CLASSIC REDUX: An All-Star Centaur Shines in His Final Opportunity

Posted on Nov 26, 2013

My junior year at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales we Centaurs ended our season at 6-and-11. A brutal campaign by any measure, it boasted, so to speak, a nine-game losing streak and defeats by … 2 … 12 … 7 … 2 … 15 … 15 … 5 … 29 … 36 … […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: ‘Secrets of the Centaur’ Get an Unexpected Assist From an Unexpected Source

Posted on Nov 25, 2013

I FIGURED OUT WHY YOUR BLOG AND BOOK WILL BE A WINNER! These dozen words were written in an email to me by a friend, Kathryn, who pens her own blog at RAGGED RECOVERY. Kathryn was reacting to an interview she read that I had done about CENTAUR SEASONS for the “Varsity Letters” sports-reading section of the online […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Forgotten Centaur(ettes) — That they won no games doesn’t matter; that no one remembers does

Posted on Nov 22, 2013

Sue McCandless Pfeil says she realizes now that what she did during the 1971-1972 basketball season was a step forward for women at Allentown College. But back then? She had NO idea. “Furthest thing from my mind,” Sue says. “I just wanted to play basketball. I wanted to have a team. And if we wanted to have a […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Six Degrees of Referreeing — The one guy who ran the floor with the Centaurs and made it to the big time

Posted on Nov 21, 2013

Madison Square Garden. 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. His name comes immediately:  Jody Silvester. He used to ref our Centaur games at […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: What I should have learned from the teammate who played me onto the bench junior year

Posted on Nov 20, 2013

Meet John Cooper. The anti-Steve McKee. John Cooper is the 6-foot-4 big guy who played me onto the bench junior year, who had me sitting for long stretches, who left me crying in the locker room. He’s the guy who made it seem I’d never get the chance to prove that I should have played basketball in […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: “Losing is kinda bad for a person…”

Posted on Nov 19, 2013

MY JUNIOR YEAR I KEPT A DIARY OF THE BASKETBALL SEASON.  DEEP IN, I ASKED CHRISTOPHER CASHMAN, SENIOR CO-CAPTAIN (WHOM I PROFILED YESTERDAY) TO WRITE AN ENTRY. WE WERE THEN 2-AND-9, ON A SEVEN-GAME LOSING STREAK. WE HAD SIX GAMES LEFT, ALL AT HOME. HERE’S WHAT CASH WROTE: Well, post-Wilmington (88-54?) [88-52, actually], my last away game ever […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: “Whatever the challenge was of being the captain, I wanted it.” (A Centaur’s Story)

Posted on Nov 18, 2013

Why didn’t Chris Cashman just quit the team? On THE VERY FIRST DAY OF PRESEASON for his senior-year season, Cash turned his ankle during one of the first drills. “I felt the ball go one way, my body another way and my ankle a third way,” he says. It didn’t look like much, but… “I’d […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: “I should have been a much better teammate.” (A Centaur’s Story)

Posted on Nov 15, 2013

My junior year, senior co-captain Dennis Ramella became the Centaurs’ first 1,000-point scorer. A whippet-quick 5-foot-8-inch guard, he was the most important player to walk onto the Billera Hall floor in the Centaurs’ first few seasons. He was a local kid with high school all-star cred. He gave the team a legitimacy it had never had. […]

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CLASSIC REDUX: Basketball was his ‘art form.’ (A Centaur’s Story)

Posted on Nov 14, 2013

By the time I was a junior, it was evident what kind of high school ballers Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales needed to attract if the Centaurs were to get to the next level. Type 1 was Dave Glielmi (pronounced GELL-me): A kid from the Philadelphia Catholic League. Type 2 was P.J. Brennan, the […]

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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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