December 5, 2014 |
Philadelphia Tribune sportswriter Donald Hunt had an idea, wrote a column about it, and could have left it at that. His idea: Wilt Chamberlain belongs on a stamp. A big stamp, befitting the most dominant basketball player in the history of the game, an Overbrook High graduate who took the NBA record book to all sorts of heights not approached since. Hunt wrote his "From the Locker Room" column in the Tribune on Feb. 15, 2008. He pointed out that other sports greats such as Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens had their images on stamps.
September 26, 2014 |
SOME THINGS, as Donald Hunt discovered, take time. Thanks to Hunt's aggressive, 6-year grassroots campaign, the U.S. Postal Service finally will honor the late, great Wilt Chamberlain with a stamp in December. Hunt, a longtime writer with the Philadelphia Tribune, penned a column in 2008 beseeching the Postal Service to issue a Wilt stamp. He then formed a committee that included a letter-writing campaign in which former NBA commissioner David Stern, and former player/coach greats Al Attles, Jerry West and Pat Riley took part.
April 20, 2014 |
AS YOU KNOW, if you follow this column, I was aghast when the Sixers pounded those woeful Detroit Pistons, averting the distinction of being the sole possessor of the longest losing streak in NBA history. I thought they would surely lose four or five more games in a row and, at 30 consecutive losses, they would have established a record that would never be broken. What an honor for us! One city having the longest losing streak in both professional basketball and professional baseball (the 1961 Fightins lost 23 straight, still a modern-day record)
January 29, 2014 |
By the time Jack Scheuer's Frankford High basketball team arrived at La Salle High for a preseason game, everyone already knew who that big, tall, quick guy was on the Explorers. He was Tom Gola. And he could dribble like a point guard and rebound like a forward. It was 1950 and Gola, Scheuer said, had been already been famous for a few years. Gola led Incarnation of Our Lord parish to a national schoolboy title when he was in the eighth grade. "He had 27 points and I had none," said Scheuer.
January 28, 2014 |
TOM GOLA was, without any argument, the most accomplished college basketball player in city history. La Salle won the NIT when he was a freshman in 1952, the NCAA when he was a junior in 1954 and finished runner-up to Bill Russell's great San Francisco team when he was a senior. His death yesterday at 81 serves as a reminder of what he was on the court. It also conjures a nostalgic time from the 1950s when a sporting hero from 3rd and Lindley and Incarnation Grade School never lost sight of his roots and treated every kid who idolized him like he was one of his own. Gola was not years ahead of his time as a player.
January 28, 2014 |
IT MIGHT BE difficult for new generations of kids growing up in Philadelphia to imagine what Tom Gola meant to the city. "To any kid who grew up in Incarnation Parish or in Olney in general, there was no one who was larger than life yet more down to earth than Tom Gola," said Daily News managing editor Pat McLoone. "Kids couldn't get enough Tom Gola stories. We all looked up to him and were proud to be from the same neighborhood. He was a Philadelphia success story and a true hero to many.
November 8, 2013 |
Most of the landmarks in Ernie Beck's claustrophobic basketball biography could have been visited on a $10 cab ride. The Mitchell School playground in his old Southwest Philly neighborhood. The nearby gym at Most Blessed Sacrament, 55th and Chester. The Arena. And Convention Hall, which stood on the 34th Street site where Beck now takes his wife for cancer treatments. That peculiar Philadelphia hoops geography, where many in the generation that gave this city its basketball reputation were nurtured and showcased, has, like a lot of the men themselves, disappeared.
November 7, 2013 |
Jeffrey Millman, 67, of Pennsauken, longtime equipment manager for the Philadelphia 76ers who began with the team as a ball boy when he was 10, died of lung cancer Tuesday, Nov. 5, at a friend's home in Mantua. Ten years before he became the equipment manager in 1972, the 15-year-old Mr. Millman was with the old Philadelphia Warriors when Wilt Chamberlain had his 100-point game in Hershey on March 2, 1962, nephew Jerrold Colton said in a phone interview. "He was very tight with Wilt," Colton said.
March 20, 2013 |
TOM GOLA Born: Jan. 13, 1933. Age 80 Birthplace: Philadelphia High school: La Salle College: La Salle (1951-55). Led Explorers to 1954 NCAA national championship and runner-up finish in 1955. National player of the year in 1954 and UPI player of year in 1955. Most Outstanding Player in 1954 Final Four. Three-time All-America. NIT co-MVP in 1952, as Explorers took NIT title College stats: Gola was a 6-6 forward. He averaged 20.9 points and 19.0 rebounds. Had 2,201 career rebounds, still an NCAA record PRO BASKETBALL CAREER: * Drafted by Philadelphia Warriors in 1955 as a territorial pick * Warriors: 1955-62; Knicks: 1962-66 * NBA champion in 1956 with Warriors * 5-time NBA All-Star * Stats: Points 7,871 (11.3 ppg)
June 27, 2012 |
TED LUCKENBILL, who played for the Philadelphia Warriors in Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game, has died of cancer at the age of 72. The Callaway-Allee funeral home in Crockett, Texas, where Luckenbill lived for 20 years, said he died Sunday in Dallas. Luckenbill starred for the University of Houston from 1958-61. He averaged 16.6 points and 9.7 rebounds while helping Houston to its first two winning seasons under Guy Lewis. Drafted 15th overall by the Warriors in 1961, he played in only 87 NBA games before he was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 23. His professional claim to fame came on March 2, 1962, when he grabbed two offensive rebounds in the final 2 minutes to help Chamberlain hit 100 points in the Warriors' 169-147 victory over New York.