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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Wallenpaupack’s Elijah Rosenthal

January 28, 2019

Elijah Rosenthal

The Wallenpaupack junior guard scored 43 points in an 88-82 double-overtime loss to Scranton Prep on Friday, then added 20 in a 61-45 win over East Stroudsburg South.

Age: 17

Family: Father, Shawn; mother, Janette; sister, Aviona

Most famous athlete you’ve ever met? My cousin, Billy Owens. He married my dad’s cousin, so it’s through marriage. I visit him around Thanksgiving time and he has a son that plays basketball as well. Every time I’m with him, I’m always asking him questions about basketball, trying to learn as much as I can.

Let’s talk about Friday’s game. During warmups usually the starters get the shots but I wasn’t getting them so my shot kind of felt off a little bit. I thought, “Alright, I’ll just go with it, go with the game, go with the flow.”

Were you aware of what you were doing? I didn’t realize I was scoring that many points. I just kept playing the game, trying to keep us in the lead, trying to win. I wasn’t focused on how many points I had.

Did the Scranton Prep kids say anything while they were guarding you? Leo O’Boyle said, “do you want to miss for me one time, please?” Just the casual trash talking.

What do you learn from a tough loss like that? We just get a little down on ourselves but we just have to grow and work on that as a team, but it was a great game overall.

Seven 3s, most in a game? I had seven against Western Wayne, too.

Other sports you play: None.

Athletes you admire: Steph Curry and Devin Booker. Just shooters. I’ve been a shooter my whole basketball career so I try to look up to them because they’re great shooters in the NBA.

Any sports teams you follow? The Knicks.

Oooh, so sorry. Is long-suffering an adjective that automatically precedes Knicks fan? I’m hoping they’re going to be good in a couple of years. There’s rumors about KD (Kevin Durant) coming so we’ll see about that.

Superstitions or rituals on game day? Not really, just listen to music. Nothing I do every time.

Three people you’d like to have dinner with. Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

Is your little sister a basketball player, too? She’s pretty good. She plays a big so she’s learning from Gabe Springer, he’s on my basketball team. He’s 6-foot-7.

What have you taught her so far? Me and my dad have worked on her shot, her free throws, stuff like that. Just making sure she rebounds the ball because she’s bigger than all the kids on her eighth-grade team. She’s like 5-foot-7, 5-foot-8.

Do you and Leo play AAU together? We just know each other because he’s a great player as well.

Who is the one person who has had the biggest influence on your athletic career and what have they done? My father. Since I said when I was in third grade that I wanted to play college basketball, he’s been behind me. He’s helping me all the time, working on my shot, on my free throws, on my dribble. He’s definitely been the influence in my life.

After scoring 43, 20 against East Stroudsburg South had to be a letdown. It got the job done so it’s alright. My teammate, Gabe Springer, had 24. He’s been struggling from an injury in the beginning of the season but he’s coming on strong.

What did this weekend do for the confidence of you and your team? I’m going to keep playing the same way I’m playing and do what I have to do to keep wining. The team is confident. We’re 11-5 and we’re going to go into Valley View on Tuesday with a lot of energy.

Biggest improvement in a teammate this year? I’d probably have to say Gerard McGrath. This is his first year with a lot of varsity minutes and he’s been great in his role. He takes a lot of charges and he’s shooting the ball really well.

Who’s one teammate guaranteed to make you laugh? Either Gabe Springer or Alex Pillar. They’re funny guys.

One opponent you’d love to have on your team. Delaware Valley’s Blake Gearhart. He’s been a good friend of mine, we played AAU together and he’s got the same style game as me. Good shooter off the dribble and can take it to the basket. He’s probably the payer I’d choose.

After high school, what’s next? I’m thinking about physical therapy or athletic training. I’d like to stay around sports.

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