Although Pittsburgh is not necessarily known as a basketball town, the area is currently as talented at the high-school level as it has been in years in terms of Division One prospects.
With strong play in the WPIAL this season, many prospects stood out in the Winter and caught the eyes of coaches from Pitt, Duquesne, Robert Morris, and many other Division One programs. While RMU and Duquesne have also offered numerous local prospects, Pitt has specifically targeted and offered four of the top guys in the area.
As of Saturday, when head coach Jeff Capel offered North Hills standout Royce Parham, Pitt has now extended offers to the following local players: Parham (2024 – North Hills), Alier Maluk (2025 – Imani Christian), Brandin Cummings (2024- Lincoln Park) and Meleek Thomas (2024 – Lincoln Park).
Parham is a 6-foot-8 forward who has taken an unofficial visit to Pitt once before and played in the Petersen Events Center this Winter during the WPIAL 6A title game. He told PSN that he plans to visit Pitt during June and take another look at the program. His strength is his defense and shot blocking ability inside, and he also has a growing offensive skill set headlined by soft touch around the rim and an improving mid-range shot.
Thomas is a 6-foot-3 guard who contributed this year at Lincoln Park, averaging 17 points per game in his rookie campaign. Pitt offered him in October 2021, and will closely monitor his recruitment for the next several years. Thomas is already rated as one of the best players to come out of Pittsburgh in recent memory, ranked as the No. 11 player in the nation in the class of 2025 by ESPN.
Up next is Maluk, a 6-foot-11 prospect out of Imani Christian. Pitt offered Maluk last fall, and has since sent multiple coaches, including Capel, to watch him play. Maluk also went to a Pitt game this season as a fan, and is certainly a prospect to watch for a visit in the future. He holds reported offers from LSU, Seton Hall, and Texas A&M, and has been in contact with John Calipari and Kentucky as well.
Lastly, Cummings, the younger brother of current Pitt guard Nelly Cummings, also has the option to play for the Panthers. Pitt offered him in late March. The 6-foot-3 guard also has offers from Creighton, Duquesne, South Carolina, and interest from Maryland. He recently wrapped up his sophomore season at Lincoln Park in which he averaged 21 points per game. Earlier in the offseason, when his brother Nelly entered the transfer portal, the two took an unofficial visit to Pitt together.
“It was good,” Brandin told PSN about the visit. “Probably the best experience of a visit I’ve been on.”
All four prospects combine to make up a strong core for the future of Pittsburgh hoops. But will they continue their college careers in Pittsburgh?