Thursday, December 25, 2014

Big 5 players to win NBA title

Big 5 Players to win NBA Title

Big 5 players to win NBA title

Daily News co-worker Mark Perner points out that if the Spurs can pull out Game 7 Thursday night, San Antonio's Gary Neal (who spent two years at La Salle before transferring to Towson)  will become the 11th different player to attend a City 6 school and win an NBA title since 1957. Sixers broadcaster Malik Rose (Drexel) is the only one among them to win more than one title.

Why start with 1957? Well, the 1956 NBA Champions were the Philadelphia Warriors, who had no less than seven Big 5 players — Jack George, Tom Gola and Jackie Moore (La Salle), Ernie Beck (Penn), Paul Arizin, Larry Hennessy and Bob Schafer (Villanova).

City 6 players on an NBA Champion since 1957 (*Injured during regular season and did not play in postseason):

 

 Year     Player  Team  College
 1967  Billy Melchionni  76ers  Villanova
 1967  Matt Guokas  76ers  Saint Joseph's   
 1967  Wali Jones  76ers  Villanova
 1974  Phil Hankinson  Celtics  Penn
 1977  Corky Calhoun  Trail Blazers     Penn
 1981  Chris Ford  Celtics  Villanova
 1990  Ralph Lewis  Pistons  La Salle
 1992  Rory Sparrow  Bulls  Villanova
 1999  Malik Rose  Spurs  Drexel
 2000  *John Celestand     Lakers  Villanova
 2003  Malik Rose  Spurs  Drexel
 2005  Malik Rose  Spurs  Drexel
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Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

To listen to Boop on 94WIP, click here.

Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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