Westmoreland Alumni Q&A with Abby Mankins

The former Greensburg Salem hoops standout is one of the top scorers at Seton Hill

Fri Feb 09, 2024 - 8:50AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers
Greensburg Salem's Abby Mankins is averaging 8.6 points per game for Seton Hill this season.Greensburg Salem's Abby Mankins is averaging 8.6 points per game for Seton Hill this season.

Last Updated: Fri Feb 09, 2024 - 9:01AM

The Mankins name has been associated with Greensburg Salem basketball for more than a decade. While Kaitlyn is a senior standout for the Golden Lions this season, her older sister Abby set the standard. Abby eclipsed 1,000 points during her time at GS, and now she’s a starter at nearby Seton Hill University. She’s under the microscope for this edition of the Westmoreland Alum Q&A.

Abby Mankins cracked the varsity roster at Greensburg Salem as a freshman in the 2018-19 campaign, as the Golden Lions posted a mark of 12-11 overall, including 7-7 in section play. As a result, GS qualified for the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs, but fell to McKeesport Area in the first round to conclude the season.

The following year, Greensburg Salem went 10-12, including 6-8 in the section, and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The Golden Lions struggled during the abbreviated COVID season in 2021, as they went 8-12 overall, including just 2-10 in section play. With an open format for the playoffs, GS lost to Albert Gallatin in the preliminary round of the Class 5A bracket.

Mankins was the catalyst to a turnaround season in 2021-22, however. The Golden Lions went 15-8, including 6-6 in the section, and returned to the Class 5A postseason. However, GS lost to South Fayette in the first round.

In her accomplished high school career, Mankins compiled 1,280 points, and was a three-time First-Team All-Section honoree.

Following her graduation, she remained in Greensburg, as she matriculated to Seton Hill University, joining the Griffins for the 2022-23 campaign. She appeared in all 32 games, including one start. During that action, she posted averages of 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds, while adding 20 assists and 16 steals. Collectively, Seton Hill went 18-14, including a record of 11-11 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). The Griffins qualified for the conference tournament, but fell to Edinboro University in the opening round.

This season, Mankins has ascended to a prominent role for the Griffins. She has started all 22 games, producing 8.6 points and 5.2 boards per contest, while contributing 37 assists, 23 steals, and 10 blocks. Seton Hill has gone 12-10, including 9-7 in PSAC play.

Abby set aside time from her schedule to field questions about her first-year head coach with the Griffins, the similarities and differences between her and her younger sister, and her fondest high school memory.

Q: Your numbers have drastically improved from last season. What have been the biggest factors in that?

A: Last season was a big transition for me to the college game considering the shot clock and just being more physical than high school ball. Whereas going into this season, I knew I would have a big role to fill and knew I would have to put in the time to get stronger and work on my skills in the offseason. Come the season, this helped me build confidence and allowed me to embrace my role to contribute in whatever ways I can.

Q: What is an underrated aspect of your game?

A: Defense. I can usually recognize what they are doing offensively and how we need to respond defensively.

Q: Maeve Gallagher took over as head coach before this season. What were the biggest adjustments to her leading the team?

A: The biggest adjustment was the change in our pace of play. We play a much faster system and are beginning to build a new identity from playing with our speed and tenacity.

Q: What team and individual goals did you set for this season?

A: As a team, we are striving to make playoffs and go on a playoff run. Personally, this season I was hoping to be more consistent and contribute more to the team.

Q: What led to your decision to attend Seton Hill?

A: I really wanted a program that would be a fit, both academically and athletically. I felt like Seton Hill was the perfect mix of both.

Q: What is your major, and ideal future profession?

A: I am a nursing major and aspire to become a nurse anesthetist.

Q: Aside from basketball, what has been your favorite aspect of college life?

A: My favorite aspect of college life is picking my schedule. I enjoy not having to be in classes all day long like high school.

Q: You played a few seasons alongside your sister Kaitlyn at Greensburg Salem. What are the biggest similarities and differences between you and her?

A: One of the biggest similarities between Kaitlyn and I is that we both are big calming factors on the floor. We are both very good at keeping our composure. Our major difference between us is that we have differing strengths within our skill sets. Where Kaitlyn is a stronger inside presence, I have more guard tendencies.

Q: What was your fondest high school memory?

A: My favorite memory was playing in the tournament at Orlando, Florida and being able to go to the Disney and Universal parks with my high school team. That trip was very memorable and we all had a blast.

Q: Who was the best player you faced in the WPIAL?

A: The best player I faced in the WPIAL was Tess Meyers from North Catholic.

Q: Do you use water, a sports drink, or something else for basketball?

A: I drink water while playing basketball, but I like to drink Gatorades after games/practices.

Q: What songs or type of music get you ready to play before a game?

A: I don't really have any specific songs or type of music. I switch it up and listen to whatever I feel like for the day.

Q: Who would you choose to portray you in a movie about your life?

A: This is a really tricky question. I honestly have no idea.

Q: If you were stranded on an island with one teammate, who would you choose? Why?

A: I would choose Emma Fischer because we would make light of the situation and probably end up having a ton of fun.