Philly players lead Penn State to NIT championship win
Penn State has always been known as a football power over the years. However, five Philadelphia basketball players have put the Nittany Lions’ basketball program on the national map.
And four of those players — Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, Nazeer Bostick and Shep Garner all played their high school basketball at Roman Catholic. These four Cahillites helped to lead Penn State to an NIT championship last week. The Nittany Lions topped Utah, 82-66, to capture the title.
Carr, a 6-foot-5, 204-pound sophomore, who scored 15 points and handed out 14 assists in the championship game, has made himself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft in June. He finished the season averaging 19.6 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game.
“Most of the feedback has been positive,” Carr said in regards to his draft status according to ESPN.com. “Definitely gave it a little bit of thought not to sign with an agent and test the waters, but my dream is to get drafted into the NBA, and I feel like I have that opportunity.”
Garner, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard, completed his college career with 1,629 points. This season, he averaged 11.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He also shot a career-high 43.3 percent from three-point range.
Stevens, 6-foot-8, 226-pound sophomore, on the other hand, scored a game-high 28 points in the win over Utah. He was also named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Stevens averaged 15.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season.
Bostick, a 6-foot-4, 203-pound sophomore, was a solid contributor for Penn State this season. He averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
In addition to the standouts from Roman Catholic, Philadelphia native Mike Watkins had a big year too.
Watkins, a 6-foot-9, 254-pound sophomore, averaged 12.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He played his scholastic basketball at the Phelps School and Math, Civics & Sciences.
Penn State received a lot of national attention this season due to their play in the regular season and winning the NIT crown. They played in front of 11,175 fans at Madison Square Garden for the championship game.
Heading into next season, Nittany Lion head coach Pat Chambers will lose Carr and Garner from this championship team that posted a terrific 26-13 record. However, they will have plenty of Philly flavor coming back with Stevens, Bostick and Watkins.