Morgantown, West Virginia – With the recent loss of Jose Perez, the West Virginia basketball team will be searching for a replacement at guard to fill his void. Neal Brown landed his prize recruit for the 2023 recruiting class during the offseason when four star Rodney Gallagher of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, committed but really, Bob Huggins heavily recruited him and did everything in his power to get Gallagher to play for the Mountaineers basketball team as well.
And for very good reason! Gallagher, a 6’0 175 pound point guard, was not only one of the top-ranked football players in the state of Pennsylvania, he was also one of the best basketball players as well. Gallagher was ranked as the 7th best player in Pennsylvania in basketball and the 39th top point guard nationally, according to 247 Sports, as a senior in high school.
Last season, Gallagher averaged 22.3 points per game and averaged 18.6 points per game as a junior while leading Laurel Highlands High School to a 27-1 record and a Pennsylvania 5A State Quarterfinal appearance. As a sophomore, he averaged 19.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He also earned first team all-state during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
While the Mountaineers currently have Kerr Kriisa, Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson and Jeremiah Bembry in the backcourt, Gallagher could instantly contribute if he decided to play basketball as well.
However, Gallagher announced before the season that he would concentrate solely on football for the time being, telling PGH SN, “It was one of the hardest decisions that I have made in my life. I have really been thinking about what I really want to do for some time now, but I finally did have to pick football.”
Gallagher explained his decision: “Football takes up so much, lifting wise and all the stuff off the field, and even when we are on the field in the facilities too.”
Although it’s unlikely that Gallagher will change his mind and play basketball for the Mountaineers this season, he certainly has the talent to excel on the court in the same way that he will on the football field. Gallagher currently has 2 receptions for 9 yards and 5 rushes for 34 yards through the Mountaineers’ first five games of his freshman season with the team.