CLASSIC REDUX: At the End of the Bench — What a Centaur-turned coach learned at Allentown and shares with UCLA’s John Wooden (Plus: an exclusive interview with the late Bruins’ coach)

Posted on Oct 31, 2013

This CENTAUR SEASONS post isn’t meant to embarrass Tom Shirley. I suspect it might. Tom was a four-year Centaur, two years behind me. He didn’t play much.** “I went to Allentown thinking I’d play a lot,” he told me. “I came to realize that I wasn’t very good and the guys on the team weren’t all […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: The night the Centaurs moved the bus…

Posted on Oct 30, 2013

At the time I didn’t grasp that it was the perfect metaphor, but I do now. My first road trip freshman year was to Shelton College, in Cape May, New Jersey. We left at three in the afternoon, everyone piled into our blue-painted school bus with ALLENTOWN COLLEGE in red letters on the side. By […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Freshman year — Who was I kidding? I mean, WHOM was I kidding?

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

The less said about my freshman year the better. Whom was I kidding? I mean really. I made the team – became a Centaur – ONLY because the top of my haircut was six feet eight inches north of the hardwood on the Billera Hall court. End of story. * * * * *   ‘FRESHMAN YEAR …’ CONTINUES […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: “Nobody else was saying that to me” — Being recruited (sort of) to play basketball at Allentown College

Posted on Oct 28, 2013

College recruiting! Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales dodged that bullet completely. We Centaurs all paid our own way, wangled scholarships and grants or took out student loans that we – or at least me – didn’t pay off for 17 years. Which isn’t to say we weren’t recruited. Kind of. * * * […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: The first rivalry, in defeat ….

Posted on Oct 25, 2013

When the Centaurs took the court for its first collegiate season, in 1968-69, everything lay out there ahead of them. Not a bad thing. But not always a good thing. Because the Centaurs had nothing behind them, either. No history. No tradition. No foundation. What the Centaurs needed was a good rivalry. Soon enough, it had […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Why Centaur? The mascot in the making…

Posted on Oct 24, 2013

You’ve heard this before: When Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales was barely more than constructions sites in a cornfield, the place was making it up as it went along. Every. Single. Day. And lo, in the fall of 1967 there came the day to make up a mascot. Enter the Centaur. But why Centaur? […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Centaur One, the first among us …

Posted on Oct 23, 2013

Meet Bob Koch. Centaur co-captain. Class of 1969. Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales. This CENTAUR SEASONS encompasses the A.C. graduating years ’69 through ’74. Six years of schooling, seven years of seasoning. But that class of ’69 remains first among equals. And for my money, of those few Original Centaurs, Bob Koch remains first […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Why we showed up in the middle of nowhere …

Posted on Oct 22, 2013

Someone had to be first. Someone had to be in those first couple of classes. Someone had to be there to get this new Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales thing off the ground and into the air. * * * * *   ‘SHOWED UP …’ CONTINUES BELOW   * * * * * Welcome to […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Legends of the 1st — The Original Centaurs original gift

Posted on Oct 21, 2013

The future is not a gift; it is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future. This is the essential challenge of the present.”  — Robert F. Kennedy, 1962*  I have mentioned this before: By the time I arrived at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales in September 1970, the school was five […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: We Centaurs still say being a Centaur was “something else.” But what was it?

Posted on Oct 18, 2013

Over the years, when we Centaur types get together, as the night grows longer our conversation inevitably circles the same topic. What was it about our time at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales – right there, right then, forty years ago – that still feels, even now, so … special? … unique? … different? … […]

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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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