Greenbergs going for state double

Posted: March 21, 2014

The sizable, to say the least, Greenberg clan might need to charter a bus for this weekend's PIAA girls' and boys' basketball finals in Hershey.

Upward of 40 family members will be at the Giant Center to support hardworking siblings Bailey and Sean Greenberg in back-to-back championship games Saturday night.

Bailey Greenberg is a 5-foot-11 sophomore forward for Archbishop Wood, which will meet District 7's Blackhawk at 6 p.m. in the Class AAA girls' final. She averages a team-high 10 points.

For La Salle, which will vie for the Class AAAA boys' title at 8 p.m. against unbeaten New Castle, also of District 7, Sean Greenberg is a key reserve and solid three-point threat.

Do Bailey and Sean ever bang heads in a backyard game of one-on-one? "We play every once in a while," Sean said. "I try to toughen her up."

Bailey and Sean Greenberg's father, Chip, starred at La Salle High (Class of 1982) and La Salle University (1986).

Through four rounds of the state playoffs, since the AAA girls' and AAAA boys' playoffs are held on the same day, Chip Greenberg and his wife, Jane, have split up and attended different games.

For the semifinals Tuesday, Chip was at Coatesville High to watch Sean and the Explorers topple Chester, 61-55. At the same time, Jane Greenberg was at Parkland High in Allentown, where Bailey and the Vikings easily ousted Holy Redeemer, 74-56.

"Saturday, since the games are at one place, we'll both get to see Bailey and Sean play," said Chip Greenberg, one of 12 children. "We're looking forward to it."

Against Chester, Sean Greenberg, a 6-3, 170-pound wing guard, produced six points, five rebounds, and an assist. He hit two free throws to put La Salle ahead by 59-53 with 28 seconds to go.

"I got more minutes than usual," the sixth man said. "Coach [Joe] Dempsey must have had faith in me. I didn't score much, but I got a couple of boards and played hard."

Greenberg, an erstwhile soccer and lacrosse player, replaced sophomore starter Chuck Champion against the Clippers.

"Chuck has played great for us, but you're going to go with a senior in a situation like that," Dempsey said of Greenberg's increased time.

Basketball is truly a family affair for the Greenbergs. It started with Chip's father, Joseph "Hank" Greenberg, and his uncle Charley, both of whom played at La Salle College.

Chip Greenberg's sister, Kelly Greenberg, who starred at Wood and La Salle, is the head women's coach at Boston University; another sister, Kathy May, former star at Wood and Rhode Island, is a Wood assistant.

Sean and Bailey Greenberg's cousin Shannon May is a reserve for Wood; their younger sister, Nicki, is an eighth-grade player and plans to continue at Wood.

Family matriarch Mary Greenberg, 86, is an equally involved spectator. "She's having a ball," Chip Greenberg said of his mother.

After his college career, Chip Greenberg played for the Wildwood (and, later, Philadelphia) Aces of the U.S. Basketball League. There was also a one-season stint abroad in the Irish Professional League.

In 1981, Chip Greenberg helped La Salle win the Catholic League title. Saturday, should Bailey and Sean leave Hershey with gold medals around their necks, that would be even sweeter.

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