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The Subsequent Leechburg Function Mannequin: Pitt’s Braylan Lovelace Continues to Encourage His Hometown



It’s not a Friday evening within the WPIAL with out the sight of native youngsters lining the chain-link fences of their highschool stadiums to get one of the best have a look at the older youngsters they aspire to be.

It was no completely different at Leechburg Space Excessive within the fall, with the entire neighborhood displaying as much as Friday dwelling video games to observe the Blue Devils.

And because the Friday evening video games at Veterans Memorial Stadium wore on, the native youngsters would collect proper on the gate main out onto the sector. As the ultimate whistle blew out throughout the sector and the gate swung open, dozens and dozens of youngsters would stream out onto the sector with soccer and jerseys — and markers.

They weren’t actually in search of anybody specifically. A few of them wish to re-enact what they only witnessed and a few of them wish to discover the gamers themselves. As Leechburg Space’s star operating again, Braylan Lovelace attracted a whole lot of consideration.

So, in fact, he’s signed his justifiable share of autographs for the native youngsters. It’s simply an honor to have that love and help from the area people.

“A number of the youthful youngsters look as much as me and issues like that, they attempt to mannequin after me, which is basically an honor to be a mannequin for these guys,” Lovelace mentioned Thursday on the UPMC Rooney Sports activities Complicated. “It’s simply an honor to be a mannequin for these guys, and for them to see what I do, they are often the subsequent individuals as much as do it.”

Lovelace is really a task mannequin on and off the sector, serving as Leechburg’s first Division I commit since 1993. And whereas the native youngsters look as much as him now, he’s all the time had the power to look as much as his father David.

David has been teaching Braylan since he was very younger. It is smart contemplating David was the final Leechburg soccer participant to make it to the Division I degree — committing to Rutgers in 1993.

“It’s an incredible delight to have the ability to do what he did popping out of Leechburg,” Lovelace mentioned. “I all the time have huge household help, all the time have household on the recreation — my household is all the time there. My dad’s been teaching me since I used to be a really younger child, so to have the ability to do what he did, it’s simply an honor.”

And regardless of David’s time as a Scarlet Knight, it’s all the time been Pitt for the Lovelace household. They’ve had season tickets since Braylan was only a child watching Leechburg video games himself.

“Pitt’s all the time been a dream college of mine, from right here, watched Pitt video games on a regular basis,” Lovelace mentioned. “I’ve all the time imagined myself within the jersey. Actually after I got here on my go to right here, they introduced me in like a household, I wasn’t dedicated then, I had simply bought the provide, however all of the gamers and coaches introduced me in like household.”

Lovelace is a part of the Pitt household formally now, having been on campus for a couple of month now, and also you’d assume that being simply 45 minutes from the South Aspect facility would make for a fast transition. However that doesn’t bear in mind that Leechburg Space is a Okay-12 constructing.

What was a fast stroll down the hallway has changed into traversing hills and dodging oncoming site visitors to succeed in his classroom. However he wouldn’t change a factor. He was prepared to begin his Pitt profession as quickly as potential.

Now that he’s arrived, learning advertising in Pitt’s College of Enterprise and hitting the follow area on the South Aspect, he’s excited to really deal with being a linebacker.

He was a star operating again at Leechburg Space, racking up 2,875 yards and 59 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons, however his focus is on the defensive facet of the ball. He performed linebacker in highschool and dabbled in security on the 7-on-7 degree, and his focus now could be constructing himself into one of the best linebacker he might be.

At 6-foot-2, 210 kilos, with the power so as to add to his body, Pitt tasks Lovelace to both of the skin ‘backer slots. Lovelace factors to Bangally Kamara as a comparable.

Kamara, who’s about 25 kilos heavier than Lovelace after three seasons within the system, began at Star linebacker in 2022. He’s a participant that may slide into both the Star or Cash spot within the protection, nonetheless, and that’s what Lovelace sees himself with the ability to do.

Pitt added three linebackers within the class of 2023, which, in fact, consists of Lovelace, and it’s a trio with excessive expectations. Lovelace needs to have the ability to take the subsequent step on the school degree and emerge as a stud linebacker.

He has an excellent function mannequin, too. If he’s discovered something from his father, it’s dedication.

It doesn’t matter the place you’re from or what you’ve performed, your spot is rarely secured. So, deal with your self, are available and grind and be higher right now than you had been yesterday. And if you are able to do that, you’re going to get higher.

It stays to be seen when Lovelace will make an influence on the sector at Acrisure Stadium, as Pitt linebackers normally take time to succeed in the sector, however the youngsters in Leechburg nonetheless have a task mannequin to look as much as.

And Lovelace continues the household mantle of being a task mannequin for youngsters within the Leechburg space.


Excessive Level Switch Zack Austin Meets with Pitt Employees on Zoom, Hopes to Go to Quickly



The Pitt basketball employees has been working the switch portal for weeks, concentrating on gamers from across the nation.

One of many first gamers that the employees contacted as soon as the switch portal opened was Zack Austin, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound ahead out of Excessive Level College.

Austin informed Pittsburgh Sports activities Now that he met with the Pitt employees on a zoom name on Tuesday. Austin additionally included that he’ll “most likely” go to Pitt “quickly after the lifeless interval.” The NCAA states that there’s a recruiting lifeless interval — a interval during which recruits can not work together in-person with a university teaching employees — from March 30 to April 6. After that date, search for Austin to make a journey to Oakland.

Austin has been within the Excessive Level program for 3 years, however redshirted his first yr. As a redshirt freshman, Austin averaged 14.4 factors, eight rebounds, and a couple of.2 blocks per sport, additionally hitting 67 of his 208 three-point makes an attempt (32%). Austin made the Large South All-Freshman Workforce, because the Panthers completed the season 14-18 on the yr.

This season — in his redshirt sophomore marketing campaign — Austin averaged 14.1 factors and 5.4 rebounds per contest. He began 26 of 31 video games for Excessive Level, and likewise improved his capturing numbers in every class. Austin shot 44% from the sphere (41 as a freshman), 56% on two-point makes an attempt (51 as a freshman), 33% on three-point tries (32 as a freshman), and 79% from the free-throw line (72 as a freshman).

The Panthers want to fill three open scholarships. The workforce’s entrance courtroom presently consists of Jorge Diaz-Graham, Guillermo Diaz-Graham, and Federiko Federiko, with Blake Hinson, Nate Santos, William Jeffress, and freshman Marlon Barnes on the wing and Dior Johnson within the again courtroom. The Panthers can even welcome in freshmen guards Jaland Lowe and Carlton Carrington this season.

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Portal Report: Pitt, Duquesne, and RMU All Staying Lively within the Switch Portal



We at the moment are two weeks previous opening day of the switch portal window in faculty basketball, and native applications Pitt, Duquesne, and Robert Morris are definitely staying lively within the portal.

Greater than 1,000 division one gamers have already entered the switch portal inside the first 15 days of it being open, and all three staffs have been busy calling up recruits from throughout in an try and carry them to Pittsburgh.


The Panthers’ employees has reached out to greater than ten prospects within the portal, beginning with Chris Ledlum (Harvard), Zack Austin (Excessive Level), and Myles Stute (Vanderbilt) inside days of the portal opening, and most just lately reaching out to Joe Girard III (Syracuse) and DJ Horne (Arizona State).

As for the 13 confirmed gamers that Pitt has reached out to, 9 made not less than 40 three pointers this season, seven averaged not less than 12 factors per recreation, and two — Ledlum and Ball State’s Payton Sparks — averaged not less than eight rebounds per recreation.

Maintain monitor of Pitt’s portal exercise on the PSN Portal Information on the hyperlink beneath.

Pitt Basketball Switch Portal Information for 2023 Offseason


On Tuesday, Duquesne hosted St. Francis (PA) switch Landon Moore for a go to.

Moore is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard out of Bloomington, Illinois who performed one season for St. Francis. He shined in his lone 12 months with this system, averaging 13.1 factors and three.6 assists per recreation whereas taking pictures 42% from the sector and 36% from three-point vary.

The Dukes have additionally just lately been involved with Buffalo switch Yazid Powell, New Hampshire switch Clarence Daniels, Queens (NC) switch Jay’Den Turner, Winthrop switch Toneari Lane, and others.


Andy Toole and his Robert Morris employees have additionally been busy this portal season, reaching out to prospects from throughout.

The Colonials have reached out to the next prospects — and extra — over the previous couple of weeks.

Coppin State switch Justin Steers, New Mexico switch Javonte Johnson, Little Rock switch DJ Smith, Chicago State switch Bryce Johnson, Longwood switch Leslie Nkereuwem, Rider switch Nehemiah Benson, Yale switch EJ Jarvis, Bluefield State (D2) switch Malik Tidwell, West Florida (D2) switch LaTrell Tate, Saint Anselm (D2) switch Owen McGlashan, and extra.

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WATCH: Response From Pitt’s First Outside Follow of the Spring



PITTSBURGH — Pitt hit the sphere exterior Tuesday on the UPMC Rooney Sports activities Complicated for the primary time this spring, and Pat Narduzzi stated he wasn’t too happy with what he noticed.

Narduzzi broke down Tuesday’s follow and Saturday’s scrimmage, and Bub Means, Daniel Carter and Solomon DeShields made appearances to debate the primary eight practices and the areas they’ve every grown over the spring.

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