James S. McHugh, manager

James S. McHugh
James S. McHugh
Posted: August 12, 2014

James S. McHugh had a fadeaway jump shot in high school, college, and afterward that made him look like Boston Celtics star Bob Cousy, his son Ronald said.

"He would leave the ground, and, three feet in the air, do a jump shot that was unbelievable," his son said.

But it wasn't only on the court that Mr. McHugh resembled the star of the 1950s and 1960s.

A couple of times, strangers approached his father to ask for his autograph, thinking he was Cousy, his son said.

On Wednesday, Aug. 6, Mr. McHugh, 80, formerly of Toms River, a former engineering-materials manager at RCA and GE in Camden, died of cancer at AristaCare at Whiting in Ocean County.

He had lived in Venice, Fla., for the last 25 years.

Mr. McHugh graduated from Camden Catholic High School and was a four-year starter on its basketball team as a shooting guard.

Because he played well for the Italian American Social Club in Camden - "they beat everybody," his son said - the Zuni Athletic Association in Camden awarded him a scholarship to what is now Rutgers-Camden, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration.

At Rutgers, his son said, "every newspaper story had him as the high scorer in almost every game."

When Mr. McHugh went to work for RCA in Camden, he played for its basketball team in an industrial league, his son said, that "included many other teams on both sides of the river."

His son remembered going with his father to RCA games played mostly in out-of-the-way Philadelphia gyms, but "eating a lot of pizza because we always won."

On the golf course, his son said, Mr. McHugh "could hit a 300-yard drive," sporting a three-stroke handicap.

Mr. McHugh had no New England roots, his son said, but not only did his playing resemble that of the Boston Celtics star, but he was a Boston Red Sox fan, too.

Wearing a BoSox baseball camp, "he would be on the boardwalk, and when he saw a Yankees hat, he would shout, 'Go Red Sox,' and the two would smile at each other."

In addition to his son, Mr. McHugh is survived by his wife Nancy; sons James S. Jr. and Jeffrey; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation was set for 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the Gardner Funeral Home, 126 S. Black Horse Pike, Runnemede, before an 11 a.m. funeral there. Interment will be private.

Donations may be sent to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia at www.chop.edu.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.gardnerfuneralhome.com.

wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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