“WE WON! … I STUNK”— entry #3 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College’s 1972-1973 B-Ball season …

Posted on Dec 02, 2012



Allentown College 81, Lehigh CCC 71

We won! Or rather, they won. What I mean is the team I play on won, but I didn’t play, or, rather, I didn’t play much and  shouldn’t have played, either.

I stunk. I couldn’t hold onto the ball. My shot was off. I couldn’t get any rebounds. There tallest guy was maybe 6’2’. I’m 6-foot-8, and he outrebounded, outshot me and outplayed me. Why? What happened? Too nervous and I don’t like playing against guys that small – they get in the way. But so much for excuses. I stunk.

But we still have 16 games to go. Coach told me not to get down on myself – I was really down after the game. It was really tough to be elated about the victory when I realized I contributed to it so little. It must have been my sneakers. Something.




We were very nervous through most of the first half. Nothing dropped. We got very few rebounds. We were down 13 midway through. We really played lousy and we were down, 39-34, at half time.

The score fluctuated a lot in the second – 65-65, 67-65. Then Bobby Stormes made it 68-65, us. Then it was 70-65, and we pretty much controlled it from there.

John Cooper played almost the entire second half. He was really good, 10 points, many rebounds. He did what I couldn’t do. Ironic. I was having trouble figuring out how Coop felt playing behind me. I know now – I played behind him! It was rough. I didn’t like it. And I hope it never happens again. But sitting here [on the bench] talking to Chris Cashman & P.J. Brennan, we all agreed it was good for the soul. Everything teaches a lesson. My lesson tonight was humility.

Cash [who destroyed his ankle on the first day of preseason practice] didn’t play tonight at all. He’s taking it a lot better than I would. He really is the leader. At half time I was really down, and when we came out I just sat on the bench while the rest of the team shot ’em up. Cash came over and picked me up by the hair and told me to quit mopin’, snap out of it, go stand out there with the team.

Before the game we had a Mass for the players. Father Devine said it. Coach Compardo, the athletic director, told us that we could, by playing our best and winning, help to realign the negative attitude that prevails around the school right now. Things are bad. Coach [Compardo] thinks that we can help correct this attitude. Cash thinks so, too. He said so before the game in a little pep talk. First, he said, as his hands shook, we can’t have a “unanimous” season if we lose the first one. And that secondly, we can help make the school a better institution. As Cash and [the band] Chicago says, “We Can Make It Happen.” I’ll keep you posted as the season goes on.

Coach [Saboda] was funny tonight. When he played here he got beat and humiliated by LCCC. Tonight he was nervous, but that’s normal. We almost had two fights, and I doubt if Coach was really upset by them and I doubt if he really wanted them stopped. He said he wasn’t going to, but he pulled out a victory cigar a la Red Auerbach, his idol, w/25 seconds to go. After, he said he wouldn’t have but for the fights.

There were a lot of people there (at an away game!). Some priests, too, I didn’t expect to see. Plus Fr. Gene Luyster, my English teacher. We won this one for US, but they loved it. And I think, as Bobby Heoffner said, they’ll keep coming back.

P.J. Brennan is still all jacked up. It’s about 2:30 a.m. now. He said his high school team won a total of 22 games in his three varsity years. On the way to Dominick’s [a diner, after the game; him and I, with Bobby Hoeffner driving] he was so ecstatic he yelled out the window, “WE WON! WE WON!” He had eight points, including 2 that should have been 3  — it was at least 25 feet.

Dave Glielmi was 3 for 16 – but as somebody said, there was something about him being out on the floor. …  Somehow he was needed out there. Dave’s my roommate. When we got back to the room after the game he told me he’d kick me in the ass if I got down on myself. I don’t think I am. I hope not.

That’s it. Bobby Stormes was high w/22. Dennis Ramella w/15. Coop and Dave w/ 10. P.J. w/ 8, me w/6. Hoeff w/5 and Joey Thomson w/5. After the game Gary Cacciatore and Jerry Fleming toasted “The Bench.” I joined in.

PREVIOUS GAME: A.C. 81, Lehigh CCC 71

NEXT GAME: Northhampton Area Community College, in three days

1972-73 CENTAUR SEASON Schedule and Results:

DATE  OPPONENT                RESULT               RECORD

12/1      at Lehigh CCC                W/81-71                  1-0

12-4      at Northampton 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 3rd, 2012 at 8:03 am, Steve McKee: Centaur Season said:

[…] “WE WON! … I STUNK”— entry #3 from “A history of the events of the Allentown C… […]


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.