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Balliet excelled on basketball court

Published July 24. 2010 09:00AM

Brian Balliet graduated from Jim Thorpe High School in 1995 and excelled in basketball his entire time at the school. During his career he earned four varsity letters and scored 1,286 points. This achievement earned him third place on the all-time career scoring list, behind only Joe Rader (1,348) and Jeff Hydro (1,342). He averaged 20+ points-per-game during his junior and senior seasons, scoring 484 points in 1994 and 549 in 1995. He was the team's MVP both of those seasons.

His signature performance happened his senior year when he scored 55 points against Williams Valley. This shattered the previous single-game scoring record held for 36 years by Billy Bechtold, who scored 47 points against Lansford in 1959. In his game, Balliet hit 12 three-pointers and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. For this outstanding performance, he received mention in the nationally circulated USA Today daily newspaper.

Looking back on his career, Balliet finished with 160 three-pointers - which at the time was a TIMES NEWS area record. As a senior, he shot 83 percent from the free throw line and became the tenth player in Jim Thorpe history to be included on the 1,000-point list. He reached that plateau by scoring 22 points against Schuylkill Haven in a 54-40 victory. He was recognized several times as the WNEP 16 Sports Star of the Week, the Morning Call Athlete of the Week and the Eyewatch News 13 Male of the Week. He capped off his star-studded career by being voted to the TIMES NEWS All-First Team in both 1994 and 1995.

Balliet is currently employed as a Union Carpenter and resides in Jim Thorpe with his fiance, Rachelle Reinart, his step-daughter Kaylee and his newborn daughter Brielle.

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The Jim Thorpe Sports Hall of Fame banquet will be held on Saturday, Aug. 21 at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall. Cocktail hour will begin at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., the induction ceremony at 7:15 p.m. and entertainment will follow around 8:30 p.m. Tickets for the induction ceremonies and the entire evening can be obtained by calling Craig Zurn at 570-325-3631, Ron Sheehan at 570-325-4244, Wilmer Redline at 570-325-3073 or Jack Kmetz at 570-325-4923.

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