It was a big weekend for the ITPS Wildcats, the local AAU basketball team from Pittsburgh.
Not only did they have a successful weekend on the court but one of their young players received a major scholarship offer.
Duquesne basketball on Pittsburgh Sports Now is sponsored by The Summit Academy: setting young men on the path to a better future.
Sophomore guard David Early (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) from Logan, West Virginia found out that he’d earned a scholarship offer from Keith Dambrot and Duquesne. Early received his first offer from Bob Huggins and West Virginia.
“Getting these offers already definitely motivates me to continue to keep working hard,” said Early. “I found out that I received the offer from my coach Nate Perry. Throughout the season, Duquesne has come to some of my games to watch me play, I think they have a good program.”
Early describes himself to PSN as a scorer but also has the ability to pass the ball.
In order to learn more about Early, we spoke with one of his coaches with the ITPS Wildcats, former D-1 player Tom Droney.
“When you see him, you’d think he’s a division one linebacker, he’s burly, physical and strong but when you watch him play you can tell right away that he’s very skilled,” said Droney. “He has a pure jump shot, can pull-up and shoot and also can shoot it from deep. He’s very physical and it’s really hard to keep him in front of you as a defender because he gets guys on his hip and it’s over. He’s just too big, too strong and crafty with the ball.”
He’s still a young player but scoring and filling the hoop will no doubt be Early’s strength in college.
“No doubt, he’s going to be a scorer but he can pass too. I think he will eventually develop into a point guard, he’s not there yet but in the next year he will because at the next level I believe he’s more of a point than a two man. He’ll definitely be a scoring guard though.”
Since he’s been through this process before, I asked Droney what sort of advice is he giving Early as far as handling the recruiting process.
“It’s cliché to say but he needs to just remain level headed and focus on getting better. At the end of the day, if you’re not getting better there’s a million other players around the country who are working to get better. He also needs to make sure he stays on top of the academics so that everything is fine and good to go as far as qualifying with the NCAA because you can never overlook that,” said Droney.
It was also a big weekend team-wise for Droney and Nate Perry as their team, the ITPS Wildcats, had a great week on the court competing and beating some of the best AAU teams across the country.
“With this being our first time on the Gold Division Addidas Gauntlet, it’s nice that our teams had a .500 record or better. It’s very top level competition so this weekend proves that we can be really, really good. I’ll be taking from what I saw the past two weekends, I know what we need to improve on and what we need to do to get this program to the next level.”
Great weekend for the ITPS Wildcats at session 2 of the adidas @GauntletSeries in Atlanta 💯🔥🔥
17u went 4-1
16u went 2-2
15u went 3-1
Next stop is the adidas Gauntlet Gold finals in NYC July 12-15 🏅✈️
— Wildcat Select (@wildcatselect) April 29, 2018
Next up for the Wildcats will be a tournament in Chicago at the end of May and then three tournaments in New York City and Los Angeles in July.