Alayna Gribble, standout girls basketball player at Norwin High School, had already made her college decision. She had made a verbal commitment to William & Mary this past December.
But at last Thursday's Roundball Classic banquet, Norwin coach Brian Brozeski happened to be talking to Upper St. Clair coach Pete Serio about Gribble's recruiting. Gribble had committed during her junior year, but she had played so well this season in leading Norwin to the WPIAL Class AAAA title, that Serio and Brozeski talked about Gribble possibly opening up her recruitment. Serio's wife, Suzie McConnell-Serio, happens to be Pitt's coach.
The next thing you know, four days after the banquet, Gribble was talking to McConnell-Serio. The next thing you know, Gribble was visiting Pitt Tuesday. The next thing you know, Pitt offered her a scholarship Tuesday.
The next thing you know, Gribble accepted the scholarship and committed to Pitt today.
So what started as a simple conversation at the Roundball banquet, ended with Pitt getting a new basketball recruit. Gribble will sign a binding letter of intent with Pitt in November and will begin her college career in the 2016-17 season.
"I'm excited," said Gribble, a 6-foot guard-forward.
Gribble (pictured) said her AAU coaches suggested that she might want to think about opening up her recruitment. Then the Pitt thing happened fast.
"I didn't want to really totally re-open my recruitment," said Gribble. "I would just say I flipped my decision. I didn't re-open everything. ... I thought it through and called William & Mary's coaches today and told them."
Gribble said two reasons she has decided to attend Pitt are because the Panthers play at a higher level than William & Mary, and also because of the chance to play for McConnell-Serio. But Gribble said academics also played a role in her decision. And this isn't just lip service to academics. Gribble has a 3.9 grade-point average.
"I'm thinking about changing my major and doing something more with a science base, or engineering or pharmacy," said Gribble. "William & Mary doesn't have that. They're know more as a business school."
Besides averaging 18.6 points a game this past season, Gribble averaged 6.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals a game. She shot 44 percent from the field and made 36 3-pointers. She has 1,251 career points.
Gribble was selected to the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5.
North Allegheny is looking for a new girls basketball coach. Sherri McConnell has resigned after eight seasons. McConnell told her players and parents that she wants to spend more time with her family.
McConnell played at North Allegheny before playing at Duquesne University. She was North Allegheny's coach for eight seasons and was highly successful in recent years, winning 20 games or more four of the past five seasons.
McConnell's total record was 147-48 and she was 106-21 the past five seasons.