BILL NEAL

:10—Let’s get right to it. Pictured in the photo are members of the 1971 Schenley High School City League and State Championship Team. Considered by most basketball historians and sports writers as one of the five greatest teams in Western PA history, along with the 1966 Kenny Durrett-led Schenley team, the Dick Devenzio-led Ambridge team, the Simmie Hill-led Midland team and the great Sam Clancy-led Fifth Avenue team. Hey, pick your poison, but every one of those teams take you apart at the seams. But make no mistake about it, few teams possessed the tremendous talent as this “71” Spartan team. The great and future NBA All-Star and World Champion Maurice Lucas…the “Get it all done” force of Tom Thorton…the legendary, and I do mean legendary, Robert “Jeep” Kelly…the complete greatness of Ricky “Black Magic” Coleman (Considered by most the greatest guard in Western PA history) and a support group who, as a unit, could have won the City League as well. Ralph Smith, Jerry Harvey, Norrie Coney, Jeff Matthews, Gary “Dusty” Meyers, Leon Williams, Lester Harper, and James “Squeaky” Nicholson. (All are set to attend.) (Maurice Lucas and Jeep Kelly are deceased.)

1971 CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM—First row, from left: Coach S. Watkins, L. Williams, R. Chambers, S. Wise, R. McCutchen, G. Scott, Asst. Coach R. Young. Second row, from left: J. Matthews, G. Myers, N. Coney, L. McGee, J. Harvey, T. Thornton, M. Lucas, R. Head, E. Woods, J. Nicholson, R. Smith, D. Burley

:09—The 1971 Schenley hoop team will join the 1966 Schenley City League and State Championship team as both are inducted in this year’s 4th Annual Pittsburgh City League Hall of Fame Awards. Say what you want and feel as you may, just about everyone gives the nod to the “66” team as the best ever with Kenny Durrett voted the greatest player in Western PA history and subsequently the greatest player in NCAA Big Five Conference history, it’s hard to argue. But it by no means was a one man show. Durrett told me several times if there was no Petey Gibson, there would not have been a Kenny Durrett. Add to that the legendary names you know so well…the greatness of Marvin Snowden, Jimmy Prince, Jake Williams, Phil Maza, Rod “Hot Rod” Horne, Willie Clay and Montel Brundage. (All are set to attend except for Petey Gibson.) (Kenny Durrett, Montel Brundage and Willie Clay are deceased.)

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