Kyle Lowry starred at Cardinal Dougherty before moving on to Villanova and the NBA. His mother insisted he stay off the streets.
JERRY LODRIGUSS / File photograph
Kyle Lowry starred at Cardinal Dougherty before moving on to Villanova and the NBA. His mother insisted he stay off the streets.
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The suit, custom-made by Jay Wright’s tailor, hung flawlessly on Kyle Lowry’s sculpted frame, the faintest hint of a white pinstripe easing the harshness of what otherwise would have been a solid black ensemble.

When he emerged from the Memphis locker room for the Grizzlies’ game against the 76ers last month, the injured Lowry accentuated the suit with designer sunglasses and more closely resembled the dapper Jay-Z than the little kid who used to hoist jumpers at the Hank Gathers Rec Center at 25th and Diamond.

While so many other kids in North Philadelphia have failed, Lowry made it. To college. To the NBA. To the bank.

And he never would have gotten there, Lowry said before the Grizzlies traded him to Houston last month, without growing up at 20th and Lehigh.

“Everybody was rough and ragged,” Lowry, who turned 23 years old today, said of his old neighborhood. “It’s tough, but somehow, some way, you find a way.”

As a kid, Lowry saw everything, he said. Drugs. Violence. Homelessness. Abandoned houses. Robberies. But on the playgrounds and in the gyms, Lowry became the embodiment of the North Philly basketball player. Fearless. Stubborn. Tenacious. Resilient.

He said his mother, Marie Holloway, insisted he stay off the streets and on the basketball court, and inside the Gathers Center there is a picture of a 7-year-old Lowry standing stone-faced in a layup line… Read Entire Article Here

Roman Catholic guard Maalik Wayns was named the Gatorade Pennsylvania Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

He is a finalist for Gatorade’s National Boys Basketball Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.

Wayns, who will play for Villanova next season, led Roman to an 18-9 record and a berth in the PIAA Class AAAA tournament, averaging 18.2 points, 5.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game.

Wayns, ranked as the No. 20 senior in the country by ESPN, will play in the McDonald’s All-American Game next week in Miami… Read Entire Article Here

CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
John Scarbrough can no longer play basketball like the players behind him on the grounds of Strawberry Mansion High, where he once starred.The 23-year-old is on parole for a drug offense committed before his December 2006 shooting, and he’s trying to figure out what to do with his life.
 
By Ashley Fox (Inquirer Staff Writer)

If only for a moment, John Scarbrough saw it coming. The gun. The shooter. The flash.

And then he heard the noise, so loud and so quick and so final. It was familiar, the cold sound of gunshots. He’d pulled a trigger. But never had that sound been followed by the piercing pain Scarbrough felt in his thighs as he reached for the piece that somehow was missing from its normal hiding place.

So this was it. Approaching midnight, sitting in a pickup truck on the corner of 22d and Ontario, this was how Scarbrough’s life was going to end. No more basketball. No more music. No more hearing his grandmother’s melodic voice or feeling his mother’s embrace. John Scarbrough was about to become another body in a bag in North Philadelphia, and all because of a lousy couple of hundred bucks.

Except after getting shot point blank seven times – five in his left leg, two in his right – Scarbrough didn’t die. Not exactly. Maybe it was God. Maybe it was luck. Or maybe his long, lanky body was just strong enough to withstand the trauma after all of those years playing basketball, on the playgrounds, at the rec centers, in high school and, for those few short months before he returned to the city streets, in college.

After 31 days in the winter of 2006, doctors at Temple Hospital did what they could. They couldn’t save Scarbrough’s left leg, but they saved his life. And now, incarcerated for a previous felony drug offense, with less than five months until his parole, the 23-year-old former star forward at Strawberry Mansion is trying to decide exactly what to do with that life, since no one has much use for a one-legged drug dealer, much less a one-legged basketball player.

“Anybody can shoot,” Scarbrough said. “Try getting shot.”… Read Entire Article Here

YOU KNOW A GUY is upper echelon when he can miss one-third of his team’s games and still earn major honors.

So it is with Roman Catholic High’s Maalik Wayns, bound for Villanova next year but first headed to Miami to play next Wednesday in the McDonald’s All-American Game.

With all due respect to the other first-team members, Wayns, a 6-1 point guard with abundant skills and savvy, along with a relentless approach, is our Player of the Year in connection with the 2008-09 Daily News All-City Team.

A torn meniscus in his right knee, requiring surgery, sidelined Wayns for nine games. If not for the injury, most agree the Cahillites would have made strong bids for Catholic League, District 12 and state titles… Read Entire Article Here

The Daily News Player of the Year Maalik Wayns, of Roman Catholic, holds the ball surrounded by other first-teamers (from left) Denzel Yard, of Franklin Learning Center; Jesse Morgan, of Olney; Sam Prescott, of Imhotep Charter; and Tyrone Garland, of John Bartram. (Steven M. Falk / Staff photographer)

The Daily News Player of the Year Maalik Wayns, of Roman Catholic, holds the ball surrounded by other first-teamers (from left) Denzel Yard, of Franklin Learning Center; Jesse Morgan, of Olney; Sam Prescott, of Imhotep Charter; and Tyrone Garland, of John Bartram. (Steven M. Falk / Staff photographer)

FIRST TEAM

NameSchoolHgt.Pos.Yr.

Maalik WaynsRoman Catholic6-1GSr.

Jesse “Booge” MorganOlney6-4GSr.

Denzel YardFranklin LC5-11GSr.

Tyrone GarlandJohn Bartram6-0GJr.

Sam PrescottImhotep Charter6-3GSr.

SECOND TEAM

Tony ChennaultNeumann-Goretti6-2GJr.

Shannon GivensSamuel Fels5-10GSr.

DJ IrvingArchbishop Carroll5-11GJr.

Cameron AyersGermantown Academy6-4GJr.

Ferg MyrickPrep Charter6-6FSr.

Parrish Grant Imhotep Charter6-2GSr.

See The Entire List Here

The two-day Cherry Hill East Basketball Classic, which was staged Feb. 21-22, turned out to be highly successful. Huge crowds watched many of the best boys’ basketball teams in South Jersey.

Besides offering top-flight competition on the court, the organizers of the Cherry Hill East Basketball Classic have donated $1,000 to the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, which raises money for athletes who have suffered spinal injuries.

A total of $763 was donated from the sale of programs during the Classic, and Cherry Hill East athletic director Bernie O’Connor added another $237 from gate receipts because of his belief in the foundation’s cause… Read Entire Article Here

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – One player was carefree, feeling no pressure to perform, while the other admitted having pregame jitters.

This was just an all-star game, but two players with different approaches still came out with favorable results.

That goes to show that there is more than one way to approach an all-star game, although guards usually have one thing on their mind – scoring.

Atlantic City guard Umar Shannon was as loose as can be before leading the South to a 129-110 win over the North during yesterday’s New Jersey State Coaches Association All-Star Classic at Toms River North.

The South team in this state all-star clash consisted of players from South and Central Jersey.

Shannon not only led his team to victory but came away with some hardware as the MVP, scoring 21 points and hitting five three-pointers in what can be described as a trey fest.

Before the season Shannon had accepted a scholarship to St. Francis (Pa.), but that sure thing did not keep him from staying hungry. Shannon had a great year, averaging 18.4 points, and was named an Inquirer second-team all-South Jersey selection… Read Entire Article Here

In 1990, Dobbins Tech basketball coach Rich Yankowitz holds up a photo of one of his teams that included Bo Kimble (32) and Hank Gathers (24).
In 1990, Dobbins Tech basketball coach Rich Yankowitz holds up a photo of one of his teams that included Bo Kimble (32) and Hank Gathers (24).

In the fall of 1969, when he arrived at Murrell Dobbins Tech, 22d and Lehigh Streets, Rich Yankowitz became the latest “White Shadow” to coach athletics at one of Philadelphia’s predominantly black public high schools.

And like Ken Reeves, the fictitious basketball boss at Los Angeles’ Carver High in the 1978-81 television series of that name, Yankowitz, then 26, became exposed to an often dangerous and chaotic urban environment: a basketball hotbed for some, a dead-end street for others.

Yankowitz, an Overbrook High graduate, was the right man for the job. Known as “Yank,” he saw just about everything while walking the hallways inside Dobbins and reaching out to his players on the impoverished, bleak-looking North Philly landscape, but he had the thick skin to handle the turmoil and instability that the school’s teenagers faced.

Yankowitz, 66, retired four years ago after 40 years of service in the Philadelphia School District. The health and physical education teacher was Dobbins’ varsity basketball coach for 34 years. He also coached baseball, soccer, cross-country, and track and field.

“With the kids, I tried to make positive changes in them,” Yankowitz said. “But the thing about it is, I grew up and learned as much as they did. I got a better understanding of life and people.”

For Yankowitz, who compiled a 486-269 record with the Mustangs and is the winningest basketball coach in Public League history, his job was anything but the 9-to-5 variety…Read Entire Article Here

Imhotep's Sam Prescott carried home the state championship trophy and a net from Penn State.
Associated Press
Imhotep’s Sam Prescott carried home the state championship trophy and a net from Penn State.

STATE COLLEGE – The name is Sam Prescott, and he should remember that.

Luckily for Imhotep Charter, he did so just in time Saturday at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center, thus leading his basketball team to the PIAA Class AA state championship.

It’s not every basketball star who tends to be reluctant and/or unassuming. In the overall scheme, especially since he does get the job done, that’s better than selfish and/or brash to the point of being annoying.

“I sometimes forget who I am,” Prescott said. “That I’m a captain, and that the guys look up to me, and that I have to lead the way.”

Pause . . .

“But when it counts, you know I’m going to throw it out there, like I have the whole season.”

Prescott, a 6-3, 185-pound senior bound for Marist, uttered those words outside Imhotep’s locker room. Moments earlier, he had carried the championship trophy down the long hallway, with his teammates hopping and hooting behind.

Imhotep 75, Pittsburgh’s version of North Catholic 67.

That was the final, in double overtime. And though Prescott wasn’t the reason the Panthers finally prevailed, to some degree in spite of themselves, he was decidedly prominent… Read Entire Article Here

FINAL, BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Team Record

Last week’s rankings are in parentheses. 1. Penn Wood (2) 28-4

 

The Patriots lived up to lofty preseason expectations by winning their first Class AAAA state title.

2. Imhotep Charter (1) 32-1

It was nothing short of a storybook season for the Panthers, the Class AA state champions, who ended the season with 31 straight victories.

3. Archbishop Carroll (3) 27-3

The Patriots, the Class AAA state champions, are the first Philadelphia Catholic League team to win a PIAA state title.

4. Neumann-Goretti (4) 26-3

The Saints are the Catholic League and District 12 Class AAA champions.

5. Friends’ Central (5) 27-2

Friends’ Central, which will compete in next month’s ESPN Rise National High School Invitational, claimed the title at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools tournament… Read Entire Article Here

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