Jeff McDevitt (@JeffMcDev)
In desperate need of a spark late, senior guard Sean Greenberg knocked down two big threes for La Salle to cut the score The lefty was very animated when he hit the treys, breaking out the “pistols” celebration after both threes for the crowd.
If he seemed comfortable on the floor at the cathedral of college basketball, it is because his experiences as a youngster playing there allowed him to be used to playing in the building.
“I was real excited to get out there and play. I played at the Palestra when I was younger, my aunt used to be the coach, so getting back there and playing was awesome,” Greenberg said postgame.
Coming from a well-known Philadelphia basketball family, Greenberg would attend Penn women’s games from 1999-2004 when his aunt, Kelly Greenberg, was the head coach of the Quakers. After the games, Greenberg and his cousins would play 3-on-3, and it helped him grow an appreciation for the historic building.
“It was always the coolest place, even the band and the songs they were playing were cool,” Greenberg said.
Aunt Kelly is now the coach at Boston University, where she has been for ten years. While at Penn she made the tournament twice.
While he got his appreciation for the Palestra from his aunt, he got his shooting stroke from pops. Chip Greenberg is a grad of La Salle College High as well, who then played four years at La Salle University where he scored 1,227 and is now a member of the La Salle Hall of Athletes
With the game seemingly in hand, both sides’ fans began to check out early in the fourth quarter. Greenberg’s threes were the spark that got the Palestra as loud as it would all night, and even in losing, that’s something to be proud of.
“I just thought we had to get something going. If it went into Dave or Jalen, who were playing really well down low, we just had to have sometime make it fun and make it a close game for our friends and family in the stands,” Greenberg said.
The 11 points and major minutes Greenberg played on Wednesday were the culmination of what La Salle head coach Joe Dempsey had been expecting from one of his seniors leaders for quite some time.
“I knew he had it in him. I’ve been telling him for three months. He’s got a great temperament, and he’s a great kid with great parents. He’s playing his best basketball in late winter,” Dempsey said.
So was this how he envisioned it shooting with his cousins nearly a decade ago?
“No, I couldn’t reach the hoop from the three-point line,” Greenberg said, joking. “Yeah, it was as I imagined. Just turn around and be like ‘hey’ and look around and have everyone looking at you.”
Greenberg will have another chance to break out a fresh trey celebration against Central, as the Explorers play for the third seed in PIAA Class AAAA out of District 12.
“I’ll have to plan a new celebration for states,” Greenberg said with a smile.