Tyrone Garland was the first pick in the Hank Gathers College League draft. The college league is a part of the Sonny Hill Community Involvement League. The league provides an opportunity for college players to compete throughout the summer months.
Garland will be playing for La Salle this season. He recently transferred from Virginia Tech to La Salle. The 6-foot-1 shooting guard was an All-Public League standout at Bartram High School.
After Garland, the following players were drafted in this order: Scootie Randall (Temple), Jerrell Wright (La Salle), Dalton Pepper (Temple), Damion Lee (Drexel), Khalif Wyatt (Temple), Carl Jones (Saint Joseph’s), C.J. Aiken (Saint Joseph’s) and Steve Zack (La Salle). These selections were the top picks overall. Individual teams also drafted players.
Drafted Players: Tyrone Garland (La Salle), Tavon Allen (Drexel), Deshon Minnis (Texas Tech), Deshawn Curtis (Cheyney), Henry Messinger (University of the Sciences), Will Desantis (Immaculata), Devante Chance (Indiana U of Pa.) and Halil Kanacevic (Saint Joseph’s)
Protected Players: Andre Rivers (Lock Haven), Ben Mingledough (West Chester), Brandon Smith (Immaculata), Dartaye Ruffin (Drexel) and Harley Williamson (West Chester)
Drafted Players: Scootie Randall (Temple), Markus Kennedy (Villanova), Jamir Hanner (Marshall), Amin Tanksley (Niagara), Joe Getz (Univ. of Maryland-Baltimore County), Rohan Brown (La Salle), Darryl Robinson (Cayuga Community College), Tyree Harris (Philadelphia University) and Patrick Lucas-Perry (Penn)
Protected Players: Cameron Gunter (Penn), Mustafaa Jones (Fairleigh Dickinson) and Will Cummings (Temple)
Drafted Players: Jerrell Wright (La Salle), Mouphtaou Yarou (Villanova), Jaylen Bond (Texas), Eddie Mitchell (Rider), Derek Johnson (Philadelphia University), Duane Johnson (East Stroudsburg), Terrance King (East Stroudsburg), Matt Tobin (East Stroudsburg), Keelan Carins (Penn) and Steve Rennard (Penn)
Protected Players: Cameron Ayers (Bucknell) and Jeff Holton (West Chester)
Drafted Players: Dalton Pepper (Temple), JayVaughn Pinkston (Villanova), Julian Lee (Manor College), Reggie Charles (Shippensburg), Barry Brockington (Mercer County College), Rakeem Brookins (Siena), Will Wise (Univ. of Maryland-Baltimore County), Tyree Smith (Pensacola State College) and Eric Flemming (Holy Family)
Protected Players: Brandon Brown (Millersville), Jerrod Johnson (Cheyney), Ramon Galloway (La Salle), Tyreek Duren (La Salle) and Daniel Stewart (Rider)
Drafted Players: Damion Lee (Drexel), Jimmy McDonnell (Temple), Kervyn Haynes (Manor College), Lamin Fulton (St. Peter’s), Seamus Radtke (Chestnut Hill College), Pat Vasturia (Ursinus), Christian McNeeley (Manor College), Ron Lee (Community College of Beaver County), Henry Brooks (Penn) and Simeon Esprit (Penn)
Protected Players: Brandon Fox (Wilmington), Derrick Thomas (Drexel), Isiah Mason (Wilmington), Mark Blount (Neumann) and Nick Christian (Philadelphia University)
Drafted Players: Khalif Wyatt (Temple), Casey Carroll (Drexel), Calvin Brown (Cheyney), Nurideen Lindsey (Rider), Nelson Torres (Immaculata), Derrick Carter (Rosemont), Kenny Johnson (Monroe Community College), Jesse Morgan (UMass), James Bell (Villanova) and DeShawn Herbert (Community College of Philadelphia)
Drafted Players: Carl Jones (Saint Joseph’s), Aquil Younger (Drexel), Junior Fortunat (Rider), John Johnson (Pittsburgh), Mark Wilmer (Mansfield), Camryn Crocker (Penn), Troy Hockaday (West Chester), Muhammad Amin (Lock Haven) and Tyhiem Perrin (Shippensburg)
Protected Players: Kwahmere Gredic (Mississippi Delta Junior College), Marin Kukoc (Penn), Scooter Gillette (Niagara) and Will Kernan (University of the Sciences)
Drafted Players: CJ Aiken (Saint Joseph’s), Goran Pantovic (Drexel), Austin Johnson (Rutgers), Stephon Baker (Lock Haven), Chris Williams (Calif. Univ. of Pa.), Tom Noonan (Princeton), Derrelle Sherman (Manor College) and Akil Anderson (Shippensburg)
Protected Players: Jereme Good (Hofstra), Pendarvis Williams (Norfolk State), Pieter Prinsloo (Marist) and Will Brown (East Stroudsburg)
Drafted Players: Steve Zack (La Salle), Ty Johnson (Villanova), Juan’ya Green (Niagara), Garrett Kerr (University of the Sciences), Alan Flannigan (Lafayette), Jim Connolly (Philadelphia University), Anthony Myles (Rider), Langston Galloway (Saint Joseph’s), Ronald Roberts (Saint Joseph’s) and Tyrone Mann-Barnes (University of the Sciences)
Protected Players: Daryl McCoy (Drexel), Maurice Sutton (Villanova), Pat Connaghan (University of the Sciences), Rahlir Jefferson (Temple) and TJ DiLeo (Temple)
Gene Banks is one of the most celebrated basketball players to ever play in this city. Banks, former West Philadelphia High All-American, had a tremendous high school, college and professional basketball career.
He will be recognized by The Philadelphia Association of Black Sports and Culture, Inc. at its sixth annual Legends banquet on Sunday, Sept. 30. The event will be held at the Oaks Ballroom, 511 Oak Lane in Glenolden (Delaware County). The program will begin at 2 p.m.
In addition to Banks, other legends will be honored including Wilt Chamberlain (posthumously), who starred at Overbrook High, Kansas, Harlem Globetrotters, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers; C. Vivian Stringer, women’s head basketball coach at Rutgers and Hall of Famer, who also coached at Cheyney State; Norman Oliver, director of the “Stormin Norman” Basketball League in Wilmington, Del.; Mark Sills, president/founder of Urban Youth Inc. in Wilmington; Larry Wilson, Gwynedd Mercy track coach and Dr. Shirley Turpin Parham (posthumously), educator and historian.
“I’m really honored to be in this select group,” Banks said. “I’m really happy and proud. It’s a great feeling. I remember when Vivian Stringer was coaching at Cheyney. She was a great coach there. She was a great advocate for women’s sports. It’s an honor and a great pleasure to be alongside her.
“Wilt was the epitome of a great all-around athlete, not just a basketball player. He took Philadelphia worldwide. I think him and Tom Gola (former La Salle, NBA star and Hall of Famer) were great players. Wilt put Philadelphia on the map all around the world. I mean from high school, college to professional basketball.”
Banks made his contributions to Philadelphia basketball as well. He played on some fabulous basketball teams at West Philadelphia High that captured Public League and city championships. He finished his high school career with an overall 79-2 record. The 1977 team completed his final scholastic season with a 30-0 mark. He has some great memories of those days with the Speedboys.
“I had some [good] times playing there,” Banks said. “I had some great teammates as well like Darryl Warwick, Clarence Tillman and Tyrell Biggs. Joe Goldenberg was an exceptional coach. There would be no Gene Banks without Joe Goldenberg. He prepared me for Duke and the ACC. He trained us like we were a college team. That really helped me when I went to Duke.”
Banks was the MVP of the 1977 McDonald’s All-American Game and the Dapper Dan Classic for High School All-Americans. He was one of the most highly recruited players in the nation. He decided to play his college basketball at Duke. He had a great career playing for the Blue Devils. In 1978, he led Duke to the NCAA Finals before losing to Kentucky. He played for two outstanding coaches, Bill Foster and Mike Krzyzewski, during his college career. He averaged 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds a game with the Blue Devils.
“They both contributed to my game a lot,” Banks said. “I played one year for Mike. We played man-to-man at Duke. He prepared me for the NBA. Mike and I have a very solid relationship. It’s strong. Bill is like a father to me. I was fortunate to play for two great coaches.”
In 1981, Banks was selected in the second round of the NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs. He played for the Spurs from 1981-85. He also played for the Chicago Bulls from 1985-87. He averaged 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds over his NBA career.
“I remember scoring 44 points one game against the (Los Angeles) Lakers,” he said. “That was a tremendous game for me. We played some good basketball against the Lakers. I think all of those playoff series we had with the Lakers went down to seven games.
“I had my first triple double with Chicago. I was one of the leaders. We had Michael (Jordan). He was a young guy with a lot of talent. I was a player representative with the Bulls. I had a great relationship with a lot of guys in the NBA.”
Banks played and coached in France, Israel, Italy and Argentina. He played in the CBA for LaCrosse where he played for ex-Washington Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. He also coached women’s basketball team at Bluefield State (Bluefield, WV) and spent two years as head coach and athletic director at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.
Banks is currently in his second season as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards. He’s looking forward to the upcoming NBA season, which will be here in less than a month.
“It’s the greatest experience to be able to coach on the highest level of basketball,” Banks said. “It’s been a wonderful experience for me. We had some great young players. We have a terrific player in John Wall. He’s a great talent. He’s super fast.”
Banks credits much of his success to his foundation in the Sonny Hill and the Baker League. He had a chance to play for some good people in both leagues.
“I always had a great support from the Sonny Hill and the Baker League,” he said. “I’m talking about Sonny, Tee Parham, James Flint, Bob Johnston and Hilderbrand Pelzer. These guys really molded me. I’ve been very blessed.”
Tickets for the event are $60.00. For more information, call (215) 696-9313.
For more than 30 years, the Sonny Hill Community Involvement Basketball League has been providing college basketball players with an opportunity to play ball in the summer. The league has players from Division I, II and III competing against each other.
The Sonny Hill College League was eventually renamed the Hank Gathers College League in memory of the late Hank Gathers, who starred in the league during the late ’80s. The league plays its games at Charles Audenreid High School, 32nd and Tasker streets. The college league has two games beginning Tuesday, July 17 at 5:30 p.m., featuring some of the best college basketball players in the Philadelphia area.
In taking a look back over the years, there have been a number of players who participated in one of the country’s best summer basketball leagues for college players. The list of some of the great players that have played in the league is very impressive.
Aaron McKie/ Temple
McKie grew up in the Sonny Hill League program. McKie played against his good friend and teammate Eddie Jones from Temple in the 1993 college league championship. McKie and Jones put on a show with both players scoring more than 30 points each. McKie’s team came out on top by four points in one of the league’s most exciting games.
McKie, former Simon Gratz and Temple star, was a key member of the 2001 76ers team that reached the NBA Finals. He is currently an assistant coach with the Sixers.
Jeffrey Clark/Saint Joseph’s
Clark was one of the early standouts in the college league. He was a terrific guard at Saint Joseph’s. A couple years ago, he was inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. Clark is now a college basketball official.
Lionel Simmons/La Salle
Simmons had some great summers in the college league. Simmons improved his game each year at La Salle. In 1990, he was named college basketball’s player of the year. He scored over 3,000 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in his career with the Explorers. He was a first round pick of the Sacramento Kings. He played seven years in the NBA.
Richardson was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of Ben Franklin High School. In 1984, he led the Electrons to the Public League championship. He played four years at UCLA. In 1989, he was the first ever draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played 10 years in the NBA. He came back to play in the college league to play with a lot of his colleagues during the summer.
Bo Kimble/Loyola Marymount
Kimble had a tremendous career at Loyola Marymount. He averaged 32.9 points a game his senior year. Kimble, a 6-foot-4 guard, was the eighth pick overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1990 NBA draft. He had some huge games in the college league.
Hank Gathers/Loyola Marymount
Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble were a great inside-outside combination at Dobbins before they played together in college. Gathers was a great scorer, rebounder and defender. In 1989, he led the nation in scoring (32.7) and rebounding (13.7). Gathers always hustled at both ends of the floor.
Jones made his college debut in the college league. He was an explosive player in the open court. Jones and McKie played on three NCAA tournament teams at Temple. In 1993, they led the Owls to the Final Eight. In 1994, Jones was a first round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 14 years in the NBA.
Lowry scored 45 points in a college league championship game. Lowry, a 6-foot, 205-pound point guard, did a great job of penetrating and getting to the basket. In 2006, the former Villanova star was a first round pick of the Memphis Grizzlies. He spent the last three years with the Houston Rockets. He was recently traded to the Toronto Raptors and is one of the quickest playmakers in the NBA.
Blackshear was a magnificent basketball player. He was one of the early standouts in the college league. He had a great college career at Cheyney. The Wolves were one of the country’s best Division II teams during his career.
Allen was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year. The college league prepared him for the Ivy League season. Allen played in the NBA and played professional basketball in Europe. He is now the head coach at Penn.
Evans was one of the top point guards in the college league. Evans, a former West Philadelphia High star, had a great career at Temple. He played on the Owls 1988 team, which was ranked No. 1 in the country.
Williams played some great basketball in the college league. He had a solid career at Villanova. He played 11 years in the NBA, mostly with the Toronto Raptors. Williams played for the Raptors in an exciting seven-game series with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001. The Sixers won the series in seven games. Williams is currently a scout for the Raptors.
Anderson was a tenacious defender. He could steal the ball and take it coast to coast. He was an exciting college player at Drexel. He led the Dragons to the NCAA tournament. He scored 2,208 career points. He also played for the San Antonio Spurs.
Doug Overton/La Salle
Overton used the college league to polish his skills. He played four years at La Salle. Overton scored 1,795 career points with the Explorers. He handed out 671 assists at La Salle. Overton played several years in the NBA. He is currently an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets. His son, Miles Overton, plays for St. Joseph’s Prep.
Hamilton used to make the trip down to the college league from Coatesville during the summer months. The 6-foot-6 guard led Connecticut to an NCAA championship. He won an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons and currently plays for the Chicago Bulls.
Steve Black/La Salle
Black was a tremendous shooter. He could really connect from long range. He was a magnificent player at La Salle. He scored 2,012 career points, averaged 19.7 points a game and is a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame.
Larry Stewart/Coppin State
Stewart won a college league championship in 1988. He played his college basketball at Coppin State for legendary coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell. He led the Eagles to the NCAA tournament. Stewart played in the NBA for the Washington Bullets, Vancouver Grizzlies and Seattle SuperSonics. He also played overseas. Larry had two other brothers, Stephen and Lynard Stewart, who also played in the college league. Stewart is currently an assistant coach at Bowie State.
Greer can really shoot the basketball. He had some big games in the college league. The 6-foot-1 guard had an outstanding career at Engineering and Science and Temple. He scored 2,099 points during his college career. Greer led the Owls to the 2001 Final Eight. He played one season for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. He has played for several professional basketball teams in Europe. Greer played in Russia this past season.
Wayns has played a lot of basketball in the college league. He played every summer during his career at Villanova. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound guard, can play two positions. He led the Wildcats in scoring tallying 17.6 points a game. He also averaged 4.6 assists a game. Wayns is currently playing for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Christmas was a scoring machine in the college league. In fact, he had quite a career at Temple, where he was one of the top scorers in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The 6-foot-5 guard is playing for the Boston Celtics summer league team.
Jordan was a sensational player at Penn. He helped the Quakers win Ivy League championships in 1999 and 2000. The Penn backcourt ace played some great basketball in the college league. Jordan has played professional basketball in Israel, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Greece.
Collins really benefited from playing in the college league. The 6-foot-6 guard gradually improved his game throughout his playing days at Temple. In 2006, he was a first round pick of the New York Knicks. He also played for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Tyndale won a college league championship in 2007. He was the 2008 Big 5 Co-Most Outstanding Player of the Year. He scored 1,729 points, 733 rebounds and 377 assists during his college career. He has played pro basketball in Europe as well as in the NBDL.
Bruiser Flint/Saint Joseph’s
Flint played extremely well in the college league. He had a great career at Saint Joseph’s. He was one of the best point guards in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Flint is now the head basketball coach at Drexel.
Blackwell was a regular in the college league. The 6-foot-4 guard could get his shot off any time. He knew how to get open. He had a great understanding of the game. Blackwell had a brilliant career at Temple scoring 1,708 points. In 1987, he was a second round pick of the San Antonio Spurs.
Jackson looked forward to playing in the college league. Jackson was named the 1997 Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year at Temple. He played seven years in the NBA including two seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers. He was inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame this year.
Moore played a lot of basketball in the college league. The 6-foot-4 guard had a fine career at Temple. He was named first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference. He averaged 17.3 points a game. Moore will play in The Basketball Alumni Legends League (The-Ball) game at Saint Joseph’s on August 5.
Kobe Bryant will make his annual trip to the Wells Fargo Center Sunday night with the Los Angeles Lakers to face the Philadelphia 76ers. Bryant, one of the leaders in the NBA all-star balloting with LeBron James, recently became the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 30,000 point mark for his career.
Bryant, 34, joins an elite group of Hall of Famers that includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. He is just one of five players in league history to reach this plateau.
Although the Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling this season, Bryant continues to play outstanding basketball. The 6-foot-6, 205 pound shooting guard, leads the NBA in scoring (29.3 ppg). Bryant has put together an amazing career winning five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals and a bevy of other accolades. There are still a number of people who remember the former Lower Merion star’s early days playing basketball and growing up in Philadelphia. His success can be attributed to a good foundation beginning with his family.
He’s the son of Joe and Pam (Cox) Bryant. His father was a sensational basketball player at John Bartram High and La Salle. He played eight years in the NBA including four with the Philadelphia 76ers (1975-79). In fact, he played with Doug Collins, Sixers head coach. His mother Pam is the sister of John “Chubby” Cox, who starred at Roxborough High and the University of San Francisco and the NBA’s Washington Bullets. Kobe has two older sisters, Sharia and Shaya, who were fantastic volleyball players. John Cox, Chubby’s son, was a spectacular basketball player for Engineering and Science, The University of San Francisco and now plays professional basketball in France. John and Kobe played a lot of pickup basketball together on the playgrounds.
Ollie Johnson, former Temple and NBA standout, used to watch Bryant play basketball at Community College of Philadelphia. Johnson knows his family roots. He could see a lot of ability in Bryant at a young age.
“He was a special talent in the ninth and 10th grade,” Johnson said. “He was unbelievable, but he comes from good stock. You know his dad. The family is really big. You’re talking about Joe, Pam, Chubby and everybody. He was an amazing athlete early on. He had great footwork. He just took it to another level.”
Joe Bryant and Chubby Cox played basketball in the Sonny Hill League during their scholastic careers. A big part of Kobe Bryant’s development was in the Sonny Hill League. Michael Jordan, former Penn basketball star, played in the league too. In 1995, Jordan played with Bryant on the same team in the Sonny Hill League’s Tony Samartino Future Stars Tournament.
“I tell people that I played with Kobe Bryant back in the day, but they don’t want to believe me,” said Jordan, who is currently an assistant basketball coach at Colgate. “For me, it was great. You knew way back then he was going to be a special player. I remember back in the Future Stars he was our go to guy. I really enjoyed playing with him. My job was to get Kobe the ball. The Future Stars was packed that year. We played at (Temple) McGonigle Hall. We won the championship. Kobe was our best player. John Hardnett was our coach. We also had Claude (Gross), Tee Shields, James Flint, Mr. (Fred) Douglas, Sonny Hill and Kobe’s dad. A lot of people had their hands in that team.”
Bryant also attended several of Hardnett’s workouts at Temple during summer months. His practice sessions were loaded with some of the city’s top college and NBA players. Aaron McKie, Sixers assistant coach and former Temple star, was a regular at the workouts along with his college teammates Eddie Jones and Rick Brunson, who both played in the NBA. Jones played with Bryant during his early years with the Lakers. McKie played one NBA season with Bryant.
“It’s incredible,” McKie said. “You don’t really find guys like him in this era that is driven as he is. He’s wanted greatness ever since he was a young kid. It’s a credit to his burning desire to want to win. He’s extremely talented, driven and wants to be great. He has it all and it shows. When we were in college, he used to come up and play with us. He was very athletic. He would sit in the gym and play all day. You could see he was talented.”
Bryant exhibited those talents in high school. He averaged 30.8 points a game as senior. In 1996, he led Lower Merion to the PIAA state championship. He was a McDonald’s All-American. Gregg Downer, Lower Merion head coach, has followed his exploits in the NBA.
“Obviously, he’s had an amazing career especially with the 30,000 points,” Downer said. “It’s a great accomplishment. When I saw his talent in combination with his work ethic, I knew there was potential for something special. Rarely, if ever, had I seen in my 23 years at Lower Merion that type of work ethic. Just that desire to be great was on display from day one.”
If there’s one player who is excited about playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s point guard Maalik Wayns. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. This is his hometown team. He grew up watching the Sixers.
Wayns was a huge basketball star at Roman Catholic High School and Villanova. He played in the Sonny Hill League. He’s a big part of the Philadelphia basketball fabric. He knows there’s nothing like playing NBA basketball in his hometown.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder, has been playing extremely well during the Sixers training camp at Saint Joseph’s Hagan Arena this week. He’s penetrating and looking for the open man. He’s stopping and taking the open jumper. He’s doing all the things that have made him a great player over the years. And he’s doing it here, which makes it even better for him.
“This feels great,” Wayns said. “This is a good opportunity and especially being home. This is my hometown. I’m embracing it. I’m taking it all in. I’m just happy for this opportunity. I’m happy to be in this situation.”
Wayns was signed as a rookie free agent over the summer. He was an early entry candidate for the NBA draft following his junior year at Villanova. He was named second team All-Big East in 2011-12 after averaging team-highs of 17.6 points and 4.6 assists to go along with 3.8 rebounds a game. Wayns ranked seventh in the country in free throw shooting (89.2 percent) this past season.
Despite his accomplishments, Wayns was not selected in this year’s draft. He did manage to play as a member of the Orlando Magic in the Orlando Pro Summer League. Wayns appeared in three games, tallying 11.7 points, 5.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 2.33 steals in 26.7 minutes a game. He was ranked second in the league in both assists and steals. That was enough to catch the eye of the Sixers.
Now, Wayns is showcasing his skills as a playmaker. The Sixers have veteran point guards Jrue Holiday and Royal Ivey, but they also have Wayns who can bring a lot of energy to the floor.
“That’s my game,” Wayns said. “That’s how I play. At Villanova, I had to score. That’s what the coach asked me to do. But now I can get back to my roots again and be a pure point guard. I think the summer league helped a whole lot. It showed how I can be a point guard. It was a good opportunity for me. It gave me a chance to show what I can do.”
Doug Collins, Sixers head coach, has been very pleased with his play in training camp.
“I love him,” Collins said. “He gives us a different element. He gives us speed. When he came in early working out, I watched him play. Our guys like him. They trust him. Maalik has a chance to be a real good player. He’s very comfortable here. I think he’s found a home.”
The Sixers will open the preseason against the Orlando Magic in Orlando on Oct. 11. The Sixers first home preseason game will be against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 15. They also have another home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 17.
Wayns played a lot of college games at the Wells Fargo Center. Now, he’ll have a chance to play there as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.