Every Monday night for the rest of the high school year, our sports staff will name a Sentinel Athlete of the Week featuring one area athlete who stood out in competition.
This week we select Mechanicsburg basketball player Cade Alioth. The senior, who is committed to Wheaton College (Illinois), had 18 points, 20 rebounds, four assists and two blocks Friday night in Mechanicsburg’s 49-45 win over Springfield-Delco in the PIAA Class 5A first round.
It was the first state win for the Wildcats’ in nine seasons. They’ll play No. 1-ranked Archbishop Wood in Thursday’s second round.
Q: What are your keys to success as a basketball player?
A: I think a lot of my success has mainly been because of my teammates. They just do a great job of getting me the ball and get it to easy areas and are unselfish with it. I tell everyone that I play with the four most unselfish people in the league. I wouldn’t have the opportunities to have the success I’ve had this year without them due to the fact that when you’re a big man in basketball, you can’t do a whole lot to create your shot. Someone has to be willing to give it up and give it to you, whereas guards can kind of dribble around, cross someone over and make some space. For a big man, you just have to sit, and your guards have to give it to you, and that’s what they’ve done all year. They’re the reason I’ve been so successful.
Q: What hobbies do you have outside of your sport?
A: I play with my dog a lot. Her name’s Franny. Her full name’s Francis, but we call her Franny (laughs). She’s a miniature Bernedoodle, her mom was a Burnese mountain dog and her dad was a miniature apricot poodle. She’s a little bundle of energy, and I just kind of run around the house with her.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A: I’d probably be a pro surfer. I grew up at the beach. My grandparents had a beach house in New Jersey, and we would spend all summer there, but I never really got into surfing. I’d skim board and body surf and stuff, so I’ve never really surfed. I think it’s insane what those guys do — the huge waves they ride, and I think just being able to be paid a lot of money just to hang out on the beach all day and in a bunch of crazy locations around the globe, like, why wouldn’t you want that? That’d be awesome. Just to hang out in Hawaii one week and the next you’re in Thailand on the beach, then in the next you’re in Australia at a beach. I just think that’d be cool.
Q: Who inspires you the most in life?
A: I’d say my dad just because he’s a hard-working individual. There’s not many times my dad just has a lot of time to rest. He works hard, but at the same point he always makes sure he makes time for his family. He was a coach at Cedar Cliff. He coached soccer, and he was very successful there for both boys and girls, but he hung his hat up to be able to come to my games and he didn’t want to miss any of my games while coaching. He had a bunch of athletic success. He was an All-American at Messiah (soccer). He played there, and I think a lot of that just comes from hard work. He’s never been the father to overly push me. He said you don’t have to play basketball in college, you don’t have to play basketball now, just do whatever you want, whatever makes you happy. At the same point, he’s kind of my trainer in the sense that if I ever need anyone to shoot against, he’ll play defense for an hour and a half straight. He doesn’t care.
Q: It’s time for March Madness. How serious do you get about brackets and who are you rooting for?
A: My family kind of does a competition (where) basically, the loser has to buy ice cream for everyone else. So, it’s never been something super serious, but there was a stretch when I was younger where I was just picking off of like the team’s mascot or the color, and I would destroy my family. Rooting for, I don’t really have a college basketball team, I just like watching in general. I think it’s the best form of basketball. In playoffs it can get pretty good, but (with) college basketball you can’t really beat it. I love rooting for underdogs, so I always throw an underdog way deep in my bracket, and some years it pays off and some years it doesn’t. I’d love to see Northwestern make some noise. I think that’s awesome, them making it into the tournament for the first time and play a great round of basketball. So that’s who I’ll be rooting for, I guess.