The Philadelphia Association of Black Sports and Culture, Inc. will recognize basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain (posthumously), Gene Banks, former West Philadelphia High, Duke University and NBA standout and C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers head women’s basketball coach and Hall of Famer, at a special ceremony on Sunday, September 30 at the Oaks ballroom, 511 W. Oak Lane in Glenolden (Delaware County). The event will begin at 2 p.m.
Chamberlain, Banks and Stringer are just three of seven honorees who will be saluted that day. The others include: Dr. Shirley Turpin Parham (posthumously) educator and historian; Norman Oliver, director of the “Stormin Norman” Basketball League in Wilmington, Del.; Mark Sills, president/founder of Urban Youth Inc. in Wilmington, Del.; and Larry Wilson, Gwynedd Mercy track coach.
This is a big year for Chamberlain as the NBA celebrated the 50th anniversary of his 100-point game. On March 2, 1962, he scored 100 points to lead the Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 win over the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa.
Chamberlain was a huge star in the NBA from 1959 through 1973 when he played for the Philadelphia Warriors (which later became the San Francisco Warriors), Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. He scored 31,419 points and grabbed 23,924 rebounds.
Chamberlain won two NBA championships. He guided the 1966-67 to an NBA title and the Lakers to a 1972 NBA crown. The 7-foot-1, 275-pound center, earned four Most Valuable Player awards, one Finals MVP award and was chosen to 13 All-Star games and 10 All-NBA first and second teams.
Chamberlain played his college basketball at the University of Kansas. In his first varsity game, he scored 52 points and snared 31 rebounds, shattering both all-time college records in an 87-69 win over Northwestern. In 1957, he led Kansas to the NCAA Finals and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
At Overbrook High, he won three Public League and two city championships. He scored 90 points against Roxborough High School in 1955. He scored 2,206 points in his scholastic career and currently ranks third in the Public League.
The former Overbrook High All-American is “under consideration” to receive a postage stamp in his honor according to the U.S. Postal Service. Fans can support the effort by signing the online petition at www.phillytrib.com.
Banks was one of the most celebrated high school basketball players to ever play in this city. He led West Philadelphia High School to three Public League and three city championships during the years of 1975, 1976 and 1977. Banks scored 1,694 career points in high school. He led the Speedboys to a 79-2 record during his playing days including a 30-0 mark in 1977.
Banks, a 6-foot-7 forward, played four years at Duke. In 1978, he carried the Blue Devils to the NCAA Finals. He was Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s first superstar. He received All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. He was one of the best players in the ACC.
In 1981, he was a second round pick of the San Antonio Spurs. He played four years with the Spurs and two seasons with the Chicago Bulls. He also played professional basketball in Italy and Israel.
Banks is currently an assistant coach/player development with the Washington Wizards. This is his second season on the Wizards staff.
Stringer is one of the best coaches in women’s college basketball. In 2009, she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. This is her 16th season coaching the Scarlet Knights.
In 1971, Stringer started her coaching career at Cheyney State. In 1982, she led the Wolves to their first NCAA championship. She coached All-American Yolanda Laney, who was a major star at Cheyney State. She had an amazing record at Cheyney State. She had a 251-51 slate in 12 seasons. After that, she coached at Iowa for 12 years, putting together a 269-84 mark. She coached the Hawkeyes from 1983 to 1995. Following a tremendous stint at Iowa, she came to Rutgers where she has built a terrific basketball program. She amassed a 343-173 record during her coaching career with the Scarlet Knights.
She has taken three different teams to the Final Four. She has a sensational 863-308 record. This is her 41st season in coaching.
The PABSC is celebrating its six annual legends banquet. The organization started in 2002. The PABSC honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the community and serves as role models and mentors for positive change in sports and culture. Tickets are $60.00. For ticket information, contact Bill Baggett at (215) 696-9313.
Bernard Hopkins has put together a fabulous boxing career. Hopkins is the oldest fighter to win a world championship in the boxing history at age 48. The Philadelphia boxing great will be honored for that accomplishment on June 20 when he receives the John Wanamaker Athletic Award. The awards ceremony will take place at the Wanamaker Building’s Crystal Tea Room.
The award, which has been around since 1961, will be presented by the Philadelphia Sports Congress (PSC), a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Vistors Bureau (PHLCVB), in conjunction with Amerimar/Behringer Harvard. It recognizes the athlete, team or organization that has done the most to reflect credit upon Philadelphia and to the team or sport in which they excel.
In 2011, Hopkins broke George Foreman’s record as the oldest fighter in history to win a title when he defeated Jean Pascal for the WBC and Ring Magazine light heavweight world championship as a 46-year-old fighter.
On March 9, Hopkins defeated IBF light heavyweight world champion Tavoris Cloud in a 12-round unanimous decision, capturing the title in front of a crowd of more than 12,000 fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I am extremely honored to be named the Wanamaker Athletic Award winner [Philadelphia Athlete of the Year]. Breaking my own record as the oldest fighter to win a world title was a great accomplishment in my career and for my city to receognize that means a great deal,” Hopkins said in a statement. “Everyone knows that Philadelphia breeds great champions and I take so much pride in representing Philly every time I step into the ring. Many thanks to the Philadelphia Sports Congress for this great honor.”
This ceremony will also recognize a national non-profit, “Back on My Feet,” who will receive the Robert P. Levy Community Service Award, presented to an individual oer organization that has done the most to “improve the quality of life in Philadelphia through sports.” Started in Philadelphia in 2007 by founder and CEO Anne Mahlum, Back on My Feet has promoted the self-sufficiency of America’s homeless by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem, often finding jobs and housing in the process.
In addition, the City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation Department will present its third annual Sports Volunteer of the Year award to Yolanda Laney, an employee in the Office of the City Solicitor who has dedicated more than 30 years of service to the youth of Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware, volunteering as a coach and mentor with various youth basketball programs. The award is presented annually to the “men and women in our community whose exemplary volunteer efforts have made a real difference in the lives of our City’s young people through sports.”
Laney was a terrific basketball player at University City High School. She was an All-Public League standout. She played her college basketball at Cheyney State. She was a Kodak All-American at Cheyney. Laney guided the Wolves to two NCAA Final Fours and one NCAA championship game.
“This year’s recipient are all great examples of the impact that individuals can have on others,” said David Montgomery, chairman, Philadelphia Sports Congress. “Bernard Hopkins is a true champion who has continued a wonderful legacy of Philadelphia boxing. In addition, Anne and Yolanda haved dedicated their lives to making a significant difference for so many people. They embody the true spirit of giving back to the community. All recipients represent our city extremely well.