Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sto-Rox Grad Pringle Is a Late-Blooming Star

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sto-Rox Grad Pringle Is a Late-Blooming Star

Article excerpt

Demetris Pringle wasn't a basketball star at Sto-Rox High School.

He scored just 20 points his entire junior season. And while he scored in double figures on a dozen occasions as a senior in 1999- 2000, the Vikings finished with a mediocre 11-10 record.

So, how did Pringle become a star player -- a leading scorer and 1,000-point career scorer -- at LaRoche College?

"I didn't have a good jump shot in high school, couldn't go to my left, wasn't as strong as I am now," explains Pringle.

Improving on all three of those aspects, sprinkled in with hard work has added up to Pringle, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound wing player, being a leading man at Division III LaRoche.

LaRoche, the defending Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference champions, was off to a 6-8 start, 5-3 in the AMCC, heading into last night's action. Pringle, who averaged 16 points a game during last season's 14-14 campaign, was averaging a team-best 19.2 points a game this season and leading the Redhawks in 3-pointers with 37 on 85 attempts, an excellent 44 percent from long range.

"Demetris' best attribute is that he's so strong," said LaRoche coach Scott Lang, a 1988 Mars High graduate. "He's built like a linebacker. Near the basket, he's stronger than a lot of guys."

Lang, 35, in his eighth season as LaRoche's head coach, said he first saw Pringle play in the Manchester 18-and-over summer league a year after his senior year. At that point, Pringle had received no college interest and was uncertain about his future.

"He was a hidden gem," said Lang. "He was talented, but raw. He was overshadowed at Sto-Rox by Ed Peterson [now a guard at IUP who averaged 27 points a game as a senior in high school]. Demetris looked like a great athlete. He just hadn't developed his skills."

It's now safe to say at LaRoche he has developed a lot of those skills. Lang said a key reason why is that "Demetris is one of the most coachable guys on the planet. He's always been a hard worker. He's put in the time with extra shooting and in the weight room."

Pringle has some good bloodlines. An uncle, Chris Kirkland, starred at Sto-Rox and at Division I University of Massachusetts (1997-2000). …

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