Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Viking Strength Hopewell Leans on Sturdy Center

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Viking Strength Hopewell Leans on Sturdy Center

Article excerpt

Hopewell's Craig Bokor will soon put his basketball career behind him, although it is a sport he has loved playing since he was in elementary school.

Bokor, a 6-foot-3 1/2 senior center who was an all-state football lineman for the Vikings' 2002 PIAA Class AAA championship team, will sign a letter-of-intent to play at Pitt in the fall.

If Bokor were another 3 or 4 inches taller, he might have been coveted by the Pitt basketball program that relishes baseline players who rely on muscle and hustle.

Mark Javens, Hopewell's first-year coach, believes Bokor offers a lot more in basketball than just being a bigger, stronger guy than everybody else on the court.

"Craig is a very agile kid who can move up and down the floor," Javens said. "We like to get him the basketball because we know he can score down there in the post. In order for us to do well, his teammates know we have to get Craig the basketball because it's easier to make a 5-foot shot than it is from 15 to 20 feet out."

Bokor, a sturdy 290-pounder, has relied heavily on his basketball skills this winter in leading the Vikings to an unexpectedly good showing in Section 2-AAA. In junior high, Bokor was good enough to play for a Western Pennsylvania AAU all-star team that also featured Sto-Rox standouts Adam DiMichele and John Geiger.

Going into last night's scheduled section game at Blackhawk, the Vikings (12-6, 8-2) only trailed preseason favorite Moon Area (18- 2, 9-1) by a game in the section standings.

Hopewell was expected to be in a rebuilding mode after graduating several starters. Hopewell's graduated backcourt of Greg Rosatelli and Matt Fontana led the Vikings to back-to-back PIAA quarterfinal appearances. Hopewell also played for the WPIAL championship last year losing to Blackhawk in the final.

Despite this season's transition period under Javens, Hopewell has developed into a formidable team led by Bokor, who averages 20 points and 15 rebounds per game. …

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