June 8, 2012,  The 40th Annual Summer Pizza Basketball Tournament was held at Memorial Park in St, Marys, PA.  Team Straub Pounder won the coveted prize, a pizza.  10 teams from seven communities participated.  The event is open to any basketball players to enter a 3 man team, no age restrictions, no entry fee, double-elimination, full court. For information on entering the event, call the park office at 814-834-9418.  The event is held every Friday during the summer, and over the 40 years has drawn players from numerous states and  communities, high school players, college players, sometimes teams made up of family members.  Every one who loves to play basketball should organize a three-man (or include girls) team and travel at least once in their basketball lifetime to participate in this event.  The members of the winning team on Friday June 8 were: Ryan Hockman, Dylan Reigel, and Joe Jacob. (June 13, 2012, St. Mary's Daily Press)

January 31, 2010,  The Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall of Fame for individuals who have had big impacts on Pittsburgh area basketball will induct six retired coaches at the fourth annual Pittsburgh Basketball Club Classic.   The coaches are John Sarandrea (New Castle), Mike Zmijanac (Aliquippa), Ed Wovchko (Cornell and Montour), Chuck Franklin (Perry), John Miller (Blackhawk and Riverside) and Dick Cetrone (Sto-Rox).    This will be the first induction class.  (Mike White, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

January 17, 2010, Members of the 1970 West Scranton boys basketball team reunited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of winning the Lackawanna League Southern Division, District 2 and Lynett Tournament championships.  It is the only year a boys basketball team won both the district and Lynett crowns.  Bob Bugno organized the gathering that brought many of the former players from as far as Texas back to West Scranton High School where those memories were made during a 24-3 season that ended in the state semifinals with a tough loss to Haverford, 68-57, in Harrisburg.  Jerry Karwoski, who now resides in Texas was the Player of the Year in 1970. (Joby Fawcett, Scranton Times Tribune)

July 17, 2008  Beaver Falls won the boys' Class AAAA/AAA division championship in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club's Summer League. Beaver Falls defeated Seneca Valley in the championship game.   John Giammarco is credited for making in the league a success.
(Rich Emert, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

December 28, 2007  Before Thursday's Knoch-Deer Lakes game, Knights junior Laura Gray and her sister, Megan, played the National Anthem in a memorable violin-flute duet.  At the end of the first half, Laura Gray canned a memorable 3-point basket at the buzzer to give Knoch the lead for good, as the Knights broke a six-game losing streak with a 55-42 victory over the Lancers in the opening round of the Knoch Christmas Tournament. She ended with 13 points. (George Guido, The Valley News Dispatch)

Feb. 10, 2007  is the day that the Mahanoy Area School District officially renamed the Mahanoy Area Junior/Senior High School Gymnasium  the Mickey Holland Gymnasium.  Feb. 6, 2007  was the day Coach Holland  notched the 500th victory of his 26 year coaching career at Mahanoy Area.  This year, the Golden Bears completed an undefeated 24-0 regular season.   With a 63-43 win over Danville in the last regular season game, Coach Holland has recorded  502 wins at Mahanoy Area, plus another 18 at his first coaching stint Cardinal Brennan H. S.  (Sam Matta, Hazleton Standard Speaker).

March 27, 2006  For 22 years, the Big John Riley Basketball Classic brought together the best senior boys and girls basketball players from Blair and Cambria counties, and it was played in memory of local television personality John Riley, who died in 1986. The doubleheader had been organized by Riley’s son, Tom, who passed away suddenly in November 2005.  The event will continue to be played in memory of Big John and Tom Riley, but it has been renamed the Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic. Two games will be played on Friday at DeGol Arena in the Maurice Stokes Fieldhouse at St. Francis University, with some minor changes.  Under the new format, a team of Blair County all-stars will face a squad drawn from Districts 5 and 6. In addition to Cambria County schools, regional teams include players from Bedford, Centre, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, and Mifflin counties.  (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat)

November  17, 2006. Prior to the Heat-Knicks game  at Miami’s American Airlines Arena, Pete Roscia joined NBA legends Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade in receiving World Championship rings.  Roscia, a native of Altoona, PA who spent 26 years as a referee at various NCAA women’s basketball games and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) games also served as a statistician for the Heat.  It was in this capacity that Roscia a part of the "Heat  family" accepted his ring with the others.  Pete graduated from Bishop Guilfoyle H. S. in Altoona and was a member of their 1967 State Championship basketball team.
(Credit: information by John Prosperi and story by John Hartsock, Altoona Mirror).

September 22, 2006.
Seven athletes were inducted into the Tamaqua Area High School Hall of Fame.  Five of those seven athletes-Bob Lusky, Joe Seigenfuse, Noel Powell, John Gozjsck, and Missy Longhi Amershek-were basketball players, but moreover  they were also all three sport athletes, something sadly missing in many schools in the 21st century. (Hazelton Standard-Speaker)

September 17, 2006.  "five members of the Duquesne University basketball team were shot after a dance on campus.  Sometime after 2 a.m. Sunday, a dispute erupted outside the dance and two gunmen fired a number of shots that wounded the five students, all members of the university's basketball program."  (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Saturday February 25th, 2006, Joe Sporer of Scranton was laid to rest in the Cathedral Cemetery.  Prior to that his 9:30 mass was held in St. Patrick’s Church.  The obituary which appeared in the Scranton Times-Tribune said, "He was a loving husband, father, son, grandfather and uncle. He loved being with his family. He enjoyed fishing, Syracuse University basketball and the New York Yankees."  But what the obituary did not say was that when his coffin was closed at the Louis V. Ciuccio Funeral Home on 145 Moosic Road in Old Forge, a basketball autographed by Gerry McNamara was placed inside and followed Joe Sporer to the grave.  Joe was among the thousands of Scranton area fans that followed and strongly supported McNamara through his fantastic basketball career at Syracuse University.
(Information credit: Scranton Times-Tribune, 02/24/2006)

December 2005, the funeral of former St. Joe's coach Jim Boyle.  The pallbearers - Jack Ramsay, Jim Lynam, Herb Magee, Jim O'Brien, Speedy Morris, Geoff Arnold, Bob Radano and Dan Hilferty - carried the casket into the church. Boyle, died of lung cancer at age 63. In attendance to pay respects to their old friend were Charles Barkley, Temple Coach John Chaney,  Sonny Hill, St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli, and numerous others from his past.  Jim Lynam told the story about Boyle when he was his assistant at St. Joe's and they were getting ready to play at Providence, where the Hawks had never won, Boyle conducted a seance for the players, burning candles and incense. The Hawks won!  Lynam read a letter from a young man who played on an eighth-grade CYO "B" team at St. Denis that Boyle had helped coach. Lynam related how Boyle coached some 5-year-olds to high-five and how they should act after if they made a game-winning shot.  He touched a lot of people as many coaches do in their lifetime.

January 23, 2005, The Neshaminy High School All-Sports Hall of Fame  inducted 18 new members  including two from the sport of  basketball: Courtney Robinson (1999, basketball) and  Casimer Thomas (1998, basketball).

January 13, 2005, The Whitehall-Coplay Hall of Fame added five people, two with basketball backgrounds:  Barry Buchman a standout football and basketball player at Whitehall and Bob Nemeth, an outstanding athlete at Coplay in the 1950s who played professional basketball with the Allentown Jets and later coached Northampton High School from 1965-76, winning the 1971-72 Lehigh Valley League and the District 11 championship.  (Credit: Allentown Morning Call)

December 17, 2004, Huntingdon High School defeated Lewistown High School in boys' basketball.  This was the 1200th victory in the history of boys' basketball at Huntingdon HS.   How many schools in Pennsylvania have achieved 1200 plus wins in the history of their programs?  Additionally, Huntingdon HS has amassed over 600 wins in the history of their football program.  How many schools in the Commonwealth have won over 1200 basketball games and 600 football games?  (Keith Black, Head Boys' Basketball Coach, Huntingdon Area High School,

September 19, 2004.  A series of articles started in the Scranton Times Tribune listing the "Area's Top 100 Athletes of All Time." Sixteen of the first 78 to be named  named in this story were from the sport of basketball.  Ten were males and six were females.  Find a synopsis of that article HERE.

June 20, 2004. Bob Wicke Sr. (age 80) and his son Bob Wicke Jr (age48) play in a 3 on 3 basketball pick-up series in Stillwater Estates in the Poconos.  The event: "It's Father's Day!"  The theme at  Stillwater Estates was fathers playing basketball with sons.  A total of 20 players turned out to play on the outdoor cement courts.  Wicke Sr. fell in love with basketball  in Bayonne (NJ) where he graduated from High School in 1943, while winning All-State Basketball Honors.  He continued to play and play and play, and now at age 80, still playing.  His advice, Play the game right!  Please learn to PASS the ball.  His continued participation and interest is just another tribute to the great game of basketball. 
(Credit: Erik Mark, Pocono Record, 6/21/04)

Dec 29, 2001.  Mike Timlin released an arching shot that snapped the nets and lifted Dunmore to an emotional, 54-53, win over defending champion Scranton Prep in the 51st annual Lynett Memorial Tournament at Scranton High School.  The 50 previous events had been held in the Scranton Catholic Youth Center.  Scranton Prep had won 14 Lynett Tournaments to that point. The Scranton Times-Tribune sponsors what is commonly referred to as "the granddaddy" of high school basketball tournaments each year during the Christmas season. The Lynett Memorial Basketball Tournament tipped off in 1951 and has been a staple of the holiday sports menu since. (Credit: Scranton Times-Tribune)

Summer 2001. Charlie Loughlin, "the king of tile," installs new ceramic tile in the Villanova University basketball shower room.  One of the main recruiting tools for colleges and universities today are  first class facilities that will entice potential players to  collegiate programs.  Charlie Loughlin of 2868 Normandy Drive in Philadelphia is one of the most sought after ceramic tile men in the business because of his attention to detail and the personal touch he provides in creating a division one atmosphere for a division one program.  His work in the summer of 2001 at Villanova stands as an example.

Jan. 27, 2001.  The Duquesne University Department of Athletics retired the jerseys of five of its all-time greatest players during halftime of the Xavier game on Jan. 27, 2001. Chuck Cooper, Sihugo Green, Norm Nixon, Dick Ricketts and Willie Somerset.

March 25, 2000. Steve Smith's Saegertown "Panthers" played Pottstown Nativity in the State Class A Girl's Championship Game at Hersheypark Arena. When the scheduled singer for the National Anthem before the game was a "no show," #44 Laura Dillaman a starter and senior for Saegertown stepped in and sang! Way to go Laura!!

Sketch by Dick Dornish

February 2000. Fourteen principals representing the Mercer County Athletic Conference decided to vacate George Jr Republic School's conference titles for 1998 and 1999. At the same time, George Jr. Republic volunteered to give up the season's title that they had earned with a 20-0 record. These actions resulted when it came to light that the school had used the wrong enrollment figures for their participation in Class AA. During the next season, they participated as a Class AAAA team.

January 2, 2000.  An article appearing in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette listed the "Top 100 Sports Figures of the 20th Century in Western Pennsylvania." Nineteen of the top 100  named in this story were from the sport of basketball.  Four were coaches, one was a journalist, and fourteen were players, 3 females and 11 males.  Find a synopsis of that article HERE.

January 3, 2000. Coach Rene Portland's Penn State Lady Lions went over the 100 point level for the 25th time in school history by defeating Northwestern 114-49. They also scored a record 65 points in the first half.

Feb 3, 1998, the highest scoring game in Pennsylvania high school basketball history; in the city of Philadelphia Washington H. S. defeated West Philadelphia H.S. 130-127 in four overtimes for a total of 257 combined points. Shannon Bussey led Washington with 44 points while Derrick Johnson led West Philly with 34 points. However, those 257 points only ranked ninth on the all-time list according to the National Federation of State High School Associations Record Book. The highest scoring game in high school history took place in Florida in 1995 when Riverview defeated Bradenton148-142 for a combined 290 points.  (Daily Press, 2/4/98)

Jan 29, 1998. A judge fined Nicole Naccarato, a Monessen High School female basketball player $300.00 and found her guilty of biting Vicki Martin, a West Greene female basketball player in the December 8, 1997 high school basketball game.  The incident happened in the third quarter in a skirmish for a loose ball.  Naccarato's father said, "Nicole did not bite Martin.  He said that evidently, Martin's arm somehow got into Naccarato's mouth and that the bite was not indended."  (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Mike White, 1/29/98).  Note: Naccarto went on to play college ball at Duquesne University after being Pennsylvania's second all time leading scorer in girl's basketball.  She later became the girl's varsity basketball coach at Monessen.

Jan 15, 1998, CoreStates CENTER Philadelphia. The most people ever to watch a basketball game in Pennsylvania, 21,104 showed up to watch the Philadelphia 76ers upset the Chicago Bulls 106-96. The initial record for the most people to watch a basketball game in the United States was set on January 20,1968 in the Houston, Texas Astrodome for the game between UCLA and the University of Houston, 52,693. That record was broken in  1990 when 68,112 when Notre Dame played LSU. The NBA record is 62,046 set in 1998 from a game between Chicago-Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Then in 2003-2004  over 70,000 attended a Kentucky 79 Michigan State 74 game to break the NCAA record. But the initial record for the most people ever to watch a game came in 1951 in West Berlin, Germany when 75,000 turned out to watch the Harlem Globetrotters. That record was broken however in 1968 at Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece when Athens AEK defeated Prague Slavia 89-82 as 80,000 people watched (Guinness Records).

1997,  Mel Hankinson (1961-65) was inducted into the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame   along with Art Rooney (1919-20)Art Rooney was added  for football and baseball, Mel Hankinson, added for basketball still holds the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference individual scoring record having scored 59 points in one game.

April 1995. CINDERELLA FINISH FOR MERION MERCY: Merion Mercy Academy wins Class AA state basketball championship, April 1995. Coach Joe D'Antonio's scrappy Merion Mercy team fell in the Catholic Academies League finals but rebounded to win the District I and eventually the PIAA state championship.  The Golden Bears, who put on some miraculous performances before reaching the finals, defeated perennial state power Bishop Guifoyle, 58-43, at Hershey Park arena. Led by a corps of never-say die seniors, the Golden Bears brought Lower Merion Township its first state basketball championship since Andy Anderson's Lower Merion teams in the early 1940s. Among the key players for the Golden Bears were talented guard Maureen DiJulia, who went on to play for the University of Hartford; Shanette Lee (Villanova) and Kate Dougherty (Scranton).
(MainLine Times, Bruce Adams).

1994. Darrick Dixon, playing for Williamsport High School drew the defensive assignment of guarding Kobe Bryant when the Williamsport "Millionaires" played Lower Merion High School who featured a future millionaire in Bryant. Dixon did a masterful defensive job and limited Bryant to just 8 points, probably his lowest point total ever in competitive play. Dixon went on the play college ball, coach, and write a book. He later did motivational speaking

 1993-94.  Indiana was the last state to abandon High School 6-woman basketball.

April 6, 1989: FIBA, the governing board of international basketball, voted to drop restrictions on professional basketball players and allow them to participate in the 1992 Olympics.

Jan 19, 1988. Simon Gratz H. S. in Philadelphia lost 61-51 to West Philadelphia and then went on a 14 year Philadelphia Public League winning streak . The streak ended with a 60-48 loss to John Bartram H. S. in Feb 2002.
Feb 1988, in the final  regular season game - against a Carbondale box-and-one defense specifically designed to stop her -Christie Kennedy at 5'8, playing for Wallenpaupack H. S. scored 50 points and grabbed 25 rebounds. (Credit: Scranton Times-Tribune, Chad Jennings; sketch by Bob Sanchuk) Full story found HERE

April 19, 1988. The Philadelphia 76ers honored Hall of Famer Julius Erving prior to a home game against the Bucks. The 76ers retired Erving's uniform No. 6 and unveiled a larger-than-life Dr. J statue.
(Credit: Hall of Fame Website)

1986-87. Special rule change: First season for the 3 point shot in the NCAA.

Bishop McDevitt High School, Harrisburg, PA. The Mid-State Roundball Showcase which has grown, started in 1977. The game featured an outstanding Game Program. The program was printed by Smith Printing, 742S.22nd Street, Harrisburg, PA (564-3719). Left: A clip from the 1985 cover featuring Jeff Lebo who played at Carlisle High School for his dad and at North Carolina for Dean Smith.  Jeff went on to a successful college basketball coaching career.


1984.  The PIAA adds a fourth playoff classification in basketball, AAAA.

Feb 21, 1985. The longest measured field goal in state hoops history.  Eric Mickles of Philadelphia Mastbaum threw one in from 85 '-11.15"in a 111-65 win over Philadelphia Lincoln. (Todd Jones)

1983. The Philadelphia 76er 's lost only one playoff game, going 12-1 and sweeping the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Moses Malone,"Dr J" Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and Bobby Jones were an awesome combination.
May 27, 1981. Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Most Valuable Player, making him the only player to win MVP honors in both the NBA and the ABA. (Credit: Hall of Fame Website)

Special rule change: First season for the 3 point shot in the NBA.

Dec 28, 1979. Allderdice High School defeated Central Catholic 75-59 in the championship of the Central Catholic Holiday Tournament.  Derek Moore (26) and Frank Dobbs (17) led Allderdice.  Moore was named the MVP.

1979.  Debra Walker set the Michigan state high school single game scoring record  with 63 points. She came to Pennsylvania and  played for Cheyney State College from 1979 to 1982.

Dec 30, 1978, Lebanon High School's Sam Bowie is held to his lowest scoring output of the season while being double teamed by Chris Doleman and Don Generett of the York High Bearcats.  Then a scheduled CBS special about  Bowie's high school basketball exploits was preempted by a news special concerning the Shah of Iran. In 1979, while Bowie went to Kentucky on a basketball scholarship,  the religious opposition in Iran, lead by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, drove the Shah into exile.  Part of the Bowie legacy later became the fact that he was chosen higher in the NBA draft than Michael Jordan.

1977-1979. The "Golden Girls" of Pottsville Nativity High School set the Lower Anthracite Region's all time win streak with 58, including a 48-41 win over Johnsonburg in the 1978 state championship game.

March 19 1977. Greg Manning of Steelton-Highspire scored 57 points against Nanticoke in the state quarter finals at the Farm Show Building in Harrisburg. This playoff scoring record was achieved without the 3-point shot!! (Credit: Randy Wilson)

1975-76. Class A, B and C playoff designations for the PIAA in Pennsylvania are changed to AAA, AA, and A. The new titles to take place in the 1976 playoffs.

Dec 15 1976 - Mifflinburg beat Muncy 56-55 to break 88 game losing streak. Mark Wagner sank two free throws with six seconds remaining to win it. The streak started in Dec. 1972.  (Credit: bud tangert, lititz)

1976. Ann Marie Kosciolek of Lansford playing for the Marian Fillies became the first high school female to top the 2,000 point scoring mark in the state of Pennsylvania. She averaged 22.5 points a game over 96 games.  Her final point total was 2,164.

1974 The Peacock Restaurant in St. Mary's, PA. On April 11, 1974, Harold Wolf,  the owner of the Peacock Restaurant hosted the pre-game banquet for the players and coaches who would participate in the 3rd Annual Northwestern Senior All-Star Game. He brought in Bob Cousy as the guest speaker. Cousy, the famous Boston Celtic legend, proved to be one of the true gentlemen of the game as well as a legend. He not only spoke at the banquet, but he attended the game and handed out the MVP awards in the post-game ceremonies.

1973. The Elks "Hoop Shoot" Free Throw Contest started and became the largest and most visible of the many youth activities sponsored by Elks Lodges. More than three million boys and girls, ages 8-13, participate each year by shooting free throws. For more information, go to HOOP SHOOT. How Do I Start a "Hoop Shoot" Program? Simply contact your nearest Elks Lodge and ask for the "Hoop Shoot" Director or Exalted Ruler, or contact: Cam Cronk, National Director, P.O. Box 80906, Billings, Montana 59108---Phone: 406/656-5818. The Director for Pennsylvania is: Steven R. Lucas, RR 1 Box 593, Tyrone PA 16686---814-684-1218 (h)

1973. The Big Five Hall of Fame was inaugurated and the first class of inductees included:  Larry Cannon (LaSalle), Cliff Anderson (St. Josephs), Wali Jones (Villanova), Stan Pawlak (Pennsylvania), and Guy Rodgers (Temple).

1972-73.  The Philadelphia 76ers became the worst team in professional sports history by going only winning 9 games and losing 73 while finishing 59 games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division.  They opened the season with 15 straight losses.  After 51 games, the coach, Ray Rubin was fired and was replaced by Kevin Loughery who became a player-coach.  (Credit: Jeff Schuler, Allentown Morning Call)

1970. BEAVER FALLS TIGERS, 1970 PENNSYLVANIA CLASS A STATE CHAMPIONS: In the winter of 1969-70, the Beaver Falls Tigers had an unexpectedly successful run in the competitive Section 3 division of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL). Ultimately, the Tigers won the PIAA State Title in March 1970 over Haverford at the Harrisburg Farm Show Arena. In those days, the Tigers competed with Section 3 perennial winners like Farrell (Steelers), Sharon (Bengal Tigers), Aliquippa (Quips) and the New Castle (Red Hurricanes). The Tigers were led by an All-America, sharp-shooting junior-guard named Oscar Jackson Jr. The Tigers' lineup included a formidable cast including senior forward Al Hmiel (U of Cincy); center Dennis Kopka and guards Gary Goosby and Kenny Wagner. Other contributors were Hal McClain (White Sox pitcher) and the late Kevin Tapp, a 15th Street Playground legend in the city of Beaver Falls. Under single-elimination pressure, The Tigers succeeded against several opponents including Pittsburgh Schenley's standouts Maurice Lucas (Portland Trailblazers/Marquette) and Ricky Coleman. Western Pa. hoops buffs will also recall the Spring of '70, when the Tigers hosted a Western Pa. All-Star Game at the BF 8th Ave. Gym, featuring the Beaver County All-Stars vs. The Pittsburgh Area Box-Car Boys. The county All-Stars were led by Oscar Jackson and Mickey Davis (Milwaukee Bucks), David Johnson (Farrell) and Randy Crowder (Farrell/Miami Dolphins) vs. Box Car's Jonathan Marshall (Clairton), Billy "Mooney" Knight (Pitt/Braddock), Coleman and Lucas of Schenley fame. That was a great era for Western Pa. hoop lore -- one that should never be forgotten. Mooney Knight is currently General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Atlanta Hawks. -

1969. The Bishop Canevin Crusaders who won  the 1969 PCIAA state championship had all five starters play in college: one in football (Tom Clements quarterback at Notre Dame) and four in basketball: Jack Wojdowski (Duquesne), Jim Bolla (Pitt), Tom Rosepink (George Washington) and Tom Pipich (Fordham).
(Credit: Rick Shrum Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

 June 2, 1969. On this date at the age of 30, Radivoj Korać probably the best player in the history of Yugoslavia  died in a car crash.   He was the best scorer of the Yugoslav league for seven seasons (a record), in 1964 he scored 99 points in one game against the Alvik (Stockholm) team in a 155-57 win, and  he led the Yugoslav national basketball team to five silver medals and one bronze medal  in  international games. In 1971, FIBA established the Radivoj Korać Cup in his remembrance, and no basketball games were played in Yugoslavia on June 2nd again by decision of the country's Basketball Federation. (Credit: and

May 4, 1968. The Pittsburgh Pipers, led by Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins, defeated the New Orleans Buccaneers, 122-113, in Game 7 to win the first American Basketball Association (ABA) championship. (Credit: Hall of Fame)

1967-68. Tom Muesseler of Latrobe High School set the state record for consecutive free throws, making 48 in a row during the season. During the 2003-2004 season, Katrina Greer of Penn's Valley High School surpassed that record when she hit 58 in a row.

1967, April 5.  Wilt Chamberlain set an NBA record with 41 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 115-104 victory over the Boston Celtics and a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Division playoffs.  (Credit: Patriot News Sportlight)

 1967 The State College girls' varsity basketball team defeated Rothrock 40-29 in its opener.  This was the first season of competition for the girls in State College. They finished with a 4-2 record led by high scorer Sue Heckendorn who averaged 14 points a game.    Richie Hamill was State College's first girls' basketball coach.
(Info credit: Story by Mary Jo Haverbeck (

1967. Special rule change: The dunk shot was banned. Can you name the year that this rule was changed and the dunk shot was reinstated?

1966. Peter Coker was named the City of Allentown’s "Champion of Champions." He attended Bullis for a post-graduate year after an outstanding high school career at Allentown High School.  He was easily the outstanding player on the Prep basketball team in 1960-61. As Coach May has often said, “Peter Coker is without a doubt the finest basketball player I have seen in my 24 years at Bullis.”  Pete led the North Carolina Wolfpack in rebounding and add a 15.5 scoring average during a senior season in which two opposing coaches called him the most complete player in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  Press Maravich, Pete’s coach at State said of him, “Pete is everything a coach could want in a player. He’s a good competitor and he’s a boy of good character.”  (Credit: Bullis School Hall of Fame found HERE)

1966 (April 6). Shank's Construction of Altoona defeated the Centre County All-Stars 89-74 in the Lewistown Area Basketball Tournament Championship Game. The All-Tournament Team included Bill Kagarise of Williamsburg, Denny Clapper of Williamsburg, Bill Kohler of Centre County, Pat Shute of Shanks, Tom Turchetta of Shanks, and Ron Kodish of WBPZ.

1965. DAPPAR DAN ROUNDBALL CLASSIC. Civic Arena, Pittsburgh,PA. In 1965, Sonny Vaccaro and Pat DiCesare originated the Roundball Classic that at one time was the premier all-star basketball game in the country.  16,649 fans attended the 1979 game, the highwater mark for the Roundball.  The game started to fade into history in 1986 when the decision was made to no longer have a Pennsylvania team, but instead offer a national format with teams representing North, South, East, and West. The game folded in1992.  Former Trafford High School teacher, Sonny Vaccaro, went on to bigger basketball promotions on the national scene with Nike,  Addidas, and Reebok including the "Magic Roundball Classic" at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Sonny Vaccaro was called "the most influential man in amateur basketball" in a article of 7/6/04.

1964-65.  The jointure between Shamokin Greyhounds and Coal Township Purple Deamons was formed for the 1964-65 school year.

Feb 29, 1964. Boone Trail High School of Mamers (NC) defeated Angier (NC) 56-54 in thirteen overtimes!!!!

1963. First Samuel F. Crabtree Memorial Award.  Penn State Coach John Egli presented the award to Earl Hoffman Jr., a graduate of Steelton High School.  Hoffman  led Penn State  in scoring and the team  finished with a 15-5 record.  The award was to be presented to the outstanding Nittany Lion basketball player each year.

1962, March 2, HERSHEYPARK ARENA, Hershey, PA. Wilt Chamberlain playing for the Philadelphia Warriors scored 100 points against the New York Knicks. In that same game, he set the record for the most points in a half by a player, 59. His dominance led to many rule changes: offensive basket interference, the widening of the foul lane, and the rule that keeps the foul shooter behind the line until the ball has reached the basket. Chamberlain was not a good foul shooter (but he did sink 28 of 32 foul shots the night he scored100) so one of his coaches came up with a strategy that he take two steps from the back of the foul circle and broad jump toward the basket to dunk his foul shot! Believe it, or not?

1962.  Ron Warner graduated from York High School in 1958 and from Gettysburg College in 1962.
He was an All-State player at York High School and when he was selected for the York Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 he held nine Gettysburg College basketball records, including career points-1800, career scoring average-24.4, season points-657, and games played-76. Warner was named to the AP "Small All-America" first team for players under six feet, and was an honorable mention major college All-American by AP and UPI. Upon his graduation from Gettysburg College he held a then record 22 straight free throws in a double overtime loss to St. Joseph's. (Credit: Roy Robbins, York Area Sports Night, Hall of Fame Committee Chairman).

1961. Hazelton St. Gabriel's defeated their cross town rival Hazelton High School 65-61 for the first time in 30 years.

1960, January 23, Pennsylvania's Individual Boy's Scoring Record. Most points scored in one game: 114 by Pete Cimino, playing for Bristol vs. Palisades, he made 44 shots out of 79 attempts from the field, and he sunk 26 shots of 29 attempts from the foul line. Bristol defeated Palisades 132-86. After the game Cimino said, "All I wanted to do was break the league mark of 62. But the guys on the team kept getting the rebounds and I was able to score a lot on the fast break." (from Todd Jones, Nazareth).

1959, March 5.  Steelton played York for the Central Penn Championship in the first game ever played in the Harrisburg Farm Show Arena.  Earl Hoffman Jr. of Steelton became the first player ever to score a basket in the Arena, but York won the disputed game 50-49 on a controversial last second shot by York's Charlie Sexton.

1959, The Pennsylvania State Association of Secondary Principal's  voices concerns about monies from the high school basketball tournament going to finance the PIAA.

1959, March. The United Press International Pennsylvania All-State Basketball Team: Jim Chacko (Charlaroi), Matt Szykowony (Pittsburgh North Catholic), Joe Maddrey (Aliquippa), Granny Lash (Chester), Bill Yelsh (Tamaqua).  Second team: Jim Curry (Altoona), Mike Washington (Carlisle), Willy Somerset (Farrell), Brian Generalovich (Farrell), Emerson Baynard (Chester).

Jimmy Chacko, 5'11" (left) was rated by many as the outstanding player in the state for the 1958-59 season.  In the playoffs that year, he scored 25 against Midland and 27 against Uniontown.  He averaged 26.5 points per game and scored 50 in one game.  He was named the MVP in the Farrell Holiday Tournament when his team, Charlaroi defeated Farrell 66-56, but in the WPIAL Championship game later that year Farrell defeated Charlaroi 70-47 and went on to win the State Championship.  Matt Szykowony (also a great quarterback) led Pittsburgh North Catholic to the PCIAA Class A State Championship that year.    (Photo credit: Sharon Herald, March 10, 1959)


1959, February 3. Curt Fromal of Ridley Twp set the Delaware Valley individual scoring record by scoring 55 points against Harriton High.

1959, Nov 11, Austin, PA (the site of the famous early 1900 's Austin flood). At the Austin VFW, Stanley Norek announced the formation of the new Keystone Independent Cage League. The teams included: Port Allegany, Austin, Coudersport, Emporium, North Potter-Ulysses, and the St. Mary's Collegians. Bob Heary of Dunkirk, NY was named as the coach of the Collegians.  Smethport later joined the league led by one of their leading scholastic stars of the past, "Skippy" Rote. Games were scheduled for Wednesdays and Saturdays. (Jack Brown, Daily Press)

1958, Harrison Schlimm was named the MVP of the Eighth Annual Tyrone YMCA Basketball Tournament.  He scored 22 points in the St. Marys Collegians 61-45 win over Geesey Park in the quarterfinals, 33 points in a 75-72 semi-final overtime win over State College, and 25 points in the 63-53 overtime loss in the Tournament Finals to the Sinkers.  Schlimm had forced the overtime with a last second tip-in during regulation time.  Other members of the Collegians included Bill Gorman, Joel Mertel, Bill Gaffey, Andy Stauffer, Lefty Salter and "Tumack" Rezmerski.

The Tyrone YMCA Tournament  in 1958 was organized by Buz Townsend, the Physical Director of the Y.  The YMCA was located at 1062 Logan Avenue in Tyrone.  The YMCA took a terrible flood loss in 2004.

Photo left: Harrison Schlimm, the MVP

1958. York High School went 26-0, and won the Central Penn League, one of the finest leagues in high school basketball. (Lebanon, Lancaster McCaskey, Steelton,  York H.S., Harrisburg William Penn, Harrisburg John Harris, and Reading). Then York High  lost in the playoffs  to Haverford, the eventual state championship.

1957. The Tyrone High School "Golden Eagles" coached by Jim Pletcher snapped two of the longest winning streaks in the state. In the opening game (Dec.11) they defeated Williamsburg 68-55, to break the Blue Pirates 30 game regular season streak. Williamsburg then won 22 games in a row, prior to losing to Fleetwood 64-63 in the state Class C finals. Exactly a month later (Jan.11) the "Eagles" ended the Lewistown Panthers 32 game Mountain League winning streak, with a 52-39 victory. The leading scorers for Tyrone in both games were Ed Adams and Joe Graves. Other team members were: Jim Houser, Ned Newlin, John Pavone, Jay Perry, and Pete Sellers.  (Tyrone Daily Herald)

1956-57. Special rule change: Free throw lane lane widened from 6 to 12 feet.

1956, Horace Walker of the Chester High School Clippers broke Wilt Chamberlain's Johnstown War Memorial Holiday Tournament rebound record when he grabbed 32. Wilt had held the record with 30. Walker led the Clippers to two District and two Eastern PIAA Championships in his career.

1956 (March 23),  Hal “King” Lear, of Temple scored 48 in a  90-81 win over  S.M.U. in a National Consolation game, at McGraw Memorial Hall in Evanston, Illinois before 10,653 fans.

1956, In the NBA draft that year, the first pick was Sihugo Green from Duquesne in Pittsburgh and a tall kid from San Francisco University, Bill Russell was chosen second.  Russell went to the Celtics and Green went to the Royals.  Everyone remembers Russell and his Boston Celtic career, but few remember Green with the Royals. (Red Aurbach)

  1956  NBA Champions

The Warriors led by Paul Arizin  and Neil Johnston swept the Ft. Wayne (IN) Pistons four games to one! Neil Johnston (left) led the NBA in scoring for three straight years. 
           His 3 year stats:


Paul Arizin of the Warriors also led the league in scoring for two years in 1952 and 1957.




 1953  1,564


 1954  1,759


 1955  1,631



1955. Perhaps Duquesne's brightest shining moment came in 1955 when Dick Ricketts and Sihugo Green led the Dukes to an NIT Championship. In those days, the NIT was considered superior to the NCAA Tournament. Ricketts and Green were two-time All-Americans. Ricketts remains the school's leading scorer and rebounder. Green went on to a nine-year career in the NBA. Other greats to play on the Bluff included Moe Becker, Jim Tucker, Willie Somerset and Norm Nixon. (Credit: Tribune Review, 1/1/00

1955. District Eleven Scoring Record. The evening of Feb. 25,1955 won't easily be forgotten by Wilson Boro's Cal Vogel. That night the sharp shooting Warrior cager poured in 90 points as Wilson defeated Pen Argyl 95-51 on the  winner's floor. Vogel canned an amazing 34 of 37 free throw attempts. Ironically, Vogel missed the first Pen Argyl game because of illness. Vogel's 90-point effort is tied for third (with Wilt Chamberlain) on the all time Pennsy prep list.

1955 and 1954. The Swatara High School girls won the Lower Susquehanna Conference Championship both years. Louise Krolak was the coach.  The forwards were Sandy Peck, Sandy Kovall and Kathleen Krovic. The guards were the twins, Eleanor and Edith Ritter, and Dolores Schmidt. (Information credit: Dolores Shearer) Swatara High School was located in Oberlin PA and is now part  of the Central Dauphin School District.

1954-55 SEASON. The nations top high school Christmas Tournament is held at the Johnstown (PA) War Memorial Arena. It is the only year that the tournament only invites three teams instead of the normal four teams for tournaments. The reason - so that the tournament could invite Overbrook High School of Philadelphia and their star player, 7 '1" Wilt Chamberlain.    Overbrook won the tournament.

1954-55 SEASON (December 28, 1954). The Farrell Lions Club Christmas Tournament also broke precedent and invited only three teams to their tournament during the 1954-55 season to accommodate Overbrook High School and their super star, Wilt Chamberlain. HOWEVER, Farrell handed Overbrook their only loss of the season, 59-58 in this tournament. Wilt Chamberlain scored 33 for Overbrook and Jim McCoy scored 19 for Farrell. It marked Farrell's 76th consecutive home victory. The loss ended Overbrook's 26 game winning streak.

1954, March 13 (Iowa City). Penn State ended Notre Dame's 18 game winning streak (71-63) and advanced to the NCAA Final Four.  Jesse Arnelle led Penn State with 22.  Jack Sherry had 14, Jim Blocker had 13, and Ed Haag had 12 to lead a balanced attack.  LaSalle behind Tom Gola defeated Penn State 69-54.  Penn State defeated Southern Cal in the consolation game to take third place.  How many times have two Pennsylvania teams met in the Final Four?

1954, On December 10th, Bob Kovalchik of St. Leo's of Ashley made l8 of 22 fouls in a game against St Paul's of Scranton setting  a Wyoming Valley record at the time. 

1954, Gene Guarilia graduated from Duryea High School.  He went on became one of the nation's rebounding leaders at George Washington University.   His 1,136 points is still No. 25 all-time at the school.  Drafted by the Celtics in 1959, he played there until his NBA career ended after the 1963 season and then he returned to his home area to become the head coach at Pittston Area.  If you don't remember Gene, maybe you remember some of his teammates: Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and John Havlicek among others.

1953, Jan 12.  Joe Witowski scored 54 points (a Kulpmont H. S. record) in a 101-41 victory over Mt. Carmel Catholic High School.  He also broke the school foul shooting record for a season held by Mike Kruleski.  Mike had converted 116 of 173 during the 1951-52 season.  Joe converted 144 of 209 to establish a .689 percentage in the 1952-53 season. (Credit: Shamokin News-Dispatch).

#28, Joe Witowski, Kulpmont High School

1953. The Sunbury Mercurys of the Eastern Basketball Semi-Professional League had on their playing roster two men who later became great coaching names in basketball: Jack Ramsey and Jack McCloskey.

1953. On December 4, Bevo Francis and his little (38 boys and 92 total students in the school) Rio Grande College from Ohio came to Philadelphia and lost to Villanova in overtime 93-92. Rio Grande went on to defeat Providence, Miami, and Wake forest with Franics scoring 41, 48, 32. But then in February against Hillsdale College of Michigan, Bevo Francis set the NCAA individual game scoring mark which has stood since the 1953-54 season. He scored 113 points on 38 baskets and 37 foul shots. The coach of the team was Newt Oliver. (Credit: Milan Simonich, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 1/25/04)

1952 . Penn State beat Pitt 24-9.  Dr. H. C. "Doc" Carlson, the Pitt coach ran his "deep freeze" strategy.  The score was 9-4 at the half much to the dismay of the 6,000 fans at Rec Hall in State College who came to see the Penn State team with the best record in the school's history, 19-4. (Pittsburgh Press, 3/2/52)

1952 . Bill Milkvy was chosen the first draft pick of the Philadelphia76ersafter a career at Temple from 1949 to 1953 when he was known as the "Owl Without a Vowel." Prior to that he broke all Lehigh Valley League and Palmerton High School records scoring 1,421 points. His brother Bob Milkvy played at Palmerton High School from 1954 to 1957 and broke his brother's scoring record with 1,925 points. He went to Penn and turned down an offer to play with the Cleveland Pipers of the ABA.

1952. Special rule change: Fan This rule was followed by both college and high school and was the target of the intense criticism that games were too long and students did not get home early enough at night.  The rule: a fouled player received a second chance if he missed his first free throw.   The rule was added to:
1-do away with intentional fouling to gain possession of the ball
2-slow down the game and give athletes more time to rest   (Shamokin News-Dispatch)

1951, Sept.  Edmund Wicht, the PIAA Secretary Expires.  He directed the PIAA from 1929 until 1951.  He had been a coach and principal at Wilkes Barre Twp. H. S. in Luzerne County prior to the PIAA post.  His chief interest was the state wide basketball tournament run by the PIAA.  (Shamokin News-Dispatch).

1951, March 3. Bill Mlkvy playing for Temple scored 73 individual points in a 99-69 win over  Wilkes.

1950, Dec 30. The biggest comeback in college basketball history occurred when Duke trailed Tulane by 31 points, 58-27 with 19 minutes left, but from Swissvale H. S.(near Pittsburgh) and  later the shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Dick Groat led a comeback and Duke won 74-72.  In 1952, Groat was the National Player of the Year after averaging 26.0 points and 7.6 assists as a senior at Duke. His 831 points in his junior season remains the standard for single-season points by a Blue Devil.  He was chosen in the first round of the 1952 NBA draft by the Ft. Wayne Pistons. In 1960, he led the National Baseball League with a .325 average  when  the Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the World Series. Groat was named the National League's most valuable player that year.

April 25, 1950. Chuck Cooper of Duquesne University became the first African American ever selected in the NBA draft. Cooper was chosen by the Boston Celtics in the second round. He led the Dukes to a 78-19 record and two NIT appearances in his four-year career ... captained a 1949-50 squad that finished with a 23-6 record and No. 6 national ranking ... the '50 Dukes were the first Duquesne team to be ranked for an entire season by the Associated Press.  He played for Westinghouse H.S. in Pittsburgh.  (Credit: Hall of Fame Website)

1949, March 26.  The National Association of College Basketball Coaches vote "no" to the use of yellow nets for all games. (Wilkes Barre Times Leader)

1949. One of Pennsylvania's most controversial playoff games took place on April 6th of 1949.  It was the Class B State Championship Game.  Ashley High School of District 2 came into the game undefeated at 28-0 and the "clear favorite" according to the Wilkes Barre Times Leader. All the stores in downtown Kane closed at 2:00 p.m. on the day of the game for their fans to leave town and support their team at the game. The Kane "Wolves" defeated the Ashley High School "Rockets" 45-44 in the State Championship Game, but were not crowned the State Class B Champions until May 27th since the game was  protested.  The reason:  time on the wall clock in the gym said the game was over and Ashley had won 44-43.   Officials Yans Wallace and John Simon heard the buzzer and saw no time left on the wall clock.  They checked with the official timer, Milton Katz (a Farrell High School teacher-the game was played at Farrell H.S.).  He said that there were still three seconds left on his timer's watch.  The officials had to clear the floor of excited spectators and then  sent Jimmy Thompson of Kane H.S to the foul line since he had been fouled as the buzzer sounded.  Thompson's foul shot rolled around the rim and dropped off as Don Frase, a substitute who had just entered the game  tipped it in to push Kane ahead 45-44 as time elapsed on the timer's watch.  Ashley coach Si Jablonski and Ashley principal George Breznay filed a protest with Edmund Wicht, the PIAA Executive Secretary, but  nothing was done for seven weeks until the PIAA Board of Control met.   
This photo of the scoreboard was taken after the game, but did not appear on the front page of the Kane Republican newspaper until Saturday May 28, 1949, the day after the PIAA Board of Control had finally handed down their ruling that Kane and not Ashley had won a basketball game played fifty-four days earlier on April 6, 1949. The same Saturday edition, named C. Stuart Edwards, the Kane High School basketball coach as "Kane's Man of the Year."  The article said, "Edwards and his team have brought more recognition to Kane this year than any one  factor in the life of the community."
Ashley High School principal, George Breznay disagreed with the decision, he said that "the PIAA  Board deliberately upheld an admitted violation of the rules by the timekeeper."  At the special hearing, Ashley Principal Brezany gave each member of the Board of Control a stop watch and then played a radio tape of the end of the game. He contended that the evidence showed that it took 21 seconds to play the last 15 seconds of the game.  The timekeeper, Milton Katz testified that "he had by accident allowed the wall clock to get ahead of the official watch in his hand."  And that "he had at least once, and maybe oftener stopped the wall clock to synchronize it with the official watch."  He said he had done it many times in the two years he had been timing basketball games.  Referee Yans Wallace testified that "he knew nothing about the clock synchronization moves and that the usual practice for timekeepers was to stop the game and consult officials when timing devices disagreed." The Board voted 15-1 to deny to protest and the Championship Trophy was presented to Kane.  The Kane Republican, stated that  "the score on the scoreboard stands for all time" -and more than fifty years later, the score still stands!
(Credit: Kane Republican and Wilkes Barre Times Leader).

August 3, 1949, The formation of the NBA in  New York City, NY
The story behind the event: The National Basketball League (NBL) formed in 1937, and the Basketball Association of America (BAA) formed in 1946. But the two officially combined on August 3, 1949 to form the NBA, the most important and largest group in the history of basketball. By the way, the only two teams from the initial league that have remained in the same city and under the same name are the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.

1949. In 1949, Mary Jones was the girl's basketball coach at Susquehanna Twp. H. S.  She was a 1936 graduate of East Stroudsburg State Teacher's College.  Her team rules for the "night before the game" at that time included:  (1) girls had to be in bed by 10:00; (2) girl's were no to have any chocolate or soft drinks.  Dottie Burger got caught once and had to sit on the bench the next game.
(Credit: Nancy Jones Brandt, The Smoke Signal, Sept 2004)

1948. Eddie Abramoski, the Athletic Director at Erie Technical High School, long a leader to improve the game of basketball used the school's Junior Varsity to try out his latest court experiment-penalizing the offending team one point for every foul committed.  Under his scheme, besides benefiting from the point deducted for each foul, the offended team would be given possession of the ball out of bounds after every foul.  Abramoski tabled the idea "because the public didn't like the deduction of points."  At some point in the expiermental games the score might be a "minus six to a plus twelve."  Thank goodness his idea was never used!  (Credit: York Gazette and Daily)

1948. The Pennsylvania All State Team:  Pete Carrill (Bethlehem), Sam Cavalier (Old Forge), Bill Milkvy (Palmerton), Doc Cuono (Norristown), John Portasik (Ford City).  Norristown defeated  Ford City 30-23 at the Palestra  in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year.  Irwin (District 7) defeated Bridgeport (District 1) 49-34 at J. P. McCaskey High School in Lancaster for the Class B State Championship that year. (Pa Basketball Record Book) 

1948. In 1949, the Minneapolis Lakers (later the Los Angeles Lakers) won the NBA Championship. The year before, they were challenged by the Harlem Globetrotters, and on Feb 20, 1948, the two teams played before 17,823 fans at Chicago Stadium. With their 103-game winning streak in jeopardy, the Globetrotters won 61-59 and went on to set their record for consecutive wins at 8,829. With seconds remaining and the score tied, the Trotters' Ermer Robinson,  unleased a long set shot as the final buzzer sounded. The ball swished through the basket, but did he get the shot off in time? One timer said yes, the other said no, but the final ruling went against the Lakers, and the Globetrotters had pulled out an incredible 61-59 victory. The Minneapolis Lakers went on to win the NBA title in five of the next six seasons with their coach John Kundla of Pennsylvania.
(Credits: World Almanac and American Weekend, 2/13/99, and the Stew Thornley story).

1947. On November 12, 1947, the Professional Basketball League of America—which was in its first year of operation folded.

1947. The Pennsylvania All State Team:  Ray Prosperi (Altoona), Elmo Jackson (Allentown), Bill Wanish (Allentown), George Marinkovich (Bethlehem), Andy Budinak (Duquesne).  Allentown defeated  Duquesne 46-42 at the Palestra  in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year. Irwin (District 7) defeated Weatherly (District 11) 45-38 at the Pavilion in Pittsburgh for the Class B State Championship that year. (Pa Basketball Record Book) 

1947.  The first Philadelphia Markward Award went to John Gillespie of St. Joseph's Prep.  The Markward Memorial Basketball Club, named after the legendary former Roman Catholic High coach, William "Billy" Markward, meets most Wednesdays from early December to mid-March to honor players in the Public League, Catholic League and Inter-Ac League.  The other Markward winners can be found HERE

1946. The National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed, organizing the top professional teams and leading to greater popularity of the professional game. An upstart organization, the American Basketball Association, emerged in 1967 and briefly threatened the NBA's dominance until the rival leagues merged in 1976.  (Credit:

1946. The Pennsylvania All State Team: Elmo Jackson (Allentown), Richard Harris (Warren), Stuart Adams (Radnor), Donald Asmonga (Homestead), Frank Pfeiffer (Allentown).  Allentown defeated  Homestead 45-27 at the Convention Hall  in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year. Fell Township defeated Stoneycreek 37-34 at the Armory in Kingston for the Class B State Championship that year.  This was only the second year that two classes held championships. (Pa Basketball Record Book) 

1946. 12/23/46 - Duquesne takes a stand--Duquesne head coach Charles "Chick" Davies, honoring the stand of DU administration, refused to yield to Tennessee coach John Maurer's refusal to send his team on the floor in protest of DU's black center Chuck Cooper taking part in the game. Judge Sammy Weiss, acting chairman of the Duquesne athletic committee, addressed the 1,500 disappointed fans on hand: "In accordance with the athletic policy of Duquesne University, we do not bar anyone because of race, creed or color. Therefore we cannot jeopardize our principles by agreeing to Tennessee's demand." Cooper told his teammates he would not be offended if they played without him. The players immediately took the stand that they did not wish to play unless he was in the lineup. Said Duquesne's legendary trainer Brue Jackson - who was also black: "I appreciate the pressure on all of you. I wish to say, speaking both for myself and Cooper, that Duquesne is to be congratulated on its stand."

 1944-1947. From 1944 to 1947, Allentown High School recorded 61 consecutive victories. This plaque is displayed today in the lobby of the J. Milo Seward Gymnasium in Allentown.

1945. The Pennsylvania All State Team: Joe Griggs (Mahanoy City), Paul Davison (Sharpsville), Arnold Galiffa (Donora), William Wanish (Allentown), Joseph Boguski (Plymouth).  Allentown defeated  Donora 40-38 at the Convention Hall  in Philadelphia for the Class A State Championship that year. McAdoo defeated Conneautville 52-28 at Rochne Hall in Allentown for the Class B State Championship that year. This was the first year that two state champions were declared. (Pa Basketball Record Book) 

December 18, 1945.  East Mauch Chunk pulls away from Lehighton to post a 46-25 victory. The Maroons receive a 12-point effort from "Fritz" Watto while Sherwood Lory finishes close behind with 11. The winners, coached by Mike McCullion, jump out to a 12-point halftime advantage before coasting the rest of the way. Also contributing in the win are Billy Wilhelm and Hartman, who both finish with seven points. (Credit: Rod Heckman, Lehighton Times News)

1944. The Pennsylvania All State Team: Tedesky (Duquesne), Flickinger (Sharon), Meinhold (Hazleton), Jeffries (Duquesne), DeGatis (Hazleton).  Duquesne defeated  Hazleton 43-35 at Convention Hall in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year. (Pa Basketball Record Book)

1944.  Conneautville High School basketball cheer  "Hitler's Mustache, Tojo's Steam,  Can't compete with Conneautville's team!"
(taken from booklet, "The Champs"  by Mrs. Zamaria,  Art Class Supervisor) -Background information, World War II ended in 1945.

1943. The Pennsylvania All State Team: Don Evans (Lower Merion), Tony Moran (Hazleton), Greer Heindel (Lower Merion), Steve Skendrovich (Farrell), Don Walker (Bradford) .  Lower Merion defeated  Farrell  29-28 at the Palestra in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year. (Pa Basketball Record Book)

1942. The Pennsylvania All State Team: Bob Holste (Arnold), Pete Molnar (Sharon), Bells Colone (Berwick), Harry Middleton (Lower Merion), Ed Moffatt (Bradford).  Lower Merion defeated  Sharon 32-27 at the Palestra in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year. (Pa Basketball Record Book)

1941. The Pennsylvania All State Team:  Chink Crossin (Luzerne), Dutch Silverstein (Lower Merion), Jack Geopfert (Mahanoy City), Mike Bytzura (Duquesne), Bob Rapper (Sharon).  Lower Merion defeated Duquesne 32-24 at the Palestra in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year. (Pa Basketball Record Book)

1940-41. Special rule change: Fan shaped backboards made legal.

February 28, 1940, the first televised  basketball game
Place: Madison Square Garden
The story behind the event: Fordham University played the University of Pittsburgh in the first game of a double header as Pitt won 50-37. W2XBS showed the game in New York City.  By the way, only one camera was used in the first televised game in the history of basketball.

1940. The Pennsylvania All State Team: Mike Yewcic (Conemaugh Twp.), Bob McLinney (Canonsburg), George Cheverko (Hazleton), Ira Rich (Lower Merion), Dick Snyder (Lebanon).  Lebanon defeated Conemaugh 37-32 at the Palestra in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year.  (Pa Basketball Record Book)

In the 1940s, Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) won two national championships with Bob Kurland at center. Kurland, who was over seven feet tall, would stand under the basket and swat the opponent's shot away. It took a tremendous effort on the part of Oklahoma University coach Bruce Drake to get the "goal tending" rule put into effect. Drake was able to get a referee to sit in a chair on top of the goal and observe the goal tending infractions.  (Hoop Dreams, Bruce Amspacher)

Thursday, December 9, 1937
Brookville High School's basketball team is off to a 3-0 start with non-league wins over Sandy Township (36-17), Ridgway (36-15) and Brockway (26-20), the latter coming Tuesday night in Brookville. Dick McManigle led BHS with eight points. Charles Cummings' 12 points paced Brookville in the win over Sandy while Battaglia netted 12 points in the win over Ridgway.  (Brookville American)

1935-36.  Coal Township set a school record defeating Lewisburg 101-24.  (Coal Twp. is part of the Shamokin Area School District today).

1936.  Basketball was first included in the Olympic Games in 1936, although a demonstration tournament was held back in 1904.  A tournament was held in 1936 to choose the U. S. team.  In the collegiate division, Temple University defeated Rider 35-34; they defeated Franklin and Marshall 35-30; they defeated Pittsburgh 41-37; they defeated Niagara 37-36, and then Temple lost  56-48 to the McPherson AAU team.  The McPherson team from McPherson, Kansas  known as the  Globe Refiners defeated Universal Pictures of Hollywood, California 47-35 for the national AAU Championship. The Olympic trials were a replay of the national AAU tournament as the Globe Oilers (McPherson, Kan.) and Universal Pictures (Hollywood, Calif.) played in the Trials championship game. This time, Universal edged the AAU champion Oilers 44-43.  Then they choose the following  group of players to represent the United States in the Olympics held in Munich:
                    Sam Balter         Hollywood Universal Pictures
                   Joe Fortenberry    Globe Oilers  6'8
                   John Gibbons       Globe Oilers
                   Francis Johnson    Globe Oilers
                   Carl Knowles       Hollywood Universal Pictures
                   Frank Lubin        Hollywood Universal Pictures 6'7
                   Art Mollner        Hollywood Universal Pictures
                   Don Piper          Hollywood Universal Pictures
                   Jack Regland       Globe Oilers
                   Willard Schmidt    Globe Oilers
                   Carl Shy           Hollywood Universal Pictures
                   Dwayne Swanson     Hollywood Universal Pictures
                   William Wheatley   Globe Oilers
Ralph Bishop from the University of Washington was the only collegian named to the team.
Olympic note: A rule banning players over 6'2" was rescinded by the Olympic Committee only after the U.S. complained.  Only seven players could suit up at one time for a game.  Spain was the USA's first opponent, but due to the Spanish civil war the team never showed up. Thus the U.S. began what would climb to be a 62-game Olympic winning streak with a 2-0 forfeit.
(Credit: The Association for Professional Basketball Research and

1939. The Pennsylvania All State Team: George Paine (Lower Merion), Dave Wiley (Erie Academy), George Cheverko (Hazleton), Joe Penzelik (Homestead), Bill Goggin (Homestead).  Homestead defeated Lower Merion 29-24 at the Palestra in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year.  (Pa Basketball Record Book)

1939. The St. Marys "Flying Dutchmen" coached by Rollie Meyers won the District t 9 Championship. After defeating Warren, Mt. Jewett,and James City, they won the title by defeating Brookville 32-26 at DuBois on March 11, 1939. The members of the team were captain, Jim Phelan, Joe Bankovic, Joe McMackin, Burr Valentine, Jim Beaver, and Bill "Porky" Newell. Next, they traveled to Pittsburgh to defeat Pittsburgh Allerdice 43-32 behind 24 points by Jim Phalen. Their season ended when Naz Servidio and Dave Wiley each tallied 13 points to lead Erie Academy to a 43-26 victory. Homestead won the state championship in 1939 defeating Lower Marion 29-24.How many state championship classes were there in 1939? When did Pennsylvania go to more than one class? (Credit: Herb Martin, St. Marys Daily Press,1956).

1938 The First NIT Post Season Tournament. The Temple University Owls of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania coached by Jim Usilton win the first ever NIT Tournament held in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1938. The Pennsylvania All State Team: Bill Bechtloff (Hazleton), Fred Anske (Altoona), Henry Thomas (Farrell), Elmer Stank (Coal Twp.), Paul Shaner (Pottstown).  Hazleton defeated Altoona 29-27 at the Palestra in Philadelphia for the State Championship that year.  (Pa Basketball Record Book)

1937. Special rule change: The center jump was eliminated after each basket. Previously, teams lined up after each basket for a jump ball.

April 29, 1937. In opposition to the rule voted in by the Basketball Rules Committee to limit the dribble to a single bounce, a group of coaches headed by Dr. Phog Allen of Kansas, called for the first meeting of all concerned, a caucus that led to the formation of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). (Credit: Hall of Fame website)

1934. The First Brookville YMCA Tournament (Northwestern Independent).It started in 1934, and reached its high water mark in 1941 when 48 teams were entered. Two time winners included the DuBois Litts, Ford City, and the Butler Cubs. As with other adult independent tournaments it faded into the basketball sunset in the 1960 's.

1934. A tune that was sung at the Altoona High School basketball games during the 1934 Basketball Season - (Sing to the tune of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home")
"Basketball season once more is here, hurrah! hurrah!
Let's give the boys a lofty cheer, hurrah! hurrah!
For didn't they beat the Johnstown Hi,
The winner of the County-Tri?
So hail, all hail! to the A. H. basketeers!"
(Credit: 1934 The Horseshoe, the Altoona High School yearbook, click HERE to see that edition).

1929-30.  Foster Gearhart,  was the captain of both the undefeated 1929-30 Palmerton High School  basketball team , and also the captain of the 1934 Lehigh University team.  (In their playoff game March 13, 1930 @ Easton, Palmerton lost to Lower Merion 45-19.   Lower Merion later lost in the state championship game that year to Sharon 18-14)
(Credit: Jock Gearhart, Arthur George, Carbon County Sports Hall of Fame)

1929-30. Special rule change: Two referees used for the first time in a game. But up into the 1950 's Ralph Castrafaro (of Brockway) still handled Pennsylvania Independent games by himself.

1931. A basketball tournament was organized at the Wilkes Barre YMCA.  The next year, 1932 it was named after William A. Rogers who had served as the physical director of the Wilkes Barre Y for twenty-five years from 1906 to 1931. The event was the brainchild of State Senator William Davis who established a committee of community leaders to initiate a tournament.  The first tournament attracted eight teams and was won by Luzerne Ex-High.  By 1946, 40 teams entered.  They decided to award a trophy to any team who would win the title three years in a row, the Hazzard Wire Rope team did just that in 1941, 1942, and 1943.  The original Roger's trophy was retire in 1954 and remained on display in the YMCA until 1972 when the flood washed all memories of the event away.  The tournament was revived and in 1968 George Brandt was named tournament chairman.
(Credit: Jerry Kisbaugh, Citizens Voice, March 12, 1979) (Clippings furnished by Larry Ksanznak)

1928-1940. David "Cy" Kasselman led the Philadelphia Sphas to 11 professional league titles.

1927-28. Pitt's basketball team thrived in the early days of the sport. Behind coach Doc Carlson, who played football for Pop Warner at Pitt,and star player Charley Hyatt, the Panthers won the mythical national title in 1927-28, winning all 20 games. They earned the award again in 1929-30 after a 23-2 season. (Credit: Tribune Review, 1/1/00).

1926 Steelton High School won both Basketball & Football State titles in same year.
(Credit: Eddie Albert, Steelton)

1925 the American Basketball Association formed & added 3 major rules:
- Mandatory backboards (backbords were not mandatory @ any level)
-3 second violation in the lane
- and a 5 fouls and you're out rule
(Credit: Eddie Albert, Steelton)

1923-24. Special rule change: When fouled each player must attempt their own free throw, formerly one player was designated to shoot all free throws. Note the box score of the 1921 State Championship Game in Pennsylvania.

1922-23. Coach Casey Steele and his Juniata High School team entered the Mountain High School Basketball League for the first time, but were unable to win any league games! They won non-league games from Cresson and Antis Township High Schools. Clair Oswalt was captain of the team, and Earl "Tubby" Troutwein was the manager. (Credit: THE LOG, 1924: Juniata High School Yearbook , click HERE to see that yearbook).

Sketch by Dick Dornish

1923. The first YMCA National Basketball Championship is held at Youngstown Ohio YMCA

1920. The First College All-American Basketball Team. Ten players from across the United States were chosen as the best in college basketball circa 1920. Four of those players chosen came from colleges in Pennsylvania and three were from the University of Pennsylvania; Di Bernardi (Westminister), Hubert Peck (Penn), Dan McNichol (Penn), George Sweeney (Penn). Penn must have been pretty good that season!

 1920's. There were hundreds of professional basketball teams in towns and cities all over the United States. There was little organization to the professional game, as players jumped from team to team, and teams played in armories and smoky dance halls. Leagues came and went, and barnstorming squads such as the New York Rens and the Original Celtics played up to two hundred games a year on their national tours. The New York Renaissance, also known as the Rens, were an all-black professional basketball team founded in 1922, a few years before the Harlem Globetrotters. The Original Celtics, no relation to the equally famous Boston Celtics, were an outstanding barnstorming professional basketball team in the 1920s. (Credit:

1909-10. Special rule change: Glass backboards legalized.

1908. Special rule change: Dribblers could now attempt baskets. Suggestion to coaches: during a practice session impose the rule that no dribbler may attempt a basket. It is a good gimick to force your players to think, pass, and promote team play.

1900.    Although accounts of women playing basketball on the campus of Mansfield State Normal School date back to 1896, it was not until the winter of 1900 that the first team was organized.   Under the direction of Edith Lownsberry -- the women's gymnastics instructor was the first head coach.  Players included Mary Clohessey, Erie Potter, Margaret Nye, Julie Fitzpatrick and Maud Garbett.  They became the first women's athletic team in "Mountaineers" school history!

1896. Amos Alonzo Stagg coached the University of Chicago against the University of Iowa in the first college game played with five players on a side on January 16, 1896.  Stagg coached on the gridiron at the University of Chicago in 1899. In 1892, he brought basketball from Springfield to Chicago. While coach and director of athletics at the University of Chicago, he popularized the practice of five-man basketball. In 1917, Stagg organized the University of Chicago National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament.  (Credit:

1892. Lew Allen of Hartford, Connecticut conceived the idea of a woven wire hoop to replace peach baskets.

1891. The first basketball game was played in Springfield, Massachusetts. William R. Chase scored the only goal in a 1-0 game.