After nearly every Northeastern boys’ basketball game this season, a slew of friends, parents and young fans swarmed around senior standout Fred Mulbah.
Mulbah, who helped his squad to a second consecutive York-Adams League playoff title this season, as well as into the PIAA Class 5-A quarterfinals, seems to enjoy the attention.
To him, it’s just proof that he’s doing something right.
“I started playing basketball back in fourth or fifth grade because of (Northeastern teammate) Antonio (Rizzuto),” Mulbah said moments after officially wrapping up his Northeastern career at the 2018 Y-A League Senior All-Star Basketball Games at West York High School on Sunday afternoon, March 18. “I wasn’t the greatest, so I just had to keep grinding and grinding.”
That’s a message that Mulbah can share with the youngsters and their parents that come up for pictures with him after the all-star game, which was sponsored by the York White Rose Lions Club.
“After a while it started to pay off,” he said. “Just keep grinding and chase those dreams.”
While playing for the Bobcats during his high school career was a lot of fun, not much will top the level of enjoyment that Mulbah, Rizzuto and his teammates had during the all-star contest. Mulbah was able to show off his bevy of skills throughout the game, which his team won, 119-116. Be it his dunks, his 3-point shots or his no-look passing skills, Mulbah was certainly a fan favorite.
“This was fun,” he said. “I just do what I do for Northeastern, which is set people up. I have a lot of fun passing and I was just trying to give back a little entertainment to the fans.”
Girls' game: While Mulbah and others were having fun during the boys’ contest, those sentiments were shared during the first game of the doubleheader at West York when the girls’ senior all-stars took the court.
That was especially the case for Dover senior Rajah Fink, who led her team to a 62-46 victory. While Fink was all smiles Sunday, the regular season was a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania recruit.
When head coach Kevin Glover was suspended because of an investigation surrounding inappropriate contact between the team’s junior varsity coach and a player, Fink sat out a game in early January against Spring Grove in support of her head coach.
While Fink returned to the team and played out the remainder of the schedule, Glover still has yet to be reinstated.
For Fink, who played for Glover on AAU teams since she was in seventh grade, that was clearly disappointing.
“Coach Glover is one of the greatest coaches that I’ve ever had,” she said. “He pushed me every week. He always told me to ‘give more, give more.' He knew I had more in me and he always wanted me to be more like the player that I am today.”
The player that Fink referenced was the one that was a dominating force her senior season with the Eagles. Fink led the entire Y-A League at 25.2 points per game, nearly 10 points more than No. 2 Hannah Myers of Eastern York, who averaged 15.3 points per game.
Next year Fink will head off to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she will team up with Central York standout Teirra Preston, who also played in the all-star game. Fink and Preston have played under Glover in the AAU circuit for a while, so being teammates at college will not take much adjustment.
Fink, who seldom lacks confidence, made a big claim for next season.
“We’re going to dominate,” she said with a smile.
Playing at IUP means Fink will get a chance to play against her older sister, Rayah, who attends Lock Haven. Rajah hopes that the next encounter with her sister will be better than the last time those two squared off against one another.
“Coach Glover made us play against each other in practice last year,” Rajah said. “And my sister ripped my jersey off.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.