The final score of the game was 79 – 76 Hood College
The final score of the game was 79 – 76 Hood College
By Connor Donohue
The Penn State Altoona men’s’ basketball team fell short of a conference crown last Friday, losing to first seed La Roche in a tight semifinal contest in Pittsburgh. The loss saw the Lions fall 16-11 on the season and lose the chance at AMCC glory this season. Either way, this season saw the Lions’ have their second most successful season in school history. It also saw the end of the college careers of Cameron Gardner-Nicholson, Clevon Scott, Austin Krise, and Trey Butterworth.
Gardner-Nicholson is a presence you can’t miss on the court. The 6-foot, 9-inch center has been with the program for four years. The Philadelphia native played his high school ball at Boys’ Latin Charter High School where he set the school record for shots blocked. During his time at Altoona, Cam was named to the AMCC All-Academic Conference Team in his sophomore season and was voted AMCC Defensive Player of the Year in his junior campaign.
When deciding to come to Altoona, the school’s resources that provide students with experiences inside and outside the classroom played a big factor in his decision to come to Altoona. He cherishes the outside of the classroom teaching that he knows will help him later in life. On the basketball side of things, Cam knew he wanted to play for a program with a family feel like Altoona. He loves playing for Altoona and his teammates because he knows everyone values team success over personal success.
Off the court, Cam is currently studying biology. After graduating, he hopes to take a gap year than attend a D.O. medical school to continue his education towards a health profession. He is planning to take his MCAT after graduation. Cam also has plans to go back to his home city of Philadelphia to work as a medical scribe in local hospitals.
Clevon Scott is the definition of a team player. The 6-foot, 6-inch forward has been with Coach McGreal for two seasons following his transfer from Penn State Beaver following his sophomore year. The Raeford, N.C., native played his high school ball at Hoke County where he led the conference in blocks per game his senior year and was a two-year honor student. He has made 25 appearances for the Lions this season.
Penn State Altoona’s close-knit campus and business program were big factors in Scott’s decision to transfer, he said. When he decided to join the basketball team, he had a goal of sustaining a winning culture that he had seen the year before he transferred. So far, in his senior season, he has helped the team reach similar heights to the record-setting 2017-18 season. He said that he will always cherish the brotherhood he found with the team and the memories he and his teammates made.
Following graduating, Scott is planning to move back to his home state and become an officer in the military. He is looking to graduate with a bachelor’s in Science, Business, Marketing, and Management. He plans on pursuing his MBA once he establishes himself in the military.
Austin Krise has been a stalwart for Coach McGreal in his time with the program. After transferring from Penn State Harrisburg following his freshman year, the Allport, PA native has appeared in no less than 25 games per season under McGreal. Krise played his high school ball at West Branch High School, where he scored 1,439 career points, was first-team all-conference all four years and was named co-player of the year as a senior. He also excelled in soccer, football, and was an honor roll student every year.
Krise said that he decided to transfer from Harrisburg to be closer to home. He also cited the small campus feel and the ability to easily interact with his peers and professors as reasons that he came to Altoona. On the court, Krise joined the team because he saw the promise that the program had. He knew it would be a great fit and he was proven right during his three years in Altoona. He said that he loves how close everyone is on the team and just how much fun they’ve all had together. Krise said that he has enjoyed winning but also loves how much fun he and his teammates have had doing it.
Krise is looking to graduate with a psychology degree come the springtime. He hopes to attend graduate school post-graduation and earn his master’s degree in school counseling and become a school counselor or psychologist. He is also looking for the opportunity to continue playing the sport he loves at a high level.
Trey Butterworth is another McGreal stalwart. Butterworth joined the program during his freshman year following his transfer from Panhandle State University. The Clarence, PA native played his high school ball at Bald Eagle High School, where he was a four-year letter winner in basketball. During his senior campaign, Butterworth averaged 20.6 points per game and was a first-team all-Mountain League selection. He also excelled in baseball, being a letter winner for two years and an all-Mountain League selection his senior year. At PSUA, Butterworth has AMCC All-Academic team selections in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Coach McGreal offered Butterworth a chance to play for the program following his transfer from OPSU. He pounced on the opportunity to live out his dream and play college basketball. He said that In his time with Altoona, he has enjoyed winning and the moments he’s shared with his teammates. He loves the little things like bus rides, meals, and motel stays with his teammates. The people and relationships he’s developed at Altoona are something he will cherish forever, he said.
Butterworth is looking to graduate with a degree in early childhood education. He is also interested in pursuing a master’s in special education post-graduation. His dream is to become a school teacher and eventually a basketball coach, he said.
I’d like to offer a special shout-out to all the seniors graduating this year. Gardner-Nicholson, Scott, Krise, and Butterworth have been critical parts of some of the best teams in PSUA history. The Lions still have more work to do as they earned a birth into the Eastern College Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. Pack Adler Arena on Wednesday, March 4 at 7 pm as the Lions host Hood College in their first-round match-up. We Are!