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.
Jerome Allen, head basketball coach of the University of Pennsylvania, has announced the hiring of Ira Bowman and Jason Polykoff as assistant coaches with the program. Bowman returns to Penn after spending the last four years at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
The year before Bowman arrived at NJIT, the Highlanders were winless (0-29), and in his first season they went 1-30. Since then, NJIT has improved dramatically — just two years after that 1-30 campaign, the Highlanders went 15-15 overall, including a 9-3 Great West Conference mark in 2010-11. This past season, NJIT went 15-17 overall and advanced to the Great West Conference championship game.
Bowman played two years at Penn, the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons, after transferring from Providence College. His first year with the Quakers was Allen’s senior season, when Penn went 22-6 overall and 14-0 en route to its third straight Ivy League title. Bowman was second team All-Ivy that season. As a senior, Bowman was the Ivy League Player of the Year and first-team All-Philadelphia Big 5 as he led the Quakers to a 17-10 record including a 12-2 mark in Ivy play. Penn tied Princeton that year for the conference title, but fell to the Tigers in a one-game playoff to determine the Ivy’s NCAA tournament bid.
Following his Penn career, Bowman enjoyed a professional playing career that included stints with the 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. He also played overseas, in Italy and Australia, as well as in the CBA.
Polykoff comes to Penn after spending the last five years as the head coach at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood. He accumulated a 113-28 record in that time, winning four consecutive Pennsylvania Independent School State Championships (2009-12). FCS played in four straight Friends School League finals, from 2008-11, winning the title in 2010 and 2011. Polykoff coached four McDonald’s All-America nominees, including Amile Jefferson, who was a McDonald’s All-America recipient this season. Jefferson will play his college basketball at Duke.
Polykoff played college basketball at Haverford College, where he was team captain in 2005-06. He was the Fords’ MVP, as well as a Philadelphia Area Small College All-Star.
Tony Chennault granted NCAA hardship waiver
Villanova guard Tony Chennault, a 6-foot-2 transfer from Wake Forest, has been granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in 2012-13.
Chennault transferred from Wake Forest at the conclusion of the spring semester so that he could be near his Philadelphia home to assist his family. The NCAA has approved Chennault’s request, allowing him to be on the active roster in 2012-13. The product of Neumann-Goretti will have two seasons of eligibility.
Miller named head coach at Salem Community College
Nyere Miller, who had a combined seven-year run for Widener as a player and an assistant coach, has been named men’s basketball coach at Salem Community College. Miller was a major reason why Widener won three Commonwealth Conference titles and competed in the NCAA tournament all four years from 2006-09.
He finished second in school history with 257 steals and holds two of the top three single-season marks, including a team-record 92 in 2007-08. In 2008, he was named MVP of the conference tournament.
Miller, a Washington. D.C. native, and Gonzaga College High School graduate, helped the Pride last season close 18-8 and finish second in the conference. This helped Widener grab its first home game in the conference tournament since his senior year in 2009.
Friday is a big night at The Palestra. Harvard (20-2 overall, 6-0 league), ranked No. 25th in the country, will visit Penn (12-10 overall, 4-1 league) in a major Ivy League matchup on Friday, February 10 at 7 p.m. Harvard is in first place in the Ivy League. Tommy Amaker, Crimson head coach, has his team playing extremely well.
Jerome Allen, Quakers head coach, has his team in the thick of things. However, Penn needs a win over Harvard to make things really interesting in the Ivy standings. This is Allen’s second full year at the helm. In 2009, he was hired on an interim basis as Penn’s head coach. A year ago, he carried the Quakers to a 7-7 record in the Ivy League, a two-game improvement from 2009-10 season while the team finished fourth in the league. Penn completed the season with a 13-15 mark, which was a seven game overall improvement.
Allen, a former Penn basketball star, has the Quakers headed in the right direction. He opened a lot of eyes when he led Penn to a huge Big 5 victory over Saint Joseph’s a few weeks ago. Allen has a solid group of players such as Zack Rosen (18.3 ppg, 6.0 apg), Tyler Bernardini (14.9 ppg) and Miles Cartwright (10.2 ppg). They’ve been the Quakers’ most consistent players.
Penn suffered a tough 60-53 loss to Yale last week. Yale is currently in second place in the Ivy League. If the Quakers can pull off an upset over the Crimson that would really tighten the race for the league championship.
Evan Turner selected for Rising Stars Challenge
Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner will compete in the inaugural Rising Stars Challenge, the NBA announced. Turner was one of 18 players selected by the league’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. Formally known as the Rookie Challenge, the new format will feature rookies and sophomores mixed together.
Turner, the second pick overall in the 2010 NBA draft, has appeared in all but one game this season. He will be the fourth player on the current roster to compete in the event as a Sixer, joining Andre Iguodala (2005, 2006), Thaddeus Young (2009) and Jrue Holiday (2011).
Joining Turner from the sophomore class are: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs) and John Wall (Washington Wizards).
Representing the rookie class are: MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats) and Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves).
TNT will televise the game on February 24 at 9 p.m.
The University of Pennsylvania’s basketball team will have an opportunity to face some great competition, travel to Europe and see another part of the world. The Quakers will head to Venice, Florence and Rome from Aug. 15-23. Penn is scheduled to play four games overseas.
Jerome Allen, Penn head basketball coach, had a stellar college basketball career with the Quakers. After that, he played in the NBA, but also had a chance to play professional basketball in Europe. He feels this trip should be very beneficial to his team.
“I think this trip should serve us in a number of areas for the most part,” Allen said. “We’ll have an opportunity to go and experience and digest a different culture. It really only adds to your culture awareness. After spending 11 years total in Europe and eight of them in Italy. It changed me as to who I desired to be as a person. I just think it made me more conscious of my responsibility of being a citizen of the world. I just thank God that I had the opportunity to live in Italy. My youngest daughter was born there. My twins were in third grade at the time, they were studying Pompeii and Western Civilization at their school.
“I really opens up their eyes as who they desire to be as human beings. The basketball takes care of itself. I mean just to have a couple extra practices and a couple extra games makes us a better team. The more experience you have the better.”
This will be the Penn men’s basketball program’s first foreign trip since 2003. That year, the Quakers went to Spain. This summer, Penn is one of three Big 5 schools who will visit Italy in mid-August along with Temple and Saint Joseph’s.
Penn is slated to fly overnight, leaving Philadelphia on Aug. 14 and getting to Venice the morning of the Aug. 15. The team will stay in Venice for two nights, then bus to Florence on Aug. 17. After two evenings in Florence, the team will bus to Rome on Aug. 19. The Quakers will leave Rome the morning of Aug. 23 and fly back to Philadelphia. The team will have sightseeing tours in each city.
The tentative game schedule has Penn playing Tezenis Verona on Aug. 16; Giorgio Tesi on Aug. 18; Prima Napoli on Aug. 20 and FMC Ferentino on Aug. 21. Due to Ivy league rules, Penn will make the trip with just its 15 returning players. Incoming recruits are not allowed to make the trip.
The Drexel men’s basketball team will play Elon in the Preseason NIT. The game will be played at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J. at 5 p.m. on Nov. 18 in its first round contest. The Dragons are seeded eighth in this event. With a victory in this matchup, Drexel would have to defeat the winner of Rutgers and Canisius for the North Region championship and a spot in the semifinals that will take place at Madison Square Garden. The semifinals will be held on Nov. 27 and the championship game will be on Nov. 29.
Bruiser Flint, Drexel head basketball coach, will have a chance to get his team some good competition and exposure early in the season. In addition to the Dragons, the Preseason NIT has top-seeded Arizona, No. 2 seed Duke, No. 3 seed Alabama and fourth-seeded Rutgers, Rhode Island, Elon, East Carolina and Drexel finish out the top eight seeded teams.
Penn basketball schedule released
The Penn men’s basketball team will play 28 regular-season games, 14 of them at The Palestra.
“I am looking forward to the 2013-14 season,” said Jerome Allen, Penn head basketball coach in a statement. “With all the experience we have coming back, I am expecting us to return to the winning form that our fans are accustomed to seeing. I have high expectations for this program, and I think our quality non-conference schedule will prepare us well as we look to regain the top spot in the Ivy League.”
The Quakers will open against Big 5 rival Temple on Nov. 9 at The Palestra. The game will coincide with Penn’s homecoming weekend. Football is also at home that day against Princeton, as well as the closing celebration for the recently concluded Campaign For Penn Athletics. In recognition, the basketball game concludes the day full of home athletic events and will be followed by a stand-up concert by famed comedian Bill Cosby at The Palestra.
Penn heads to Monmouth on Nov. 12, then hosts Penn State on Nov. 16 at The Palestra. Penn’s next game takes place on Nov. 22 when the Quakers make their first trip to the University of Iowa and face the Hawkeyes for the fourth time ever and the first time since the 1978-79 season. The game, which takes place on the eve of Iowa’s home football game with Michigan, will pit Penn against one of its own — Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery lettered for the Quakers from 1980-82 — and also features a sibling battle between Penn senior Dau Jok and his younger brother, Peter, a freshman for the Hawkeyes.
Penn closes November with Thanksgiving-week games against Niagara (Nov. 26) and at Lafayette (Nov.30) — the game with Niagara the first between the Quakers and the Purple Eagles since the 1986-87 season — and then the Quakers open December with a Big 5 test at Villanova (Dec. 4). Penn hosts Wagner (Dec. 7) in its final contest before fall-term exams.
During the holiday season, Penn will play at Marist (Dec. 22) and Rider (Dec. 29). The Quakers will ring in the new year with a game at George Mason (Jan. 2) — first time the Quakers and the Patriots have met on the basketball court — before hosting Big 5 rival La Salle on Jan. 4.
Penn’s Ivy League opener comes a week later, on Jan. 11, when the Quakers host Princeton at The Palestra. One week later, Penn completes its Big 5 slate with its annual Palestra battle against Saint Joseph’s. The Quakers close out the non-conference segment of their season Jan. 25 when they host NJIT.
The first Ivy League weekend has Penn traveling to Dartmouth (Jan. 31) and Harvard (Feb. 1). The next weekend, the Quakers are home to face Cornell (Feb. 7) and Columbia (Feb. 8). After that, Penn is back on the road to face Yale (Feb. 14) and Brown (Feb. 15) before coming back to host Harvard (Feb. 21) and Dartmouth (Feb. 22). The calendar goes from February to March during the weeeknd that Penn hosts Brown (Feb. 28) and Yale (Mar. 1).
It’s a tough final stretch for Penn, with the last three league games taking place on the road over a five-day stretch. The grind begins at Cornell (Mar. 7); continues the next night at Columbia (Mar. 8); and concludes with the traditional finale against Princeton at the Tigers’ Jadwin Gym (Mar. 11).
Penn has all 15 players back from a team that finished 9-22 last season, including 6-8 in the Ivy League.
2013 Phillies award winners
Domonic Brown won the Mike Schmidt Award for the Most Valuable Player, and Cliff Lee earned the Steve Carlton Award for Most Valuable Pitcher in voting by the Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Former manager Charlie Manuel ad Kevin Frandsen also were honored by the writers. Manuel won the Dallas Green Award for Special Achievement. Frandsen won the Tug McGraw Award for True Professionalism.
Brown received 78 percent of votes for the Schmidt Award. He was an National League All-Star in his first full season as a regular, and leads the Phillies in homers (27) and RBIs (81) despite missing 22 games in the second half. Chase Utley finished second in voting.
Lee was nearly a unanimous choice to win his second Carlton Award. He received 92 percent of votes. Lee leads the Phillies in wins (14), ERA among starters (2.95) and strikeouts (201). Manuel receieved 83 percent of votes for the Special Achievement Award, which he earned for becoming the 58th manager to win 1,000 games. Manuel previously won the Green Award in 2011 for surpassing Gene Mauch for most wins as manager in franchise history.
Frandsen edged former Phillie Michael Young for the True Pro Award given to the player who best exemplifies McGraw’s good-natured personality and for his professional cooperation with beat writers. Three other players and Manuel also received votes.
The awards were instituted by the BBWAA Philadelphia chapter in 2004.