PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia basketball community is more like a family that a group of separate individuals. The camaraderie and deep respect for one another trickles down from the City 6 coaches to the high school coaches.
That surfaced Wednesday night at the inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer High School Legends Dinner at the Great American Pub in Conshohocken. Legendary high school coaches Steve Chadwin (Abington Friends), Tony Chapman (Holy Ghost Prep), Jim Fenerty (Germantown Academy), and William “Speedy” Morris (St. Joseph’s Prep) were honored, along with retired Dan Dougherty, who coached for over 35 years between Malvern Prep and Episcopal Academy.
Between the five of them, they’ve won an astounding 3,676 games and 68 titles in their respective leagues and districts combined.
“This is tremendous to be included in this group, because they’re great people and great coaches,” said Holy Ghost’s Chapman, who ranked No. 2 on the list in wins with 828 in 39 seasons behind Morris (990 career victories at the high school and college level). “I feel very humbled to be a part of this, because there are a lot of outstanding coaches that can be here instead of me.
“It’s been a lot of fun and as long as I enjoy it, I’ll stay in it.”
The event, hosted by notedbracketologist Joe Lunardi, also drew Temple’s Fran Dunphy, St. Joe’s Phil Martelli and La Salle’ s John’s Giannini.
“Philadelphia is a small community, but it’s a strong community because it’s built on the backs of the guys that we’re honoring here tonight,” Martelli said. “Guys like Bill Draper, who ran Narberth, and the Sonny Hill crew that runs the summer league there, basketball to me in Philadlephia is such a statement about the goodness of Philadelphia.
“You add up the number of wins with the guys tonight, and it’s staggering, but it’s not about the wins. Think about the number of kids that these coaches have impacted. I stand here as one of those kids who was impacted. We have the best in Philadelphia, and it doesn’t start at the Division I level, it starts at the high school level. It’s those guys choosing coaching as their avocation, and it goes up to the small-college guys, and we happen to be fortunate enough to have some of the jobs that we have at the Division I level. These guys being honored tonight aren’t pioneers, they’re legitimate icons, every single one of them.”
To make a donation to the Coaches vs. Cancer program, go to bit.ly/LegendsDonation.