Vol. LXI, No. 26
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Chris Petrie looks for an opening during his post-graduate season with the Hun School basketball team two winters ago. Petrie went on to join the Princeton University men's basketball program. This summer, Petrie is playing for the Coldwell Banker team in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men's Basketball League as he prepares himself for his sophomore season with the Tigers.
Chris Petrie's moment in the sun during his freshman season with the Princeton University men's basketball team came in a romp over Rice in early January.
With Princeton on the way to a 51-28 win, Petrie saw his only action of the year and made the most of his chance, hitting a three-point shot and grabbing a rebound.
In mid-June, Petrie made his debut in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men's Basketball League as he looks to harden himself for more big moments in the winter.
Playing for the Coldwell Banker squad, the 6'5, 190-pound Petrie made an immediate impact as he scored 14 points in his debut and then added 12 to help his team to a 1-1 start.
Petrie has enjoyed getting the chance to be the latest Princeton player to play in the summer league.
"The competition is good," said Petrie, whose PU teammate, Noah Savage, is playing again for George's Roasters and Ribs.
"There are guys who are playing in college and some older guys who were college stars. It's always good to go against players who are a bit stronger and who have a little more experience. I've got a good team around me so that's helped me."
In Petrie's view, playing in the summer league is a vital part of his preparation for his sophomore season.
"It's all about improving," said Petrie, a native of Gettysburg, Pa. who played a post-graduate year for the Hun School in the 2005-06 season to help improve his game for college. "I can get better in all areas. The main thing for me is to play hard all game long."
In addition to playing in the summer hoops league, Petrie is following the summer program put together by the Princeton coaching staff.
"Our strength coach, Jason Gallucci, has us on a weight lifting program," said Petrie, who scored 10 points last Wednesday as Coldwell Banker topped Princeton Youth Sports 50-40 to improve to 3-1. "We also have shooting drills; the goal is to play as much as possible this summer."
In reflecting on his first season of college basketball, Petrie acknowledged that it was a tough adjustment. "It's more intense," said Petrie, whose uncle, Geoff Petrie, starred at Princeton and in the NBA in the late 1960s and early '70s. "The players are bigger and faster; everybody is a good player."
Things weren't so good for Princeton last winter as it suffered through a dismal season, going 11-17 overall and plummeting to its first-ever last place finish in the Ivy League with a 2-12 league mark.
"It was obviously tough, everybody hates losing," said Petrie. "It was one of those season where things just didn't work out. It gives us motivation to work harder so things won't go like that again."
Petrie and his teammates are dedicated to work hard for the program's new head coach, Tiger standout Sydney Johnson, a 1997 PU alum who has added former teammate, Brian Earl, to the staff.
"It's been really good; he came in and we had some workouts before everyone left at the end of school," said Petrie. "We got a really good vibe from Coach Johnson; I think he will be a really good coach. Coach Johnson and Coach Earl played on some special Princeton teams; they know what it takes to win."
Petrie, for his part, is willing to do whatever it takes to help Princeton regain its winning ways. "I'm just going to try to help the team in any way I can," asserted Petrie. "I'm a pretty good shooter; I can pass pretty well and I make good decisions on the court. I will fill whatever role they need."
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