E&S standout McCall to play for Niagara

Tahjere McCall averaged 16.5 points a game for Engineering and Science High School last season. He will attend Niagara University in New York. — PHOTO/BILL ACHUFF

If you watched Tahjere McCall play for Engineering and Science, then you saw right away that he was a very talented basketball player. McCall can shoot, penetrate, hit the open man and play good defense. The 6-foot-4 senior will have an opportunity to showcase all these skills at Niagara University.

McCall will be playing Division I basketball for the Purple Eagles. Niagara plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with teams like Rider, Siena and Iona. McCall is looking forward to playing for Niagara.

“I’m very excited about going there,” said McCall, who had originally planned to attend Holy Family College. “It’s a really good situation. The coaches were very welcoming and friendly. They have a good team. I just want to contribute any way that I can.”

The Purple Eagles have a lot of local flavor in their basketball program. Joe Mihalich is the head coach. Mihalich was a long time assistant at La Salle before taking over the job at Niagara. The Purple Eagles have three players from the Philadelphia area as well.

“He’s a great coach,” McCall said. “He told me about a lot of different things. He’s just a great guy. Derrick Stewart (Neumann-Goretti star) is going to Rider. I know they’re going to have a good team. Niagara has some guys from Philly like Ameen Tanksley from Imhotep and Juan’ya Green from Archbishop Carroll. I can’t wait to play with them.”

Niagara also has Scooter Gillette, a former Neumann-Goretti star, who has played some good basketball. McCall averaged 16.5 points a game for E&S. He could play either guard position in college.

“I may play point guard, but I’ll play wherever they want me to play,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me.”

McCall credits the E&S coaching staff for success this season. He feels they made a big impact on his game.

“I have to thank my coaches,” he said. “I have to thank Coach (Charlie) Brown, Coach Yank (Rich Yankowitz), Coach Ham (Ken Hamilton) and Coach Phil (Phil Brown) for helping me. They really helped me out. Also, my friend Ramon Hankins really kept me on track. He was a big help to me. I also have to thank my coaches and my teammates for all these things.”


Contact staff writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or dhunt@phillytrib.com.

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