After finally winning the 2014 NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) Boys Basketball Group I championship with Pitman High School as a junior, Tim Delaney decided to transfer. This was surprising. He had just lead his team to their first state title in over 15 years and now he was gone. No longer would he wear the orange and white for Pitman.
The Villanova commit would ultimately decide to attend Blair Academy for his senior year, a boarding school in Blairstown, NJ, which is over two hours away from Pitman.
But before the big man left for Blair, he wasn’t done winning. He added the 2014 USA basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship to his trophy case, as a part of “Team Legit” at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition, he played with the U.S. select team in Germany.
The 6-foot-8 power forward will definitely provide depth for Nova, who recently lost starting power forward JayVaughn Pinkston to graduation. Delaney’s ability to play as a stretch four, will complement the guard dominant program and will allow him to possibly see playing time this upcoming season.
The Empire chatted with Delaney.
William Derry: What was the process like when you decided to change high schools after junior year?
Tim Delaney: Transferring for me was about better competition, so that I could get ready for college basketball. Pitman was a great place for me to develop, but I needed to play better competition and other college bound basketball players. Blair had a national schedule and we would travel up and down the east coast to play people. It was like a college life on campus.
W: Who did you go to for your advice?
T: It was really between me and my mom. It was a tough decision. When we finally did make it, we just went with [our] guts. It turned out definitely being the right decision.
W: In what ways did playing at Blair instead of Pitman, challenge you?
T: It was pretty much everything. Everyday in practice, playing against other great basketball players. My [Blair] roommate, Elijah Burns, is going to Norte Dame. Playing against him everyday in practice, it’s a different level. You can’t take any days off. In the classroom, we had a college schedule. And literally, the two places we could go, was our room or the gym.
W: How has your defense improved since transferring from Pitman?
T: At Pitman, I could get away with talking a couple plays off. I was the biggest guy. I could stand under the rim and get a rebound but when I got to Blair I couldn’t take a single play off. I had to do all of the little things, like box out. It definitely upped my defense, because I would usually get stuck on their strongest player, whether they were fast, could shoot, or they were just an animal down low. It definitely taught me a lot and to play as hard as I could every possession.
W: What was it like being recruited by Villanova?
T: It was pretty incredible. At one point they were ranked #2 in the country and got a number one seed. [I said], “Wow, I’m going to be playing there next year.”
W: Are you worried about the transition to college?
T: No, not really. I feel like I already got my freshman year out of the way at Blair and then this is closer to my house than Blair was. I [basically] just transferred from one college to another one.
W: What do you like to do off the court?
T: Usually I’m hanging out with people. I’ve got two little brothers, so helping them get around to their friends’ houses whenever I’m home and watching basketball.
Photo: Yahoo Sports
-(1) Villanova defeats (3) Michigan in the National Championship