A Fresh Start for Central Catholic Hoops

Fulton Fontana, Staff Writer

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After last season, the Central Catholic Basketball program underwent major changes: an entire new coaching staff was brought in, headlined by Head Coach Brian Urso. To assist Coach Urso with coaching the varsity team, Central’s own Kyle Goldcamp and Matty McConnell were selected as assistant coaches. Additionally, Coach Ben Altmeyer and Coach Jason Sebak were hired to lead the JV and Freshman squads, respectively.

When asked in a recent interview about his expectations for the upcoming season, Coach Urso responded by voicing his goal to be the best defensive team in the WPIAL and to have the chance to play in the postseason while experiencing a playoff atmosphere.

He also spoke of his hope for the team members to be ambassadors for the school. “I want our guys to be the best ambassadors for the school itself by carrying ourselves the right way around the school – in the classroom, in the cafeteria, on the bus to games, at the games.”

In another interview, Coach Goldcamp spoke of the goal to win both a Section championship and a WPIAL championship, as well as a more intangible objective. “In general, we want to have a cohesive unit and guys that want to be around each other, have fun, compete hard, and we’ll see where the chips  fall.”

Both coaches also spoke on their long-term goals for the program:

Coach Urso: “My overall goal here with the basketball program is to turn us into a program that is really well-respected across the WPIAL and even the state. I would love for us to build a program here where we can play teams outside of Pittsburgh.”

Coach Goldcamp: “Giving our guys the great education that Central provides and opportunities to play basketball after their time at Central.”

In college, Coach Urso was a guard at Point Park University for his four years there. He says this experience has definitely impacted his coaching philosophy by showing him the importance of paying attention to detail, doing the right things, and showing up every day to get better.

Coach Goldcamp was both a college and professional basketball player: he spent his first three years of his collegiate career (including a redshirt year) at Pitt-Johnstown, before transferring to Gannon University to play the final two seasons of his college athletic career. He then went on to spend four years playing for the Erie BayHawks of the NBA D-League. His experience as a player has allowed him to enjoy watching kids and students he knows play and have fun on the same court where he once played.

The past two years, Coach Urso was the Director of Basketball Administration at Robert Morris University, another role which has affected his coaching ideals: “What I’ve learned from [RMU Basketball] Coach [Andy] Toole, trying to implement it here, his mentality of G.R.I.T: Greatness Requires Intensity and Toughness – what I’m trying to establish here at our program just to make our guys tough, aggressive, and tenacious.”

The several years Coach Goldcamp spent coaching at Carnegie Mellon University have also impacted the way he coaches now: “One of the big differences, obviously, is just being able to, in college, try and find guys who fit your system whereas in high school, guys are coming from all over in different groups, so you have to formulate your style of play towards whatever your strengths are that year with the players you have.”

Both Coach Urso and Coach Goldcamp played basketball in the WPIAL during their high school careers and were frequent opponents of each other when Coach Urso’s Fox Chapel teams faced off against Coach Goldcamp’s Central Catholic squads. When asked about the emotions they would feel going back and revisiting all the gyms that they once played in, both men responded that they think it will be fun and bring back memories of their playing days.

As anticipation for the upcoming season grows, the team has been working hard at open gyms and workouts to learn and understand the goals and coaching philosophies of Coach Urso, Coach Goldcamp, and the rest of the coaching staff. Just as the players are excited for the season, the coaching staff is just as eager: “I’m looking forward to all of it. I can’t wait for it.” says Coach Urso.