"I spent many, many hours on this court. The lights would go out at 11 at night and we'd try to find a way to find light and keep playing," Mullin told the crowd.
Mullin, who now lives in Bucks County, graduated from Gateway in 1980. He also starred in tennis in high school, compiling a 98-2 record and becoming South Jersey's No.1 singles player. He carried a 4.0 grade-point average at Gateway.
"He's someone all our young athletes can look up to," said Mike Stranahan, the Wenonah Athletic Association president. Dozens of uniformed baseball and softball players, as part of their opening-day parade and festivities, sat near the basketball court to watch the dedication to Mullin.
Before playing for the Celtics and then in Europe, Mullin helped lead Princeton to three Ivy League titles. In the 1984 NCAA tournament, he averaged 28 points per game, which was the highest average of any player in that year's tourney - one that included Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Stranahan flipped Mullin a basketball at the end of yesterday's festivities and asked him to make a basket to christen the remodeled court. Mullin hit a couple of layups.
"Dunk! Dunk! Dunk!" chanted the young players, trying to urge the 6-foot-6 Mullin to throw down a slam.
Mullin, still trim after all these years, smiled and shook his head from side to side.
"I don't want to show off," he said.
Said Stranahan: "What Kevin means is, like the rest of us, he knows what it feels like to get old."
Sam Carchidi's e-mail address is email@example.com.