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BILL NEAL

 

 

:10 “The Moon Will Surely Rise Again” and no words will ever be more true. By now, you know that the legendary Tyrone “Moon” Howard has joined “Heavens Hoopers,” the greatest collection of basketball talent playing way above the rim known to mankind. The legend of “Moon” grew early as did he. Everybody was talking about this 9th grade kid over at Mellon Park tearing it up. Then one day, I get this call from former great Westinghouse player Terrence Taylor telling me I’ve got to go see this kid. Of course “T” was right except for one thing, it was a kid alright . . . it just so happened he was in a man’s body.
Now, there’s all the things you already know. He could play, flat out play. Not just normal play, but exceptional play. Shoot it, run the floor like a guard, even though he was 6’8” and every bit of 250 lbs. Block shots of course and needless to say “D” you up like you stole something. And look, I know I say this about different guys, but this part is really, really true—“Moonie” would dunk on you in a heartbeat . . . but not like Sonny Lewis or Myron Brown or Morrie Cox. Those guys needed a step or two to go airborne. Not Moonie. He would go up on ya and slam wherever and whenever…Just…Bam …and that was it all you could hope is that he didn’t tear your arm off in the process.
But not on purpose. That’s for sure. Moon was that guy. You know the guy that wouldn’t hurt a fly. Always a smile on his face. Always the peace maker, the Pied Piper of kids and always, always, always respectful to everybody. To this moment, I can tell you without question, I never heard him raise his voice or use foul language…not even in a game when he was getting pounded on. A great young man with extraordinary talent who went on to have a great college career, pro career and special time that he spent with the legendary Harlem Globe Trotters. One of the all time great Connie Hawkins League ballers and slam dunk champions whose blacktop games will remain legend that we talk about forever. “Moon” now joins “Heavens Hoopers” the all Pittsburgh team playing daily with no worries, no pain and no personal fouls. Kenny Durrett, Jeep Kelly, Jim McCoy, Sonny Lewis, Armon Gilliam, Larry Richardson, Darryll Gissendanner, Kenny West, Tuna-Fish, Maurice Lucas. Good By Pryor, SiHugo Grazen, Chuck Cooper, Sr., Maurice Stokes…all gone but never forgotten, playing at a different level. Going to the hole without fear and on that squad everyone averages a triple-double. (and don’t ask me who’s starting. I am not the coach…at least not today!!)
God Bless you Tyrone “Moon” Howard and may God Bless your family.
:9 Happy belated Easter to each and every one of you and continued blessings to you and yours. By the way, for those of you that are not quite sure…let me know when you get a better plan than the one he has for you! And that, you can surely take to the bank.
:8 By now, you know the streak is over. Miami came up short to Chicago as I said they would. Yes I did…just go back and check your Couriers. Now maybe…just maybe, Mike Booker and “Zik” will shut up about “King James” and his band of gypsies (“Band of Gypsies”…c’mon man. Jimmy Hendrix 1969). Of course it’s going to be hard to shut Zik up cause he cheers for three different teams. One week it’s The Heat, the next week it’s The Knicks and when the Cav’s win, he lays claim to them too. I’m just saying!
:7 The broken leg suffered by Louisville’s Leon Ware is second worse only to Joe Theisman’s break delivered by Lawrence Taylor.
:6 What about O. J.?
:5 Speaking of being right, and getting back to sports, thank you very much. The Heat will not repeat!!! Happy now! ? ! ?
:4 Late entry on the streak list. “The Wizard of Oz” the great short stop Ozzie Smith. 13 straight gold gloves. Nuff said!
:3 Charles Smith, the former great Pitt basketball star was in town last week. #1. You forgot he’s Pitt’s all-time leading scorer and shot blocker. No. 2. You forget he was an NBA super star for The Knicks, not just another guy. No. 3. I know you forgot he used to tear up the Connie Hawkins League down at Champions Park behind the police station in East Liberty…oh, now you remember!
:2 Speaking of great names from the asphalt jungle, here’s a few Pittsburgh cats you forgot about, but you would remember real quick if you were playing them.
“The Twins” from bump yes, Milton Miles,     Nate Duck, Ronnie McRae, Jimmy Nichols, Jimmie Cox, Kenny Lewis, Ricky Richburg, Donny Johnson, Melvin Paul, Stan “The Man” Mahan, Eric Jefferson, D.J. Johnson, Gerald Lovelace, “Dr. Hook”, John Moore, Reggie Cox, Davie Burris, Lloyd Moore, Mel Keys, “Big John” Tate…ooohhh now you remember!!!
:1 At the Buzzer. Hhheeerrreee We Go
•The 38th Annual Champions Western Pa. High School All-Star Basketball Classic is set for Sunday, April 7th at the new and magnificent Penn Hills Senior High School.
Middle School Girls—9 a.m.-12 noon, Middle School Boys—12 noon-3 p.m., Senior Girls City vs. WPIAL—3 p.m. Senior Boys City vs. WPIAL—5 p.m. Free parking in lower level. Refreshments. Vendors. Celebrities. Slam Dunk. 3 Point and foul shooting contest and an amazing half-time show by Karate Master Jacquet  Bazemore. For more information, call the Champions at 412-628-4056.
~ GAME OVER ~

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