Steffphon Pettigrew keeping options open

Elizabethtown (Ky.) High School's Steffphon Pettigrew is one of the leading candidates for the state's Mr. Basketball award and would have competed for Mr. Football had he played his senior year.

While he was regarded as one of the state's top football prospects as a junior at Elizabethtown (Ky.) High School in 2005 and being among the top ten prospects in the preseason Best of the Bluegrass rankings, 6-foot-5, 215-pound Steffphon Pettigrew took his senior year off from the gridiron to focus on basketball - and with good reason.

"All summer all I pretty much did was lift weights and work on my ball handling," said Pettigrew. "I just tried to keep getting better."

Pettigrew has often been described as a man amongst boys and is one of the top pure athletes in the state this year. A leading candidate for the state's Mr. Basketball honor, Pettigrew has become one of the top basketball prospects in the state and has collected scholarship offers from Bradley, Duquesne, Eastern Kentucky, Evansville, Morehead State, South Alabama and Western Kentucky. Kentucky's Tubby Smith has also kept in frequent contact with the All-State performer, as have others such as Dayton and Murray State. U of L assistant Marvin Menzies was in attendance for his game on Monday night.

Despite the ever increasing number of college coaches present at his games, Pettigrew has kept his focus on the hardwood.

"Sometimes they call me and tell me that they are coming, but I try not to think about it," Pettigrew said of the attention. "I just try to go out there and play my game and not worry about that stuff."

With interest continuing to climb for his talents in basketball, he's also drawing increased interest for his abilities in football as well.

"My mom said for me to keep my options open," said Pettigrew, who was an All-State receiver as a junior. "I want to see how it all balances out in the end, but I don't know how I'm going to do it."

Pettigrew said that both the Cardinals and Wildcats are interested in him as a football player and a U of L assistant was among those that took in some of his action at the King of the Bluegrass tournament at Fairdale (Ky.) High School the past few days.

"Coach Greg Nord was at my game when we played Louisville Central and he said that he's going to come down to talk to me."

Nord was treated to an outstanding performance at the game last Thursday. Pettigrew poured in 43 points, while also collecting 13 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocked shots.

As for football, Pettigrew saw action in just seven games as junior and totaled 28 receptions for 363 yards and 7 touchdowns.

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