Penn Hills’ Tayonna Robertson to continue basketball career at Longwood
The Penn Hills girls basketball program has lofty expectations for a season on the horizon.
That’s a big reason senior guard/forward Tayonna Robertson wanted to get her college commitment out of the way as the Indians prepare for a title run.
Robertson announced her commitment to Longwood (Ga.) via her personal Twitter account Oct. 26 after making a visit in early October. Robertson, who missed time last season with a dislocated kneecap, averaged 13.1 points in nine games last season.
She also considered St. Francis-Brooklyn.
Robertson is the second Indian to announce her college commitment as senior guard Adia Brisker verbally committed to Niagara in early September.
“It was a very nice campus overall. I really enjoyed being there. It was a hard choice between the other school I was looking at. But it was more family-oriented. The culture of basketball was already there,” Robertson said.
Robertson also received offers from St. Francis (Pa.), Niagara and Youngstown State.
Longwood, a NCAA Division I program in the Big South Conference, finished 7-23 overall with a 5-13 conference record last season. The Lancers’ season came to a close after losing to Charleston Southern, 72-62, in the opening round of the Big South Conference tournament.
“They expect me to come in and play a big role into playing for a championship or winning a title. I need to come in and do what I do if I was playing for Penn Hills. I need to play my role, and everything will come into place,” Robertson said.
Robertson leaned on her family, coaches and teammates from Penn Hills and Western PA Bruins as she navigated the recruitment process.
“If I needed someone to talk to, they were there. If I had any questions, they were there to tell me if they were good questions or bad. It was a big blessing to have everybody to help me through this process,” Robertson said.
“They just told me to follow my heart, and if I feel like this is the right school, then I shouldn’t waste any more time and tell them I want to commit.”
Last season, Penn Hills (13-9, 5-5 in Section 2-6A) had its season end with a 31-30 loss to Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL Class 6A first round.
Robertson was injured in the fourth game of the season against Norwin on Dec. 19 and returned against Penn-Trafford on Jan. 30.
“Between all my knee injuries and injuries I had over the years, I just feel blessed that I’m still able to play and go on to the next level. I lost a friend in 10th grade, so with events like that I’m more blessed to be here and playing this game,” Robertson said.
Robertson has been working with Western PA Bruins coach Joe Lewandowski and Penn Hills coach Robert Cash on being a more consistent shooter and honing her ability to put it on the floor as she heads into her final season at Penn Hills.
“With me committing before the season starts, it’s time for me to focus on the main prize, and that’s winning a championship,” Robertson said.
If the Indians want to make a title run, Robertson stated it will have to come down to consistency, hard work and dedication from her and her teammates.