By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia school library has a new look and a new name, in honor of an alumnus that 76ers fans may remember.

The refurbished library at the William D. Kelley Elementary School, at 28th and Oxford Streets, has been rededicated in honor of Tony Irving.

Irving started as a KYW Newsradio desk assistant in the early 1980s, and parlayed his love of reading and basketball into a job as a halftime reporter for 76ers games on Prism TV in the 1990s.

Irving died in 1999, at the age of 41.

Sixers pay-by-play man Marc Zumoff says Irving would likely have shied away from the attention on this day.

“I don’t think that he was one to bask in the glow of any kind of adulation coming his way,” Zumoff notes.  He would have said, ‘Yeah, they should be reading.  Of course they should be reading.  That’s what you’re supposed to do!’ ”

zumoff marc irving award  denardo North Phila. School Renames Its Library to Honor Accomplished Alumnus

(Marc Zumoff poses with the Tony Irving Award at Kelley Elementary School. Credit: Mike DeNardo)


Amelia Brown, the principal at Kelley, says Irving continues to inspire students at his alma mater.

“His life parallels the lives of many of my children here at the Kelley School,” she tells KYW Newsradio, “and one thing we stress with our children is that anything is possible.”

Zumoff was at the school today to present the Tony Irving Award, presented each year to two Kelley students who have succeeded in the face of adversity.

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