Men's basketball bids farewell to its founding players.
Most students go to college expecting to make big changes in their lives. An exceptional few go expecting to make a big change at their university, but the 2018 seniors on the Carlow men's basketball team did exactly that.
Seniors Zach Bryan (Irwin, Pa.), Charlie Scharbo (Jefferson Hills, Pa.), and Miles Sunder (Jeannette, Pa.) are the foundation of the Carlow men’s basketball program under head coach Tim Keefer. They were freshmen on the inaugural team in 2014-15, and they make up the first graduating class to spend four years with the program.
Alumnus Jehosha Wright '15 was also a founding player. The Heinz History Center honored his involvement in starting Carlow's first men's basketball team with a ceremony to retire his basketball jersey in the museum's galleries in 2017.
"In the beginning we faced many challenges. Nobody on the team had any college basketball experience, and we had never played against that level of competition. None of the players on the team had really played with each other so it was tough to build chemistry that quickly," said Scharbo.
Scharbo added: "I'm confident that the program is headed in the right direction. I think the program will continue to improve and make great strides."
The Carlow men’s basketball team defeated Rio Grande, 76-70, on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Oakland Catholic, to advance to the River States Conference playoffs for the first time in program history.
Both the RedStorm (10-20/5-12) and the Celtics (6-20/6-12) entered the winner-take-all contest with a 5-11 conference record. With the victory, the Celtics finished the regular season with six conference wins and claimed the tournament’s No. 4 seed in the East Division.
The players agree that Coach Keefer is not only a great coach but also a role model for the men.
"Keef has taught me some life lessons that I will hold on to for the rest of my life," Scharbo said.
The graduating seniors are ready for their next big life change, but they leave Carlow with the confidence of champions. Not only did they make the team, they made a difference.
By Kristin Seamon and Ann Lyon Ritchie