Anyone who doubted Tory Harvey's passion for basketball should look at his schedule from this past Monday.
After spending a weekend in Bethany Beach, Delaware, with one of his former high school players from his 1992 District 3 champion Red Lion team, Harvey made the long trip back to York to run an open gym at Penn State York.
That was the fourth open gym that Harvey, the former Dallastown athletic director, has had since taking over the Penn State York women’s basketball program earlier this month.
“It just got my juices flowing,” a smiling Harvey said about his return to coaching. “I really think that this is a gold mine here at Penn State York. You can get a Penn State education and play in a beautiful gym.”
So far, the participation level has exceeded even Harvey’s high standards, with girls from as far away as Lancaster, Maryland and the Hanover area making the long trips during the summer break to learn more about their coach, while also getting the chance to improve at the sport.
It’s that last part that really brings a smile to Harvey's face, who coached at PSY previously from 1996-97 before taking over the AD job at Dallastown in 1998, a job he relinquished last year after two decades.
“My family thinks I’m a little nuts,” Harvey said about leaving the beach to do an open gym before heading back to Delaware later Monday evening. “But if even just one girl shows up for open gym and wants to get better, I’d be here.”
His players are already impressed: Alyson Reese, a Hanover grad, didn’t have to drive the two hours that Harvey did, but the former Nighthawk standout did trek more than 40 minutes to make Monday’s optional practice.
“I feel like we’re bonding already,” she said. “It’s just been a very positive atmosphere here so far and I think we’re building here something successful.”
At least six current and soon-to-be players arrived shortly after Harvey opened up the gym on Monday. The first one was Jordyn Foster, a freshman to be and a recent Red Lion graduate. Shortly after her came Makenna Hopta, a West York grad, followed by Janelle Kress, a Littlestown grad, and Reese.
“He’s been great,” Kress said. “He definitely knows what he’s talking about.”
Kress was one of the three players invited to sit in on the interview process when PSY opened up the position in late April. The rising junior was clearly impressed by Harvey when he entered the room that day.
“I knew he was the one the moment he walked in the door,” said Kress, who is majoring in project and supply chain management. “He was very organized. He had folders laid out. It was really mind-blowing how into it he was.”
"A complete 180:" Reese, who spent a year at the school’s main campus in State College before coming to PSY last year, could feel the excitement and passion from Harvey when she attended her first open gym last week.
“It’s a complete 180,” Reese said. “I just love him as a coach already. The practices have been difficult so far, but also manageable. He’s pushing us to the limit.”
Harvey will try to help PSY improve on a 6-16 season in 2018-19, which included a 4-13 mark in the Penn State University Athletic Conference.
He will bring a wealth of coaching experience to PSY. In addition to coaching at PSY and Red Lion, he also coached at York Suburban, Solanco and Dallastown. His past teams have won multiple titles, and he's also earned multiple individual coaching awards during his career on the bench.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.