court.

Just a sophomore, he can get to the rim and do some impressive things once he gets there.

Swift layups. Up-and-under scores. Slam dunks.

At times, he looks like a Maserati with the fast lane all to himself.

“He’s made some moves when he’s in the air, and you’re just like, wow,” Yough assistant coach Sam Sunder said.

While Crosby knows he is a step ahead of many opponents and advanced in his on-court development, he hasn’t settled. In fact, the 6-foot-2 guard, who leads Westmoreland County in scoring at 28 points a game, doesn’t want to be known as just a scorer.

He is becoming more of a student of the game, sitting up straight in the first row and ready to learn.

“Last year I was a scorer,” he said. “I am thinking more about creating for my teammates now. I am working on my defense. I want to just calm down and play. I am understanding the game more. I am a film guy now.”

Crosby averaged double figures as a freshman and has been sensational this season, scoring 30 or more a half-dozen times, including a career-high 45 in a 77-70 win over Ligonier Valley.

He had 35 in wins over Mt. Pleasant and Derry, 33 when the Cougars beat South Park and 32 (four 3-pointers) in a victory over Indiana. With his high-speed progression, what could he have in store the rest of the season and the next two years?

A wrist injury against Uniontown slowed him, and he missed Tuesday’s game at Belle Vernon. But he should continue his climb toward the frontrunners on the Yough scoring list, especially at his current pace.

The 10th-grader is more than halfway to 1,000 points.

“He is just so athletic,” Yough coach Jim Nesser said. “He’s more athletic than a lot of kids his age. He has a nice touch and great ball rotation. If he keeps working on his skills, who knows?”

Yough (7-7, 3-5) is chasing a playoff berth in Section 3-4A.

While Crosby can handle the ball, shoot it and lift off around the basket, he plays with guarded perspective. Sure, he likes to hang with friends and play video games. But there is more than a rising high school athlete here.

Since the time he was a wide-eyed 5-year-old playing at the Vine Street courts with his brother, Kyle, Crosby has appreciated those around him.

His tattoos tell the story.

Praying hands on his left forearm represent his admiration for his late grandfather, Clyde, who died in 2015.

“I wasn’t close with my dad,” Crosby said. “He was like a father to me and helped raise me.”

Another patch of ink represents three fallen friends, the Wilson brothers, all gone around the time his pap died.

“I miss them,” Crosby said.

Yet another tattoo stands out above his left knee. It reads, “Different.”

“Because I am,” he said. “I look at things differently than most people.”

And what about that small crown tattoo under his right ear?

“I’m the king,” he said with a smile.

Crosby also mentions his 3-year-old nephew, Matthew Scaggs, as a shining light in his life.

“I bought him a dinosaur for Christmas,” he said. “He loves dinosaurs.”

Crosby looked to be one of the next football standouts as he came through the ranks. He broke youth league records for receptions, pulling in throws from quarterback Shane Swope.

But he kept coming back to basketball, and basketball kept giving back.

He played varsity football last year and joined the team late this past season. But a concussion cut his season short, and he left the sport to focus on hoops.

“Basketball is No. 1,” he said.

A Derrick Jones Jr. fan because the Chicago Bulls guard “plays like me,” Crosby said Yough is improving as it chases a WPIAL Class 4A playoff berth.

“We have to learn how to finish and keep our foot on the gas,” he said.

And getting to the postseason, Crosby said, would upstage the scoring.

“It’s win first, worry about points second,” he said. “You always want to win. When you get on the bus, you want everybody to be happy.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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