March 22, 2015 |
PITTSBURGH - Meet Notre Dame sophomore guard Steve Vasturia off the basketball court and you see a tall, pleasant-looking young man who speaks in a humble and polite manner. But watch the former St. Joseph's Prep star on the court and you see a tough and determined contributor who can score, defend, and do the little things that have led to the success this season of the Fighting Irish, a third seed in the NCAA Midwest Regional. Notre Dame plays No. 6 Butler on Saturday night at Consol Energy Center.
February 1, 2014 |
Tom Gola helped Lionel Simmons navigate the purchase of his first home. And his first car. And secure his first sports agent. Gola persuaded La Salle University that Speedy Morris was the right man for the job, even if Morris lacked the necessary qualifications to be men's basketball coach. And Gola, Fran Dunphy said, "did not see black or white. He just saw people. " Gola, who died Sunday at age 81, was one of the city's all-time basketball greats, but at Thursday's funeral he was remembered for being much more.
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.
December 9, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Speedy Morris realizes that people hand out lifetime achievement awards only to retired basketball coaches who are getting up there in age. He pleads guilty on one count. "Yes, I'm getting old, I'm 71," Morris said Saturday after being recognized with a Lifetime Coaching Excellence Award at the ECAC Holiday Festival tournament at Madison Square Garden. But retirement? Forget about it. Morris is entering his 46th year as a head coach and his 13th season at St. Joseph's Prep, and he feels too good to stop.
November 17, 2013
ST. JOSEPH'S PREP basketball coach Speedy Morris has been chosen to receive the ECAC Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival Lifetime Coaching Excellence Award. Morris, who has won more than 900 games at the collegiate and high school levels, will be honored on Saturday, Dec. 7, at a holiday tournament doubleheader at New York's Madison Square Garden. La Salle, where Morris coached from 1986-2001, will take on Stony Brook at 11 a.m. in the opener. St. John's will play Fordham shortly afterward.
July 13, 2013 |
Four months before this week's Reebok Classic Breakout at Philadelphia University, Chris Clover couldn't find a way to stop the bleeding. It was the Class AAAA state basketball semifinal against Chester High, and St. Joseph's Prep lost Clover for the first half after he took an elbow to his nose. He quickly stuffed his right nostril with cotton and started the second half. Clover scored 10 points in the 62-53 loss. Not many coaches or scouts knew about Clover in March, when he was a sophomore playing behind two Division I prospects, Steve Vasturia and Miles Overton.
March 28, 2013 |
Like musty heirlooms in an attic, La Salle's basketball glory had been stowed away and largely forgotten during two decades of mediocrity. But now that the 2013 Explorers have leaped back into the national spotlight with their unanticipated NCAA tournament success, La Salle's remarkable hoops history is being dusted off and proudly displayed once again. "La Salle has a really proud tradition in basketball," said Speedy Morris, who coached the Explorers from 1986 to 2001, including six straight postseason appearances from 1986 to 1992.
March 22, 2013 |
SPEEDY MORRIS picked up the phone on Sunday after learning La Salle had made the NCAA Tournament and left a message for Explorers head coach John Giannini. "I called John to wish him well," Morris said Thursday evening. "I told him he didn't have to call me back because I knew he'd be a little busy. " Morris can speak from experience. He was La Salle's coach the last time the Explorers made NCAA Tournament. That was in March of 1992, when La Salle was a No. 13 seed. Morris' Explorers, led by Randy Woods, lost to Seton Hall, 78-76, in the first round.
February 25, 2013 |
St. Joseph's Prep coach Speedy Morris issued a statement regarding comments he made last week about the Catholic League power-points system and the possibility that it could cost his team a spot in the PIAA District 12 Class AAAA final. Morris is upset that Roman Catholic, despite losing to the Prep in last Wednesday's playoff semifinal, may represent the Catholic League on Friday against Martin Luther King. In the regular season, the Prep lost at Roman's cramped gymnasium, 62-58.
February 16, 2013 |
HOUSTON - Philadelphia native and five-time WNBA all-star Dawn Staley and former 76er Maurice Cheeks are among 12 finalists for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame. St. Joseph's Prep coach Speedy Morris was nominated but is not a finalist. Former Houston Cougars coach Guy Lewis has been chosen as a finalist for the first time since 2003. Current Louisville coach Rick Pitino and former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian also are finalists for the 2013 class. The others includes former NBA stars Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Spencer Haywood, and Bernard King; longtime North Carolina women's coach Sylvia Hatchell; and Boston Celtics great Tom Heinsohn, already inducted as a player, is a finalist in the coaching category.