WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (PIX11) — The historic Final Four showdown between Duke and North Carolina will be a reunion for two Westchester natives.
Before RJ Davis and AJ Griffin were college stars for the Tar Heels and Blue Devils, the two took Stepinac to historic levels. In 2018, Davis and Griffin helped the Crusaders win a state and federation championship.
“It’s just awesome. It’s surreal. ‘Proud’ is definitely a word, to see how hard they’ve worked and where they’ve come from to be a part of history,” said Stepinac head coach Pat Massaroni.
Massaroni said what made Davis and Griffin so special was their work ethic. Davis ended his high school career as the leading scorer in Westchester County history. Griffin was a 5-star recruit and won a gold medal for Team USA.
“When they were here, they were great teammates. They were competitors, and they were two of the hardest working guys that I’ve been able to coach in the last seven years,” said Massaroni.
Massaroni will be one of the thousands traveling to New Orleans to see Duke and North Carolina face off. Seeing Davis and Griffin make it this far is a reminder that New York hoops is still alive and well, Massaroni said.
“I think the two of them have flat-out proven that it’s OK to stay home,” said Massaroni. “It’s OK to stay at a school in Westchester, and for us to play in the New York City Catholic league for four years and achieve everything you want. Division I offers, a national schedule, high academics, high athletics, a school community that has so many different valuable assets to it. McDonald’s All-Americans, and now a chance to be national champions.”
No. 2 Duke and No. 8 North Carolina will face off on Saturday at 8:49 p.m.