By Tom Robinson
JB Hoops Callahan standout George Tinsley, who led Abington Heights to a state Class 5A championship in March, committed to a full scholarship from Binghamton University early this afternoon.
Tinsley, 17, selected the America East school and the nearest National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I program to his home in Clarks Summit over offers from Colgate, New Hampshire, Albany and Holy Cross.
“When I visited, I just loved the campus,” said Tinsley, who attended a New Hampshire-Binghamton game during the 2017-18 season. “It was very nice and all the people there were great. It seemed like a very nice small community that have there.”
Tinsley said he is considering sports management or a similar major.
The commitment by Tinsley maintains the connection between JB Hoops and Binghamton’s program.
J.C. Show, another Abington Heights graduate, is a grad student going into his senior season of basketball eligibility after leading the team in scoring. Timmy Rose from Scranton Prep will be a senior for the Bearcats. John Rinaldi from Dunmore finished up there in 2017.
“George has put a lot of work and effort into becoming the best player he could be,” Backcourt Hoops/JB Hoops owner John Bucci said. “We’re thrilled that he’s going to Binghamton. After having so many offers, for him to go to Binghamton is a great opportunity for him and for our local community to see him play.”
Tinsley was named first-team Class 5A all-state by Pennsylvania Sports Writers and District 2 Player of the Year by NEPABasketball.com.
The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 18.2 points per game and was the leading rebounder on the Comets, who also won Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2 Class 5A titles. Tinsley scored 29 points in the 67-55 state final victory over Mars, finishing the game with exactly 1,000 points for his career.
Tinsley said he began realizing Division I basketball was a realistic possibility between his sophomore and junior years in high school when JB Hoops as a team and he personally were having success against shoe-company sponsored AAU teams with players that were already receiving offers.
“We started to beat them a lot,” Tinsley said. “ … Most of them are very, very good, but the ones that were getting D-I offers were not that much better, so if I continued to put in work – which I think I definitely have – I could probably play D-I.”
Binghamton, coached by Dunmore graduate Tommy Dempsey, was the first to see that and make Tinsley a scholarship offer. Others followed and more were still assessing him when Tinsley made the decision today.
Tinsley is projected to play either forward position or shooting guard in college.
“I’m extremely happy for George,” said Bill Callahan, who coached Tinsley on the JB Hoops team that reached the Hoop Group Atlantic City Jam Fest 17U championship game and the Live in AC semifinals during July. “I think Binghamton’s going to be a really good fit for him.
“He plays with an extremely high motor and I think that’s what separates him from a lot of other kids. He just plays hard all the time. He’s very coachable. He’s willing to put work in. He’s willing to get better and I think he’s going to have a very successful career at Binghamton.”
Before trying to defend multiple titles in high school basketball, Tinsley will be back on the football field as the Abington Heights quarterback. He had given up the sport briefly in junior high to concentrate on basketball, but is glad he returned.
“When you play basketball, you have that family of who you play with,” Tinsley said. “There’s a bunch of energy and you’re all working together.
“It’s cool to have that from a different perspective and in a different sport, too.”