By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Big Five welcomed five new members into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Palestra on Friday.
Former St. Joseph’s standout Marvin O’Connor was one of the new members. He said he was honored to join an elite group of men and women who have build a special tradition of college basketball.
“It means everything,” O’Connor said. “I’m a Philadelphia guy. I’m rooted and grounded in Philadelphia. Just to be a part of this tradition, words can’t explain it. It’s unbelievable.”
Three former women’s players were also among the inductees. Jen Ricco (Temple), Angela Zampella (St. Joseph’s) and Trish Juhline (Villanova) all talked about the honor of being part of the Class of 2013. Juhline said there was always a healthy respect for their city rivals every time they faced each other.
“It was super ultra-competitive during the game,” Juhline said. “But everyone was friends. You played against them growing up, and you definitely had a high respect for each other.”
Late sportswriter Phil Jasner took his place in the Big Five Hall of Fame on Friday. Jasner covered the Big Five for many years before he began covering the Sixers. Jasner’s son, Andy, said his father loved his days covering college basketball in the city.
“He covered the Big Five for nearly 20 years,” said Jasner. “He loved the Big Five. He had such respect for everyone, and he just loved it.”