‘FIVE HOURS TO GAME TIME’ — entry #2 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College’s 1972-1973 B-Ball season, as chronicled by, and with the personal memoirs + occassional philosophizing of the author, one Stephen J. McKee …”

Posted on Dec 01, 2012


First game tonight: Lehigh C. C.C.

Five hours till game time. Five hours. Five long hours, 300 hundred minutes.

This is the first time I ever attempted to write a diary. After I wrote yesterday’s entry and started to think about it, I realized this is going to be harder than I thought.

I forgot to mention last night’s practice. Well – it was terrible. At least I was, wasn’t rebounding or hustling, just shooting. Seems like I do a lot of that now. Hope my hand stays hot. Hope so.




Last night I felt as though I was about to be over practiced. Chris Cashman told me it was in my head. Hope so. I think so too, now. I’m getting jacked up pretty high for tonight. I wonder how everybody else is? I’m nervous, really nervous.

John Cooper said he wasn’t. Funny thing about him. He never seems to really become involved with the game, at least not outwardly. He never involves himself with the typical clap-your-hands, go-team-go, one-for-the-Gipper, rah-rah stuff. Seems as though he doesn’t care, but he must. He’s got to. He wouldn’t put up with all this bulls— if he didn’t. Last year he played the entire season with a bad set of legs, shin splints. It must mean something to him. It must.

He sure is good. I’ve often wondered how he reacts to me. For all practical purposes he plays behind me. Second string, scrub, and all that stuff. I have to play him in practice all the time. Am I that much better than he is? I doubt it. At practice we rarely talk, just technicalities, if anything. I’m always shouting encouragement to him when he’s in and I’m not. But he never does the same for me. Does he resent me?

But: I remember last year, after the York College game. We won, 75-68, and the same situation prevailed, me playing, him on the bench, mostly. I had 11 points and 13 rebounds.  Bunch of us were in his room after and he was lying in bed with a big grin on his face and he said, “Remember, I made you what you were tonight. Just remember that!” Took a big man to say that.

Joe Thomson’s birthday is today. I know of no better present than beating L.C.C.C. tonight.

I want this game, bad.

Dennis Ramella was in my philosophy class today, and he was getting on me for being nervous. But he was nervous too. He must have been.

I wonder how Coach is? He’s probably nervous, too. He’s funny when he’s nervous. Before the game he stutters and stammers, rings his hands and paces. During the game he all but cries and, to quote him, AI-YI-YI-YI-YI! Or something to that effect. But: (once again, but:) he has never really yelled at any of us for anything. And never, but never, has he talked above a conversational tone during a game. He remains cool in his demeanor. He keeps it all inside him, which may be bad. He says he’s getting ulcers.

That’s about it. Tonight, 4½ hours from now, L.C.C.C., the first of 17 games. The first of 17 victories!


NEXT GAME: 12/1, tonight, Lehigh County Community College, season opener

1972-73 CENTAUR SEASON schedule and results:

DATE  OPPONENT                  RESULT                RECORD

12/1      at Lehigh CCC

12-4      at N’hampton CCC



12-16    PHILA. BIBLE

1-18      at Baptist Bible

1-19      WILMINGTON

1-25      at Phila. Pharmacy

1-30      at Spring Garden

2-3        at Messiah College

2-6        at Wilmington

2-13      RUTGERS, So. Jrsy

2-16      LEHIGH CCC

2-20      MESSIAH

2-22      N’HAMPTON CCC

2-24      PHILA. PHARM.


On December 7th, 2012 at 10:15 am, Steve McKee: Centaur Season said:

[…] again playing me onto the bench, John Cooper had ANOTHER great game – 22 points. Right before I went out for the center tap, he gave me a few encouraging words: “Go […]


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.