Joe Grab goes up for layup

Joseph Grab goes up for a layup during the Hornets 2018 playoff run in his sophomore season.

Senior athlete Joseph Grab announced this past week that with uncertainty surrounding the NTL basketball season in 2020, he has decided to transfer to athletic-centric SPIRE Institute in order to prepare himself for playing at the next level.

“SPIRE Institute is in Geneva, Ohio and it’s a prep school so you stay there,” Grab said. “It’s for athletes who are preparing for the next level whether that be in high school or post-grad year, which in my case is for my high school senior year and you train four times a day, you have classes inbetween and fortunately for me the basketball team plays a national schedule.”

For a player who has dedicated himself to competing at the college level, Grab has proven time and time again his ability to improve his game.

With the increased level of competition he hopes the “steel sharpens steel” approach will not only help him to improve his game, but also get him increased exposure so he can continue his basketball career.

“I felt good about the competition with friends here, but it wasn’t preparing me for the next level,” Grab said. “It’s nothing against the NTL but I need to be ready for the next level after high school...So this was the best school for me to do that athletically and academically.”

Grab was prolific in his time in Wellsboro, scoring 900 points over his time there as just a junior and was a shoe-in for a lot of big accomplishments in the 2020 basketball season.

Grab may be one of the top NTL basketball players, but he is also one of the key pieces to a Wellsboro soccer team that looked to have a shot at a District Title. With Grab leaving this upcoming week on Monday, Oct. 19, the team will be without one of their top scorers.

“I talked to the soccer coach and my teammates and they have all been really supportive,” Grab said. “They’re going to miss me and they wished me the best. They know that basketball is my passion and doing this is what I want to do. They’ve just been really supportive.”

With his decision to leave, Grab is going to miss out on some big milestones such as scoring 1,000 points in a Wellsboro uniform and also competing for an NTL title in 2020, but as a competitor looking to get the chance to possibly play Division One basketball, the decision was a tough one.

It’s been crazy,” Grab said. “They’ve all been there with me by my side everyday to cheer me on, go against me in practice. All my teammates and coaches from middle school to high school to AAU, they have all been supportive this whole journey.

“They have all been supportive to this whole journey and I believe that it’s a tough decision to leave everything behind, but just the support that they showed me even after my decision to not be here with them just showed the love they have for me in the game.”

Grab will play one more game in a Wellsboro uniform, with an away game in Northeast Bradford on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Grab will look to end his career on a high-note and help his team inch closer to the NTL Title before his departure.

“I’m playing all this week,” Grab said. “I’ll be playing two more games and hopefully we get the wins and end the season on a good note and I can help them better their chances in the playoffs.”