Jamal Woodson was coaching his AAU team in a game recently when the net got stuck in the rim.

“They were like, ‘We need a ladder,’” Woodson recalled.

But no need for a ladder when 6-foot-4 Mimi Thiero is around.

“Mimi just goes right up to it and just jumps up and fixes the net, and everybody starting cracking up,” Woodson continued. “And I yelled out, ‘She deserves an offer just for doing that!’”

Offers have been pouring in for Thiero, a rising junior center at Quaker Valley and the highest-rated recruit from the WPIAL in more than a decade. Thiero is ranked No. 57 nationally in the 2026 class by ESPN HoopGurlz. She’s the first WPIAL player ranked in the top 60 since Peters Township’s Makenna Marisa (No. 58) in 2019 and owns the highest ranking of any WPIAL player since Fox Chapel’s Erin Mathias was rated No. 39 in 2014. Marisa went on to play at Penn State and Mathias at Duke.

“She’s got 20-some offers. Four Power Five offers. It’s only going to go up. Once a couple come, they all start coming,” said Woodson, owner and director of the Slaam AAU program.

Following an outstanding sophomore season at Quaker Valley, Mimi Thiero is having a terrific AAU season playing for Slaam. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Thiero is getting her first big exposure in AAU this year, and it has seen her list of offers quickly grow. She had just one (the offer she received from Duquesne last September) by the time her high school season came to a close in February, but that number is now up to 20. They include offers from Big Ten (Michigan, Purdue), SEC (Arkansas), ACC (Boston College) and Big East (Providence) schools. Thiero, a 4.0 student, also has offers from Ivy League schools Harvard and Penn.

“It’s been great,” Thiero said of the offers. “I’m happy all these coaches think I can play for them.”

There’s a lot to like about Thiero’s game. Her height and athleticism are the first things that stick out. Combine that with her ability to handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter, as well as a developing post game, and it’s easy to see why she has impressed so many college coaches.

“I saw this one college coach at our game, so I whispered to [Thiero] at the table, ‘Hey, they’re at our game. Go do something,’” Woodson remembered. “She came down, hit two 3s, got two and-1s, and I looked at her and said, ‘Can you do that all the time?’ She smiled, and right after that she got offered. It was so crazy.”

Woodson said Thiero is averaging about 19 points and five blocks a game for Slaam this AAU season, this after she pumped in 19.5 points, 13.9 rebounds and 4.7 blocks a game for Quaker Valley her sophomore season.

Thiero’s latest offer came Tuesday from Arkansas, a school that she and her family have been getting acquainted with recently. Thiero’s brother, Adou, transferred to Arkansas in May to play for his old coach at Kentucky, John Calipari. Mimi went on the official visit with her brother and parents.

Another school that has inquired about Thiero is N.C. State, which reached the Final Four last season.

“The fact that they’re calling, it really means something,” Woodson said. “If one of the teams that was in the Final Four called us, I can’t see why the other three won’t be there.”

While Thiero said she’s not close to making a decision, she has a good idea of what she’s looking for in a school.

“Education. That’s a big thing to me,” she said. “And a place that my parents can come watch where it’s not too long of a plane ride.”

Thiero is one of five players on her Slaam team with Division I offers. Oakland Catholic’s Josie Fontana and Mia LeDonne, South Fayette’s JuJu Leroux and Berlin Brothersvalley’s Coral Prosser are the others.

Said Woodson, “Our team is just getting so many looks now, and Mimi is such a big part of that because the more colleges that follow her, the more that get to see all the other talented players we have on our team.”

Football commits

A trio of rising senior football players from the area announced their commitments to FBS schools over the past week. Latrobe safety John Wetzel committed to Marshall. Wetzel (6-0, 195) is also an excellent quarterback who helped lead Latrobe to the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinals a season ago. An all-conference pick, Wetzel joins classmate Alex Tatsch as Latrobe seniors who have committed to FBS schools. Tatsch, a linebacker, committed to Penn State in February. Another safety, University Prep’s Xair Stevenson, committed to Buffalo. Stevenson (6-2, 225), an all-City League selection, was among the key players for University Prep in its run to the City League championship game last season. Bishop Canevin tight end Henry Barbisch committed to Air Force. Barbisch (6-4, 225) is also a standout defensive end for the Crusaders.

First offers

It has been a number of years since Clairton last produced a Power Four player (RIP, Power Five), but the Bears could soon have one on the way. Incoming freshman Brandon Murphy received an offer from Syracuse earlier this week. Clairton coach Wayne Wade said that Murphy (5-11, 160) will play all over in the fall, including wide receiver, running back, safety, nickel and maybe even some wildcat quarterback. Latrobe junior wide receiver-safety Andy Tatsch (younger brother of Alex) was offered by West Virginia. The offer came after Tatsch (6-1, 180) competed in a 7-on-7 tournament at West Virginia. Serra Catholic defensive back D’Angelo Stewart will enter his senior season with an FBS offer, this after Stewart (6-2, 190) received his first offer from Akron.

Peters freshman offered

Another rising freshman girls basketball player from Peters Township has picked up her first Division I offer. Jordyn Welsh, a 5-11 guard-forward, received an offer from Yale. Classmate Taylor McCullough was recently offered by Mount St. Mary’s and Maryland Baltimore County.

Basketball commitments

Greensburg Central Catholic’s Tyree Turner (John Carroll); Yough’s Austin Matthews (Geneva).

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.