Artz is the picture of improvement

February 22, 1997


Staff Writer

Motivation. It's tacked above Andy Artz's bed. It stares him in the face every morning.

A newspaper clipping from last season is all that the Williamsport senior needed to convince him to work hard and improve his game for his final year of high school basketball.

That clipping contains a picture of Artz lying on the floor of Cole Field House, the basketball bouncing away from him in last year's Class 1A state championship game. Williamsport lost, and Artz had one of the worst shooting days of his career, hitting just 1 of 16 field goal attempts.

"I look at that article every day," Artz said. "That's what pushed me so hard getting ready for this year."

Artz attended several basketball camps and clinics last summer with the goal of becoming a better all-around player. The hard work has paid dividends for Artz, who is averaging 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists this season. Artz is also a legitimate outside threat, just as capable of hitting a 3-pointer as he is putting back an offensive rebound.


"I needed to develop a better outside game," Artz said. "Last year, I was always in the paint. Coach (Kevin) Murphy wanted me to get more involved outside too."

"Andy does so much for this team," Murphy said. "Everyone looks at his scoring, but there's so much more. His rebounds, I love the way he passes. He is very unselfish, very coachable, just a great kid, period."

Artz is quick to credit his teammates for helping him transform from a one-dimensional player to a multi-dimensional threat. He said that the loss in last year's state finals has helped those who returned from that team gel into a stronger unit.

"I've gotten help from everybody. Everyone has been real supportive this year," Artz said of his teammates. "Josh (Trumpower) inside is just a beast, and Duc (Trieu), Rusty (Tritsch) and Steve (Ritchie) out front, everybody has been great this year.

"We're like a family and that helps us keep going," Artz added.

But it's the memory of last year's title game that has pushed Artz all season long, striving for a chance to redeem himself at Cole Field House.

Maybe then he can remove the clipping from above his bed.

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