The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Penn Hills native Jalen Hood-Schifino with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Thursday night.
Hood-Schifino recently wrapped up a stellar freshman campaign at Indiana under head coach Mike Woodson. Hood-Schifino started 32 games for the Hoosiers, scoring more than 13 points per game en route to Big Ten Rookie of the Year honors.
He grew up in Pittsburgh before eventually moving to Charlotte, N.C.. He spent his high-school career playing for Northside Christian Academy, Combine Academy, and Montverde Academy over the years. 247Sports and ESPN both ranked him as a four-star prospect and a top-30 player in the Class of 2022.
In December 2019, Hood-Schifino verbally committed to his hometown Pitt Panthers. However, the next year, in June 2020, he de-committed. He then said Pitt was still in the mix in his recruitment, but when the they received a commitment from Judah Mintz (who later de–committed), they chose to cancel his visit and no longer pursue him.
The Lakers will receive a fantastic young player in Hood-Schfino. His rise to the NBA from Penn Hills is a demonstration of the great basketball talent that the WPIAL has to offer.
WPIAL stars who have the opportunity to reach that level include four-star North Hills Class of 2024 forward Royce Parham, five-star Lincoln Park Class of 2025 guard Meleek Thomas and five-star Imani Christian class of 2025 center Alier Maluk.