By Dylan Butler
After months of speculations, Bradd Wierzbicki made it official. He’s heading to Queens College.
The lanky 6-foot-1 guard at Cathedral Prep signed his acceptance of a scholarship to play for the Division II Knights May 14 at his Maspeth home in front of his parents and Cathedral coach Frank McQuail.
“Financially, along with academically and athletically, all those three into one, that’s pretty much why I made the decision,” Wierzbicki said. “I’m very excited to go there. I think I can do well for the school and can be a good part of their program for future years.”
Wierzbicki had a breakout senior season, averaging 26.1 points per game, leading the entire CHSAA — widely considered the top league in the country — in scoring.
“Had you asked me that at the beginning of the season, I would have said he’s not ready for that level yet, but I can’t quite describe the intangible things Bradd Wierzbicki has as a player,” McQuail said. “Obviously he’s a great scorer, has good vision on the court, but I think it’s the intangibles, his heart, his desire to get better, his coachability.”
Along with his twin brother, Brett, who is leaning toward attending Fordham, Wierzbicki led the Crusaders to the CHSAA Class C state championship. Cathedral’s bid to win the state Federation title was thwarted by Brooklyn Friends, 56-50, in the semifinals.
Wierzbicki, who became the all-time leading scorer in Cathedral history, scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the loss.
“I’m still shocked. It’s such a good accomplishment to lead the league in scoring,” Wierzbicki said. “Nothing’s like winning a championship, but you still set personal goals and I wasn’t even thinking about that.”
Wierzbicki, who chose Queens College over Division III Stevens Tech, will provide much-needed depth to a Queens College backcourt that was depleted by injury last year.
Despite losing all-conference players John Sikiric and Gary DeBerry to season-ending injuries, the Knights advanced to the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, where they were edged by Adelphi in the quarterfinals.
“Queens lost their three top scorers this year, and I saw them play with one of the most (courageous) efforts I’ve seen in a basketball game,” said Wierzbicki, who has a 92 average and an 1140 SAT score. “It really impressed me, the way they played and stuck together.”
Wierzbicki, who said he was impressed with the Knights coaching staff of Kyrk Peponakis, Jerry Ingenito, Wayne Zwimbaum and Kirk Liddelow, knows he has to hit the weights this summer to get bigger but is looking forward to the challenge.
“Those guys are really good players, and in order to compete there I have to get bigger and stronger,” he said. “Everything has to come to an end and I’m excited about starting over again.”
According to McQuail, Ray Tinneny, a 6-foot-1 senior forward, will walk on at Queens next season.
“He was our leading rebounder, probably right up there with Brett (Wierzbicki) as far as assists are concerned,” McQuail said of the Crusaders’ co-captain. “We wouldn’t have done anything this year if not for Ray Tinneny.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen at the next level in terms of playing time, but you can go to war with a kid like Ray.”
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.