Centaur Seasons




6:39 pm

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, Pennsylvania. I was on four of the school’s first seven teams, was MVP senior year and in 1974 was in the fifth graduating class.

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-scratched, bus-bounced pages. And yes, I was an English major.

Recently it occurred to me: Were I today a “Bulldog” playing for “DeSales University” (into which both the Centaur and the ungainly school name morphed in 2000), my private “History” would be not a diary at all but a publicly posted blog. So on November 30 of this year, beginning with a pre-game entry the day before the Centaurs’ 1972-’73 opener, my “…Personal Memoirs…” will be re-imagined as “Centaur Seasons” – a blog before its time, posted 40 years after in real time.

Meanwhile, here at “Centaur Seasons” the preseason began on September 10 with stories, interviews and reminiscences of the people, the place and the purpose of the early years of Allentown College.

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

Back then A.C. was five brick buildings among some cornfields in the Lehigh Valley. Nothing like what D.S.U. is today, with its full complement of educational opportunity and a competitive NCAA Division III athletic program. Our commitment to the school’s basketball program was far greater than was the school’s commitment us. We knew it even then. So what? We had been given a chance to play college ball at the highest level our skills could muster. In return, we got to be part of a team, wear red and blue, be Centaurs.

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