SIX DEGREES OF MICHAEL BANTOM (part 3 of 3): Film maker Rory Karpf’s “Silver Reunion” and the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team

Posted on Apr 26, 2013

This post, like the two before it — Micheal Bantom of the ill-fated 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team and his sudden appearance at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales’s 1973 Spring sports banquet (This is the most unusual experience of my entire life), and the answer he gave to a question about why the […]

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SIX DEGREES OF MICHAEL BANTOM (part 2 of 3): The 1972 Olympic basketball gold medal he did not receive and the silver medal he did not earn

Posted on Apr 24, 2013

On a Thursday evening in early May in 1973 Mike Bantom – he of St. Joe’s College, the Philadelphia Big 5, and the ill-fated 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team and its disputed loss to the Soviets in the gold-medal game – appeared seemingly out of nowhere as the guest speaker at our Allentown College of St. Francis de […]

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SIX DEGREES OF MICHAEL BANTOM (part 1 of 3): When a Philadelphia Big 5 Star and U.S. Olympian Came to (Allen)Town

Posted on Apr 19, 2013

Last week a CENTAUR SEASONS post proffered “Six Degrees of Refereeing,” about the longtime and well-respected basketball official Jody Silvester. Jody whistled some of our home games at Billera Hall in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, but eventually he worked the big rooms – Madison Square Garden, the Palestra, two NCAA championship games – as a ref in the […]

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Attempting to Connect the Centaurs to the 1972 Munich Games, Suddenly a Reminder of All That Hasn’t Changed ….

Posted on Apr 16, 2013

Yesterday, while I was working on today’s post, my wife, Noreen, yelled up to me: “Bombs at the Boston Marathon.” I put aside what was going to be today’s post. Though the irony is worth noting: Today’s post was going to connect the early-Seventies Centaurs of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales to the 1972 Munich Olympics, […]

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FORGOTTEN CENTAUR(ette)S: That they won no games doesn’t matter; that no one is aware they played them does

Posted on Apr 09, 2013

A recurring theme at CENTAUR SEASONS has been the idea that Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales in Center Valley, Pennsylvania — the school brand-new, we 400 students its only viable resource – offered a uniquely interesting education to those lucky enough to have been there in the late ’60s, early ’70s. If something […]

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SIX DEGREES OF REFEREEING: The One Guy Who Ran With the Centaurs and Made it to the Big Time

Posted on Apr 08, 2013

To start this post we need first to go to Madison Square Garden. It is the mid-1980s. I am there watching a St. John’s basketball game. The whistle sounds, and I follow the ball as it gets thrown to the ref. Wait! I know that guy! The referee! I mean, I know who he is. […]

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What CENTAUR SEASONS Can Teach the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers U. Seriously

Posted on Apr 05, 2013

Today, Centaur Seasons takes a break from TALKING WITH JOHN WOODEN, its multipart March Madness series of never-before-heard conversations with the UCLA legend. (Come back Monday for the Final Four final installment.) No, today Centaur Seasons is going to wade into the morass that is the Rutgers University/Mike Rice basketball-coach fiasco. (Surely you’ve heard.) I think that much of […]

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TALKING WITH JOHN WOODEN: A series of new conversations with the coaching legend, only on CENTAUR SEASONS. Today’s topic: ‘Will We Ever See Another UCLA?’

Posted on Apr 05, 2013

During this 75th anniversary celebration of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, CENTAUR SEASONS is remembering not to forget John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins. How? By listening here to the Coach talk about the game and his life (and his life in the game) in a wide-ranging, never-before-heard, two-hour audio conversation conducted 16 years after […]

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TALKING WITH JOHN WOODEN: A series of new conversations with the coaching legend, only on CENTAUR SEASONS. Today’s topic: ‘That Game in the Astrodome’

Posted on Apr 04, 2013

During this 75th anniversary celebration of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, CENTAUR SEASONS is remembering not to forget John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins. HOW? By listening here exclusively to the Coach talk about the game and his life (and his life in the game) in a free-ranging never-before-heard, two-hour audio conversation conducted 16 years […]

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TALKING WITH JOHN WOODEN: A series of new conversations with the coaching legend, only on CENTAUR SEASONS. Today’s topic: ‘The Meaning of Success (and Home)’

Posted on Apr 03, 2013

During this 75th anniversary celebration of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, CENTAUR SEASONS is remembering not to forget John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins. HOW? By listening here to the Coach talk about the game and his life (and his life in the game) in a wide-ranging, never-before-heard, two-hour audio conversation conducted 16 years after […]

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Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS: A ‘memory blog’ of the basketball beginnings of a half-good, half-bad, all-new college team.

Once, I was a Centaur.

I played basketball for Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales in Center Valley, Pa. I was on four of the school’s first seven teams, was MVP senior year and in 1974 graduated in the fifth class.

My junior year I kept a diary: A History of the Events of the 1972-1973 Allentown College B-Ball Season, as Chronicled by, and With the Personal Memoirs + Occassional [sic] Philosophizing of the Author, One Stephen J. McKee.  One-hundred-forty-five hand-writ pages. (Yes, I was an English major.)

But it occurs to me now: Were I today a “Bulldog” playing for “DeSales University” (both mascot and name changed in 2000), my private “History” would be not a diary but a blog.

So starting November 30  “…Personal Memoirs…” will be re-imagined as CENTAUR SEASONS

A blog before its time, posted 40 years after in real time.

Meanwhile, beginning on September 24, here at CENTAUR SEASONS the preseason has already tipped off, with stories, interviews and reminiscences of the people, the place and the purpose of those early years of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales.

Check back often. Sign up for CentaurSeasonAlerts. Email CENTAUR SEASONS to friends.

We were not a bad team, we Centaurs. We just weren’t very good. Winning was always the goal, if never exactly the point. How could it be, with victories so few?

Back then Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales was a couple of buildings in some cornfields.  Our commitment to the school’s basketball program was far greater than was the school’s commitment us. So what? We got to play college ball – and paid for the privilege! In return, we got to be part of a team, wear the red and blue, be Centaurs. And we got to create a place that was, right then, as much concept as it was college, making itself up as we went along.

What we got was a once-in-a-life-time chance.

All we had to do was keep showing up -- next practice, next game, next season. And so we did.

Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS.

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