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5 Pittsburgh-area natives to compete in NCAA women’s basketball tournament



Howard's Gia Thorpe is a graduate of Pittsburgh's Winchester Thurston High School. (Credit: Howard Athletics)

March is here, and while the college basketball teams in Pittsburgh won’t be dancing, a handful of natives from the Steel City will be.

Five young women from the Pittsburgh area will be playing in the NCAA Tournament. Two of them with Mount St. Mary’s, two from American University, and one each from Howard and Charlotte.

Let’s get to know them better:

Cali Konek, Charlotte

  • High School: Franklin Regional
  • First Game: Saturday, March 19 vs. Indiana

A reserve 5-foot-7 sophomore guard, Konek played in 11 games for the 49ers this season, most recently featuring in their CUSA tournament win over Southern Miss. This is Charlotte’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009.

Gia Thorpe, Howard

  • High School: Winchester Thurston
  • First Game: Wednesday, March 16 vs. Incarnate Word

A veteran guard for the Bison, Thorpe started in 14 of the 19 games she played in this year for Howard, averaging 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per-game. In the Bison’s MEAC Championship victory over Norfolk State, she chipped in four points and three rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench. But Thorpe has shown that she’s capable of doing more too. Earlier this season, she had nine points and six rebounds in a win at Maryland Eastern Shore. This is Howard’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001. The Bison are 0-5 in tournament games.

Jada Lee, Mount St. Mary’s

  • High School: Carlynton
  • First Game: Thursday, March 17 vs. Longwood

Lee didn’t start a game this year for the Mount, but she did feature in 27 of them, averaging 15.1 minutes per-game. The 5-foot-5 sophomore guard averaged 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds this season, while also dishing out 25 assists and stealing 24 possessions. One of her best games this season came against Clemson, when she tallied 10 points and five boards.

Kayla Agentowicz, Mount St. Mary’s

  • High School: Lakeland
  • First Game: Thursday, March 17 vs. Longwood

A sixth-year senior from Scott Township, Agentowicz does a bit of everything for the Mount. She has the best field goal percentage on the team at 50.3% and has also made 46.2% of her three-pointers this season. She averages 9.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per-game, and she’s also second on the team in assists, racking up 51 this year. Agentowicz was key in the Mount’s run to the NEC Championship, averaging 10 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals per-game in the conference tournament.

Bailey Garbee, American

  • High School: Quaker Valley
  • First Game: Saturday, March 19 vs. Michigan

A 5-foot-11 freshman, Garbee often came off the bench for American this season but was thrust into a starting role down the stretch of the season, getting the nod in back-to-back Patriot League clashes vs. Lehigh. On the year, Garbee averaged 1.9 points and 1.4 rebounds per-game, and shot 33% from three-point range. One of her teammates – senior Laura Graytok – is a native of Latrobe.

Pittsburgh-Area Names to Know in 2022 NCAA Tournament

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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