Trevor Wall is legendary coach Speedy Morris’ kind of basketball player, and not just because of his 1960s hair style.
Although that could be part of it, since Wall sports one of the shaggiest looks in the Philadelphia Catholic League.
“I hate short hair,” said Wall, star senior guard for Morris’ last St. Joseph’s Prep team. “I hate when my hair is short so I just let it flow.”
Wall is Morris’ kind of athlete, and not just because of his 1970s playing style.
Although that could be part of it, too, since Wall mixes in an old-fashioned series of mid-range jumpers along with today’s staple of three-pointers and drives to the rim.
“My dad, he’s old school,” Wall said. “That’s his line, ’Ten-footers. Get in the paint and shoot the runner.'”
But perhaps most of all, Morris sees a kindred spirit in his long-haired, 1,000-point-scoring, old-style-shooting senior leader because of his approach to the game.
“He’s a tough kid,” Morris said. “He gets hollered at. He gets screamed at. He gets cursed at. And he just keeps battling, keep battling.”
For the 77-year-old Morris, who is 52nd and final season along a Philadelphia basketball sideline, there might be no greater compliment.
The 6-3 Wall might be averaging a team-high 17.6 points. He might have picked up his game in the post-season, going for 30 in a Philadelphia Catholic League first-round playoff loss to Archbishop Carroll, then making four three-pointers in the first half of a 77-59 victory over Olney Charter Wednesday night in a District 12, Class 6A play-in game.
He might look like a vintage Philadelphia Catholic League guard. He might play like a vintage Philadelphia Catholic league guard.
But best of all, he acts like a vintage Philadelphia Catholic League guard, scraping for loose balls, making the extra pass, taking the charge and accepting the tough love from the legendary coach who demands nothing less than his best in every game, at every practice.
“It’s been pretty special,” Wall said of the fact that his final scholastic season has coincided with Morris’ final season as a coach. "Just to know we’re his last team, we get to play in his last season.
“He’s a great man, great coach, a legend. To be part of this, it’s something really special.”
St. Joseph’s Prep will open PIAA Class 6A play vs. Reading, the District 3 runner-up, Saturday at 1 p.m. at Kutztown University.
Wall has been around Morris and St. Joseph’s Prep program for most of his life. His older brothers Ryan and Evan both played for the Hawks, so there’s been a Wall in the program for the last nine years.
“The Wall house is pretty Pre-oriented,” said Wall, who lives in Montgomeryville and attended Mary, Mother of the Redeemer grammar school in North Wales. “When I was in fourth grade (and St. Joseph’s Prep featured), Steve Vasturia, Miles Overton, I was at all those games.”
Morris began coaching high school at Roman Catholic in 1968. Wall is his 14th and last 1,000-point scorer, according to tedsilary.com, cracking the barrier during a 25-point performance Feb. 3 against Philadelphia Catholic League regular-season champion Archbishop Wood.
“Tough kid who plays like an old-time guard,” Archbishop Wood coach John Mosco said of Wall. “Creates for others, sneaky-athletic, scrappy guard.”
Mosco said Wall is a “Division 1 guard.” Archbishop Carroll coach Francis Bowe said whatever college lands Wall will be “getting a gem.”
Morris said Wall is “under-recruited” as a 1,000-point scorer from the Philadelphia Catholic League who has yet to receive a scholarship offer.
“It’s pretty stressful,” Wall said of his uncertain future. “I’ve been hearing from people at all three levels. I just want to be happy somewhere.”
One thing is certain: Wall plans to play at the college level.
“I’d be lost without it,” Wall said of basketball.
It’s that mindset that most endears Wall to his coach, more than his old-school haircut and old-fashioned playing style.
“When it’s going good, he plays hard,” Morris said. “When it’s going bad, he plays hard. He just always is a playing hard.”