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Old 06-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

In the Anthracite Basketball League. Played for a squad called the Lewisburg Hilltoppers.

His two highs for that season were 135 and 100 points.




Dude was a straight beast. Would have dominated the league if he had his head on straight.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Inb4 jlauber vs. ShaqAttack
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

I remember him on that stupid street ball reality show on espn like 8 years ago. He was a judge if I remember right.

Apparently he was a street ball legend but got messed up by drugs. Don't know much about him other than that.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

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The most exciting, entertaining and quality high school basketball ever played locally stemmed from the old Anthracite League. It captivated people's interest in our entire area at a fever pitch for three full months every season for 45 years.

The intriguing new league formed in 1937 and discontinued in 1982. If you had to describe the Anthracite league in one word, it would be "Awesome!'' Eight to 10 schools competed in that circuit with two separate halves which usually led annually to exciting, packed-house Anthracite league championship games.

Plus, there's a long history of Anthracite teams advancing deep into the PIAA tournament. Witness MMI's state Class C title run in 1973, the first year that private schools were allowed to compete with publci schools in state competition, and St. Gabriel's and Marian bringing home state PCIAA championships.

See Bishop Hafey and Weatherly coming oh-so-close to state glory in 1975 and 1976, respectively, and Cardinal Brennan and Panther Valley both having magical playoff runs in 1979-80 - without winning the league title which shows just how strong the Anthracite was at that time.

There were excellent coaches named "'Yosh,'' Ronnie, Wally, Cy, Bob, Tony, Mickey, Dave, John, "Pip'' and "Digger.'' (Yes, that "Digger'' of Notre Dame and now of ESPN fame!) who as Dick Phelps coached at St. Gabriel's in the late 1960s.

There also were the memorable seasons; Hafey's 27-game romp to the Eastern final in 1975 and Freeland's 28-0 start in 1981-82 highlighted by two epic battles with West Hazleton, which lost only three games all

season, twice to the Whippets in front of raucous, standing-room-only crowds, the first time at the "cozy'' Freeland YMCA and the second at Our Lady of Grace gym in Hazleton.

Freeland trailed 49-42 with 2:09 left in the latter, but scored the final eight points - including Joe Sabol's baseline jumper with only a few seconds left - to eke out a 50-49 win, one that catapulted the Whippets to the league crown.

Freeland won the very first Anthracite title in 1938 and three of the first four (also winning in 1939 and 1941), but the Whippets didn't win another that 1981-82 season, the league's very last before its teams were merged into the Schuylkill League the following year.

League history

Looking back, West Hazleton was considered the New York Yankees of the Anthracite League since the Wildcats captured 15 league championships. Behind the Wildcats were the McAdoo Maroons who were Anthracite kings seven times.

Freeland won it four times and St Gabriel's and MMI captured three titles. Hazle Township won it twice (in 1941 and 42) and so did Bishop Hafey with championships (in 1974 and 1975).

Teams that were in and out during the life of the league before the openings of Marian Catholic and Bishop Hafey were West Hazleton, Freeland, McAdoo, MMI, Hazle Township, Weatherly, Cardinal Brennan, Jim Thorpe, Foster Township, Immaculate Heart (of Ashland), White Haven and St Ann's of Freeland.

Foster Township, Immaculate Heart and St Ann's eventually shut down and Hazle Township was consolidated with the sprawling Hazleton Area School District in 1966. Jim Thorpe dropped out of the league after the 1971 season, but the Olympians returned later in the decade. Shamokin Lourdes Regional and Panther Valley also came into the league in the late 1970s and immediately contributed to the league's overall excellence.

Those that were still standing when the Anthracite League discontinued were West Hazleton, Freeland, MMI, Cardinal Brennan, Weatherly, Marian Catholic, Bishop Hafey, Panther Valley and Lourdes.

Anthracite all-stars

In the 1940s and 50s, the Hazleton Lions Club sponsored a local all-star game for seniors in early March after the regular season. It was for the "Eyesight Conversation Program Fund". They called it the "Dream Game.''

The game pitted the "Mountaineers" (In Hazleton High uniforms) against the "Anthracites" (in Freeland uniforms). The game featured the best seniors from each school. The Mountaineers team consisted of players from HHS, Nuremberg, Rock Glen, White Haven and Sheppton. The Anthracites were senior all-stars from all the teams in the Anthracite League.

The first nine "Dream Games'' were played at old Hazleton High, which is now referred to as the "Castle On The Hill.'' The final seven games were played at St Joseph's Gym at Fifth and Laurel streets in Hazleton before the project was discontinued in 1959.

Memorable games

There were so many great Anthracite League games and playoffs throughout the years that it's hard to pick out the best ones. But just to mention a few: West Hazleton's 55-54 win at Marian in 1970 was the only game that regular season that any team came within 12 points of the 1969-70 Wildcats. They ended their regular season at 21-0. They ended that campaign at 24-1 and won the District 11 championship.

Then there was Jim Thorpe's 80-77 win over Weatherly in overtime at St Joe's in 1966 and the Wreckers' win over St. Gabriel's in 1967. Want more excitement and drama? Pick out any game from the early to mid 1970s pitting Bishop Hafey and Cy Fulton against Marian and Bob Fulton, or the West Hazleton-Freeland showdowns from 1982, where rambunctious fans lined sidewalks leading into gyms starting at 4 in the afternoon.

There was so many classic games that will always be remembered by many.

However, the most famous game in local and Anthracite League - maybe even Pennsylvania scholastic - basketball history took place at old West Hazleton High School on the Tuesday night of Feb. 11, 1964.

The Wildcats were cruising along at 17-0 and riding a 62-game winning streak in the league; in fact, they had not lost a league encounter since 1959. But on this night stall tactics prevailed and gave MMI a 7-5 upset win that drew national attention for its remarkably low score.

Coach Ron Gatski was in his first year of a 10-year reign at West Hazleton while Al Goedecke was in his final season as coach of the Preppers, who excuted the slow-down game to perfection and rewarded Goedecke with a memorable victory.

In those days, Anthracite League games were played in packed gyms, especially with student bodies who were very much involved. Now most of the crowds at games are adults. Local basketball will never ever come close to the excitement and rivalries during the days of the "Anthracite League" that unfortunately ended almost three decades ago.

Players

It seemed every year every league team had dynamite players, kids that older fans couldn't wait to see heat up an otherwise cold winter night and those that area youngsters would idolize and emulate until it was their to turn to shine in the spotlight.

There were players who excelled at all levels of college basketball, displaying the quality of play in the Anthracite League.

Space constraints and the fear of forgetting deserving players prevent us mentioning all those players in this column, but if area fans and those that followed the Anthracite League during any part of its four-plus decades of existence close their eyes and think hard enough, a clear image of their favorite league player, game or moment should spring to mind almost immediately.

The Anthracite League was that special.

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Old 06-11-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

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Originally Posted by Mr. I'm So Rad
Inb4 jlauber vs. ShaqAttack

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Old 06-11-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laOZ7HPu9yU#t=0m52s
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCBaller1403
I remember him on that stupid street ball reality show on espn like 8 years ago. He was a judge if I remember right.

Apparently he was a street ball legend but got messed up by drugs. Don't know much about him other than that.
He got drafted by the Bulls in 1969. He played at Northfolk State with Bob Dandridge and was considered better than him.

Nate Archibald said Kirkland was a better player than him. They had fierce battles at Rucker Park.

He made more money on the streets selling drugs in one night than what the Bulls offered him.

Last edited by L.Kizzle : 06-11-2011 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

I wonder how many posters here have ever heard of Raymond Lewis...

http://www.raymondlewis.com/

Quote:
Reportedly scored 60 points in the first half against the NBA's number 1 draft choice Doug Collins. In Sixers NBA camp.

Quote:
Scored 56 points in 1983 against NBA's defensive star Michael Cooper in summer pro league game in only three quarters of play.

Quote:
Scored 81 points in a 1983 pro-am league game which featured NBA Players.

Quote:
As a CSLA Freshman in 1972, Lewis Averaged 38.9 points per game and hit nearly 60 percent of his shots. (an incredible feat for a guard who rarely shot inside of 20 feet.)

Quote:
1973, as a sophomore Lewis scored 53 points in an upset win (107-104) against number three- ranked 22-1 Long Beach State, in an electrifying double overtime thriller.

Quote:
Lewis' top scoring games at Cal State L.A. during his frosh and sophomore season. 73, 53, 51, 50, 46, 43, 40

Quote:
Bombed a group of LA Lakers for 52 points in a summer league game while still in high school.

Quote:
Sports Illustrated ran a 10-page feature on Lewis in its Oct. 16, 1978 edition.

Prett interesting reading for those that have never heard of him...
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlauber
I wonder how many posters here have ever heard of Raymond Lewis...

http://www.raymondlewis.com/

















Prett interesting reading for those that have never heard of him...
I have an article from SLAM on him. I gotta check it out again. I can't remember why he wasn't in the league.


Don't forget Joe Hammond, dropped 40 on Doctor J in one half at Rucker park.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
I have an article from SLAM on him. I gotta check it out again. I can't remember why he wasn't in the league.


Don't forget Joe Hammond, dropped 40 on Doctor J in one half at Rucker park.

Yeah...some pretty amazing stories of street-ballers back then.

Of course, the NBA denied Connie Hawkins for many years too.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlauber
Yeah...some pretty amazing stories of street-ballers back then.

Of course, the NBA denied Connie Hawkins for many years too.
Check out the thread I made on the Eastern Leauge. I'm lookin for some info on John Chaney, Hal Lear, Sonny Hill and others who were looked over by the NBA.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCBaller1403
I remember him on that stupid street ball reality show on espn like 8 years ago. He was a judge if I remember right.

Apparently he was a street ball legend but got messed up by drugs. Don't know much about him other than that.

He didn't get messed up by drugs, he dealt drugs. In fact, he chose selling drugs over an NBA career. He had been a dealer since he was a kid, telling his Mom he was selling newspapers

He was drafted by the Bulls in '69, I think, but he turned down a $40,000 contract because at the time he was making a lot more money than that by making shylock loans (up to $100,000 on one loan) to heroin dealers in Harlem. He went to prison in 1971 and I think he was in prison when he was part of that basketball league.

Also he claims he invented the crossover.

Just by coincidence, I watched something on him last night from Netflix. (a FEDS documentary)
He says he never did drugs because his father was an addict and the most moving part of the piece when he talked about his father quitting cold turkey by locking himself in a room for like 15 days. Every day he would come home from school and check to see if his father was still in the room.

Last edited by KevinNYC : 06-11-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC
He didn't get messed up by drugs, he dealt drugs. In fact, he chose selling drugs over an NBA career. He had been a dealer since he was a kid, telling his Mom he was selling newspapers

He was drafted by the Bulls in '69, I think, but he turned down a $40,000 contract because at the time he was making a lot more money than that by making shylock loans (up to $100,000 on one loan) to heroin dealers in Harlem. He went to prison in 1971 and I think he was in prison when he was part of that basketball league.

Also he claims he invented the crossover.

Just by coincidence, I watched something on him last night from Netflix. (a FEDS documentary)
He says he never did drugs because his father was an addict and the most moving part of the piece when he talked about his father quitting cold turkey by locking himself in a room for like 15 days. Every day he would come home from school and check to see if his father was still in the room.
Walt Frazier said he actually got his style from Pee Wee. I mean his style off the court not on the court. He'd come to the Knick games (along with Frank Lucas) with stylish coats, hats, clothes and women.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Can someone find some decent documentaries on PeeWee
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Pee-Wee Kirkland avg 70.9 ppg in 1973-1974!!!

Streetball legend. Didn't he always have a gun with him to pick up games?
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