Waskowiak earns Almanac MVP honors for girls’ basketball
Waskowiak named girls’ MVP
By placing herself second to others, Erin Waskowiak ranks second to none in athletics as well as life.
A hot shot, averaging 20.4 points per game as a junior, Waskowiak assumed the role of a distributor her senior season and put Bishop Canevin on the scholastic basketball map. She led the Crusaders to their first district as well as state championship.
“Erin sacrificed her personal statistics for the team,” said her coach Tim Joyce. “She led her team on a magical run. Her unselfish play made her teammates better and led us to victory.”
Two-thirds of the way through the 2012-13 season, Joyce moved Waskowiak to the point guard position on offense. She responded. So did the Crusaders. They avenged two disappointing defeats to their arch rival, including a 66-35 thrashing, and unseated Seton-La Salle as the WPIAL and PIAA champions. Canevin defeated the Rebels, 56-47, in the district final at the AJ Palumbo Center. The Crusaders then beat SLS, 41-36, to reach the state finals. Once in Hershey, Waskowiak continued to shine. She dished up six assists, pulled down seven rebounds, supplied two steals to go along with five points as Canevin dispatched York Catholic, 45-38, in the Class AA championship contest at Giant Center.
In bringing a state banner to Canevin, Waskowiak also won acclaim for herself. She gained the attention of Pennsylvania’s sports writers, who named her to its All-State squad. That honor goes along with her section, WPIAL and Almanac laurels. In addition to first-team accolades, Waskowiak has been named Almanac Most Valuable player for girls’ basketball.
According to Joyce, Waskowiak is the “complete all-around player.” Her statistics bear out that fact. Though her points-per-game average plummeted to 16 this season, Waskowiak managed seven assists per game. She also grabbed eight rebounds and swiped eight passes an outing.
“Erin is athletic, quick and skilled,” Joyce said. “She can shoot the three, beat defenders off the dribble or post them up. She has excellent vision on the court and is a great passer.”
Waskowiak credits all she knows to her cousin, Josh March. She says he got her started in basketball. “He taught me all I know,” said the 19-year-old daughter of Kelli and Ed Waskowiak.
Waskowiak began playing organized ball in fourth grade. After a successful career at Bishop Leonard/Mary of the Mount Academy, she enrolled at Bishop Canevin. In four years, she helped the Crusaders compile an 89-23 record. A four-time WPIAL and PIAA participant, she saw her team fall to SLS in the district semifinals as a sophomore and finals as a junior. So, this season proved special.
“I was so happy with the way my senior year ended. All our hard work paid off. It was a fitting finish.”
Waskowiak, however, isn’t quite through with her scholastic career. She will participate in the Hoops For Cure on April 27 at Chartiers Valley. It will be a cherished reunion for Waskowiak as she will play once again with her teammates Celina DiPietro and Carly Forse.
“It’s going to be fun. The hard part about not playing anymore is that I don’t get to see my teammates and my coach,” she said. “I miss that a lot.”
Other than that, Waskowiak is ready to move on with her career. A Duquesne University recruit, she will be the first member of her family to play in college. “I’m ready,” said Waskowiak, who has two siblings, Patrick and Amanda. “I’m ready for the next phase of my life.”
While she acknowledges that “passing” is the best aspect of her game, Waskowiak is prepared to polish her skills before she begins playing for former Olympic gold-medalist Suzy McConnell-Serio. “I need to improve my ability to drive to the hoop,” she said. “I need to work on my moves.”
At the scholastic level, however, Waskowiak had all the right moves. In fact, she possessed enough of them to garner The Almanac’s top honor as MVP.
“I’m glad that I was chosen,” she said. “I’m really happy and honored because there were so many good players out there.”
Few players are as physically decorated as Waskowiak. She sports four tattoos. Two adorn her neck. Two others, including the cross with the roses on her left arm, are a tribute to her best friend, Will, who is still recovering from injuries he incurred from a serious automobile accident four years ago.
“My whole family has them and I wanted one,” she said of the body art. “Opponents always comment about them. They like them. I consider it a compliment when people ask me about them.”