When it comes to reputation, the WPIAL has long been known for churning out some of the top football talent in the nation year in, year out. Boys basketball on the other hand has often been looked at as light years behind when it comes to large numbers of players heading to top-flight college programs.
One player from the class of 2018, Mars guard Robby Carmody, is doing everything he can to prove that the WPIAL can be known for more that football. With a growing list of offers from the likes of Purdue, Xavier, Louiville and Pitt along with more and more others expressing serious interest in the rising Sophomore, it’s just a matter of time until Carmody becomes a household name in the city of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Sports Now had a chance to sit down with Carmody to talk about a number of topics including his experience leading the Planents to the PIAA title game this past season, what it is like to play for Dad and what might be ahead on the recruiting trail in the future.
We hope you enjoy.
Pittsburgh Sports Now–First off, it must have been quite an experience helping lead your high school team to the PIAA finals this past season. It was the first time in school history your basketball program had reached that level. What was that experience like?
Robby Carmody–It was crazy. After the Bishop McDeavit game that time in the locker after we won, it was definitely one of the greatest basketball experiences of my life. We came up a little short in the championship game but it was still a lot of fun to experinece that with my team because that was pretty much the last time I would ever get to play with those guys. It was a very fun ride.
PSN–It must have been extra special with your father being the head coach. How is it playing for someone who also happens to be “Dad” off the court? Is it ever hard to separate the two for you guys?
RC–It’s really fun because it’s bonding time that I otherwise would be having with my Dad. It can be a little tough at times because he’s got to be a little bit harder on me. Honestly, it’s really been fun though.
PSN–Some might not realize that you were a standout on the football field before deciding to focus on basketball this past season. How hard was it to make the choice to focus on one sport year round at such a relatively young age?
RC–It was. I think at this point i’d probably be getting a lot of interest in football from colleges too but I kind of played football more because my friends did it and it was fun playing in front of the crowds. I realized that I really didn’t love it so that’s when I decided it would just be better to focus on basketball and make that the priority moving forward.
PSN–With the focus fully shifted to basketball, it’s hard not to look at your game and see a guard that can do lots of things well. Do you see yourself as more of a lead guard, shooting guard or maybe a little of both?
RC–Right now i’m kinda playing a little bit of both because for our AAU team our point guard just had surgery so i’ve had to take on that role and distribute a little bit more instead of focusing on scoring. I think that’s going to help a lot going forward.
When we traveled to Italy, I was really the only true guard so I played point the whole time. Just going forward whether I end up playing that position or not, it will definitely help with my overall game.
PSN–You continue to be one of the top rated Sophomores not only in the state of Pennsylvania, but the entire nation. Obviously that means more interest and of course, more offers from top programs. What programs are showing the most interest right now?
RC–Right now, probably Penn State, Duquesne and Pitt–the local schools around here. Purdue and Michigan are also showing a lot of interest.
PSN–Are programs looking at you primarily as a shooting guard at this point?
RC–Most teams are looking at me primarily as a shooting guard.
PSN–What about the schools that are piquing your interest at this early juncture? Any programs that stick out or maybe even an list of the ones at the top?
RC–Right now because I have not been able to see anything i’m keeping it all the same mindset wise visiting each place because I don’t want to have a biased opinion going into it. I want to go to a school where I feel like the school is truly the right fit.
PSN–Many of our readers are Pitt fans and are dying to know where the Panthers stand in your eyes as a possible destination when you make your college decision. What are your thoughts on Pitt and also, how has the hiring to of Kevin Stallings impacted your opinion if at all?
RC–It kinda made it a better decision because he (Stallings) plays a style that fits me a lot better. Pitt could be a fit.
PSN–Do you have any visits planned over the summer?
RC–I don’t have any planned yet, but Michigan definitely wants me to visit and Stanford too, but i’m not sure that’s going to work because it’s so far away. Obviously Pitt and Duquesne are close and I’ll probably catch some football games. I also might try to get to a Purdue football game.
PSN–Obviously there is still plenty of time to go through the process, but do you have any idea when you would like to start seriously considering committing to a program or it something that is still way down the line for you?
RC–Honestly I really don’t know at this point. I’m letting everything come to me right now but i’m hopeful that the schools that are the best fit will show themselves and they will stick out more to me.
PSN–I know that the AAU circuit has become an integral part of high school basketball. However, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr recently made some commmets about AAU that got people talking and in a nutshell he referred to certain aspects of AAU as “counterproductive” to the development of young players. I know you play in AAU, what are some of the positives and negatives of it in your opinion?
RC–The positives are that because there is so much talent assembled in one area, a lot of coaches can come see you play who otherwise might not see you at all. There are some negatives like you definitely don’t get a lot of skill work done because you are constantly playing games. Sometimes you just need to get in the gym and get shots up instead.
PSN–If there was one area of your game that you think needs the most improvement, what would it be?
RC–Definitely ballhandling. I need to improve in this area to be productive at the next level. It will come, I have been working on it very hard and hopefully next year I will come back a completely different player.
PSN–We know that you have two more HS seasons at Mars still left before you head to a college program. What are some of your personal and team goals as you prepare for next season?
RC–Obviously for the team it’s section, WPIAL and state championships. We are also going to a tournament in Elmyra, New York and winning that is another big goal. As for personal goals, it’s a little too early for me to think about that–I just want to see what kind of team we will have coming back next season.
PSN–Do you have a player that you look up to or maybe model your game after?
RC–Trevor Cooney from Syracuse. I like how he’s always to play hard and he has a very high skill level and that’s the kind of player I want to be.
PSN–What’s one thing people need to know about Robby Carmody that is not related to basketball?
RC–Probably that my favorite thing to do is read.
PSN–What are you reading right now?
RC–Right now I am reading the Kite Runner and it’s probably one of my favorite books that I have read as of now.
PSN–I have to ask, who you got winning the NBA playoffs this year?
RC–Oh, Golden State for sure. They are just too good.
Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette