The first Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 girls all-star basketball team was selected in 1980. So, if you took all the Fab 5 teams over the years, and selected the 20 best players, who would make the cut?
Introducing the most fabulous of the Fab 5s.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Fab 5, the Post-Gazette put together an “all-time” Fab 5, as well as a top 20 list. The top 20 players were selected by a committee made up of 13 current high school coaches in the district and seven current and former P-G scholastic sports staff members. The Fab 5 is picked annually from all players in the WPIAL and City League.
The top 20 list is full of players with impressive credentials. The top five alone includes three players who won WNBA championships and two who won Olympic gold medals and are members of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Overall, the top 20 all-timers (from 1980 on) includes seven WNBA players, a handful of players who were in NCAA Final Fours, the WPIAL’s all-time leading scorer and two who were college basketball players this season. Listed are the top 20 players in order of their votes, and the year that they were selected to the Fab 5.
Selected this year to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. One of only six women to ever win NCAA, WNBA, FIBA world championship and Olympic gold medal. Cash won two NCAA titles at Connecticut and was No. 2 pick in 2002 draft. She won two Olympic gold medals (2004 and 2012) and three WNBA titles. Was a five-time WNBA All-Star. An extremely versatile player, Cash stuffed a stat sheet in high school. She scored 2,678 points, had 1,782 rebounds, 566 blocks and 399 steals. She had 15 triple doubles and scored 50 in a game. Also had 40 in a WPIAL championship game. As a senior, averaged 29.8 points, 17 rebounds, 5.7 blocks, 3.1 assists and 4 steals.
Seton LaSalle (1982-84)
One of the most accomplished athletes ever from WPIAL. Member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. After remarkable career at Penn State, won an Olympic gold medal in 1988 and a bronze in 1992. Went on to play three seasons in the WNBA and was first-team all-WNBA one season. In high school: Was Parade All-American, had 1,898 career points (20.9 average as a senior), 909 assists, 766 steals, won two WPIAL titles and a state title. She still holds NCAA record for career assists (1,307) and assists in a season (11.8 in 1987), and is still tied for third in career triple doubles with seven. In 2007, Sports Illustrated named her the best 5-foot-4 basketball player ever, male or female. Scored 1,897 points at Penn State.
West Mifflin (2000-01)
Last season was Wright’s 13th in the WNBA. She won a WNBA title in 2010 and was a six-time member of the WNBA all-defensive team. Only ninth player in WNBA history with 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,200 assists. At West Mifflin, she finished with 2,477 points, 1,100 rebounds and 594 assists. As a senior, she averaged 22.5 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals and shot 57% from field. Scored a record 51 points in a WPIAL championship game as a junior. At Penn State, she averaged double figures in all four years and averaged 19 points as a senior. Finished with 1,995 career points.
One of the best athletes ever in the WPIAL. Besides basketball, was a standout in volleyball and track and field. Finished high school career with 2,427 points. Two-time Post-Gazette Player of the Year. Averaged 27.5 points a game as a senior. Heavily recruited and had a terrific career at Maryland. Played on two Final Four teams and scored more than 2,000 points. Was first-round draft pick in WNBA and won a WNBA championship in 2019 with the Washington Mystics.
A great player from the City League who played seven seasons in WNBA. At Allderdice, was a two-time Parade All-American. As a senior, USA Today named her one of top five players in the country after she averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 7 steals. Had 40 points and 11 rebounds in state playoff game vs. Seton LaSalle. Went on to play at Maryland for two years before transferring to Texas, where she averaged 15 points in two years with the Longhorns. Led team to NCAA Elite Eight in 1990. Was No. 10 overall pick in 1999 WNBA draft. Averaged 13.9 points in one WNBA season.
New Castle (1985-86)
Only women’s basketball player in Pitt history to have her number retired. At New Castle, she scored 2,110 points. Averaged 29.9 as a senior, with 53 in one game, and 40 in a playoff game. She did a lot of everything for New Castle, averaging 12.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 5.1 steals as a senior. Despite knee injuries, had a tremendous career at Pitt, scoring a record 2,312 points. Also holds some other Pitt records.
Sacred Heart (1987-89)
This should tell you exactly how good Davis was: She was named to the prestigious Parade All-American team three times at Sacred Heart, and USA Today named her one of the top five players in the country her senior year. Davis was a 6-1 forward who finished her career with a PIAA championship and 2,275 career points. She averaged 22 points a game as a senior and was a three-time Fab 5 pick. She signed with Virginia, but knee injuries plagued her career.
Only player to make the Post-Gazette Fab 5 four times. A 5-3 guard who was a scoring machine. She is still the WPIAL’s all-time leading scorer and one of the tops in Pennsylvania history with 3,364 points. As a senior, averaged 31.9 points a game and shot 49% from field. Had 52 points in one game as a senior and 57 as a junior. Had 166 career 3-pointers. Went on to play at Duquesne University.
Led WPIAL in scoring as a junior and senior. Senior year averaged 30 points a game. Scored 60 points in one contest, which tied for the second most in WPIAL history. Finished career with 2,703 points, still fifth best in WPIAL history. Went on to play at Penn State, where she scored 1,236 points and was third-team all-Big Ten in 2008. Played a few games in WNBA with Los Angeles Sparks.
After high school, Allen played at Notre Dame and was the first player in Fighting Irish history to have 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 200 steals and 200 assists. Third-round pick in WNBA draft. Allen played one season in the WNBA and nine years professionally overseas. At Monessen, she scored 3,110 career points, second best in WPIAL history, and had 1,247 career rebounds. As a senior, she averaged 26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals and had 53 3-pointers for a team that won WPIAL and PIAA titles.
Oakland Catholic (1998-2000)
Four-year starter at Oakland Catholic and the Eagles were 102-19 in those four years with two WPIAL titles. Bulger finished with 2,282 points. As a senior, averaged 18 points and shot 92% from the free-throw line. Went on to play at West Virginia and is a member of the WVU Hall of Fame. Finished career with 1,732 points, sixth best in school history, and has the school record for 3-pointers with 302. Averaged 15 points for her career. As a junior, was third in the country in 3-point percentage.
Steel Valley (2000-01)
At Steel Valley, Strom scored 2,840 career points, which is still fourth best in WPIAL history. As a senior, led WPIAL in scoring for the second consecutive year with a 28.2 average. Also averaged 8 assists, 6 steals, 5 rebounds. At one time was the leading goal scorer in WPIAL soccer history. Went on to play at Penn State and when she graduated, she was one of only four players in school history with 1,000 points and 750 assists. As a PSU senior, averaged 15.6 points and was first-team all-Big Ten.
Sharon was in the WPIAL when Holloway played there and she averaged more than 20 points and 20 rebounds as a senior, making the first Fab 5 team. Finished with 2,106 career points. Went on to play at Georgia, where she was part of teams that won two SEC titles and made the NCAA Final Four in 1983. Holloway averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds on that 1983 team. A few years ago, she was still in the SEC top 10 all time for double doubles with 49. She scored 1,833 career points at Georgia and is one of the school’s leading rebounders with 1,163.
Penn Hills (1991-92)
Before the start of her senior year at Penn Hills, Calhoun was named one of the top 25 players in the country by USA Today. After the season, she was named a Parade All-American. At Penn Hills, she started on four WPIAL championship teams. A 6-3 center, she finished her career with 1,987 points. As a senior, she averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and an impressive 6 blocks a game. Selected to play in the Kodak All-American Game. Went on to play at Penn State, where she is still the school’s all-time blocked shots leader with 268. She also had 583 career rebounds.
Bethel Park (1989-90)
Huemrich was selected to the Atlantic Coast Conference Legends Class of 2016. Huemrich did a lot of good things in high school and college. At Bethel Park, she was a two-time Fab 5 pick and as a senior, averaged 21.5 points and 10 rebounds a game. She went on to have a very successful career at Pitt, where she was the 1991 Big East Rookie of the Year and finished her career with impressive numbers in a few different categories: 1,807 points, 954 rebounds and 224 steals.
Mt. Lebanon (2010-11)
One of the few players in the history of basketball — men or women — to play in four state championship games in high school and three Final Fours in college. Cable was a starter on three consecutive state championship teams at Mt. Lebanon and then played in three Final Fours at Notre Dame. Once hit the winning shot for Notre Dame to put Fighting Irish in NCAA championship game. P-G Player of the Year in 2011. As a senior, averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals. Finished career with 1,571 points.
As far as team and individual accomplishments, Wise had one of the best high school careers of any WPIAL player. Team was 114-8 during her four seasons as a starter with four WPIAL championships and two PIAA titles. Had a triple double in the state championship as a senior. As a senior forward, Wise averaged 20.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and shot 67% from the field. Played two years at Pitt before transferring to Indiana. She was a starter on an NCAA tournament team last year and also a starter this year, averaging 7.9 points, 5.9 rebounds for a team that was 24-8.
Bordas won four consecutive WPIAL championships and two PIAA titles. When she finished her career in 1990, she was the all-time leading scorer in WPIAL history at that time with 2,658 points. That’s still eighth on the WPIAL all-time list. Scored 34 points in state final in her last game. As a senior, averaged 26 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals. Went on to play at St. Bonaventure, where she was a four-year letter winner.
Peters Township (2018-19)
One of WPIAL’s best point guards in the past decade. As a senior, led team to 30-0 record and PIAA and WPIAL championships. Ranked No. 59 senior in country. Finished career with 1,720 career points. As a senior, averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.6 steals. Shot 42% from 3-point range and had 60 3-pointers. Played this season at Penn State, where she started 29 of 30 games and averaged 9.2 points, 2 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Shot 84.5% from free-throw line.
North Allegheny (2000)
Brungo was the 16th overall pick (second round) in the 2004 WNBA draft. At North Allegheny, she had 1,544 points and 426 blocked shots. She averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks as a senior, started four seasons and won 96 games. Went on to Penn State where she scored 1,143 points and had 649 rebounds. Played 49 games in three seasons of the WNBA.
When a committee of coaches and media members voted for the top 20 girls basketball players in the WPIAL and City League over the past 40 years, former Blackhawk star Chassidy Omogrosso didn’t make the cut. But fans think much higher of Omogrosso.
This is the 40-year anniversary of the first Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 all-star team. To commemorate the anniversary, a committee of coaches and current and former P-G scholastic sports staff members picked an “all-time” Fab 5, as well as a top 20. The committee selections will be the “official” All-Time top 20. But the P-G also had an online poll for fans to vote for five players, with no order of preference.
A total of 668 fans voted and Omogrosso finished No. 3 in the fan vote, behind only McKeesport’s Swin Cash and Seton LaSalle’s Suzie McConnell. Cash and McConnell also finished 1-2 in the committee vote. Omogrosso was third, appearing on 37% of the ballots.
Omogrosso had a tremendous career at Blackhawk and finished her career at Duquesne University in 2019. Former Oakland Catholic standout Meg Bulger finished sixth in the fan voting, but also didn’t make the top 20 in the committee vote. Bulger’s sister, Katie, finished fifth in the fan vote.
Here are the top 10 players in fan voting, with the percentage of ballots they appeared on:
*Denotes a tie
Reporting: Mike White