Scranton Area Top 100 Athletes as
compiled and reported by Chad Jennings in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
From the Top 100 athletes listed, we have included only those associated with
basketball. We have also reduced the text offered in the stories.
For the entire list and the complete stories, click
|This is a copy of the Times Tribune Logo which appears with this story.|
Gerry McNamara, Bishop Hannan
Basketball gurus call Gerry McNamara a pure shooter, which is true but misses the point. It's missing the defense and the leadership and the gritty way he seems to do it all. Ever since he graduated from Bishop Hannan in 2002 as a state champion and two-time state player of the year, thousands have flocked to Syracuse to watch him play. More than once, on national television, he's been referred to as "the mayor of Scranton."
Bob Stevenson, Elk Lake
Crowds spilled out of the stands, out of the gym even, when Bob Stevenson played high school basketball. Home games at Elk Lake had to be shown on closed-circuit television to accommodate the masses. As a senior in 1977, 6-foot-5 Stevenson averaged 33 points and 16 rebounds, leading Elk Lake to a state title. He scored 55 in the championship game and was second-team all-America.
Gene Guarilia, Duryea
Four years. Four titles. Playing for the Boston Celtics - and playing with the likes of Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and John Havlicek - Gene Guarilia averaged a little over eight minutes and three points per game as a reserve for one of the most storied dynasties in basketball history. He graduated from Duryea High School in 1954 and went on to George Washington where he was one of the nation's rebounding leaders.
Joe Lalli, Dunmore
At 5-foot-8 Lalli was second team all-state in basketball at Dunmore, then went to George Washington University and was named second-team all-Southern Conference in basketball.
Jason Maile Forest City
During Jason Maile's senior year at Forest City in 1992, Maile averaged 28 points per game, led Forest City to a 26-2 record and was named the state's Small School Player of the Year. At the University of Pittsburgh, Maile's college reputation was as a shooter. Against Villanova his senior year, he tied a school record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 40 points, fourth most in school history.
Serifini, Valley View
At Valley View, she was a 5-foot-8 all-everything. She was the team's primary ball-handler, but also had more than 1,000 career rebounds. She started at point guard, but often matched up defensively against opposing centers. As a senior Serafini averaged 22.8 points per game, made first-team all-state, led her team to the PIAA Class AAA title game and was named Lackawanna County Female Athlete of the Year.
Jim Huddock, Tunkhannock
Jim Huddock led Tunkhannock to a PIAA state volleyball title in 1957 and played college baseball after he graduated in 1958. Out of high school, Jim started for the 1961 UNC team that went 19-4. As a senior in 1961-62, Hudock was the captain of coach Dean Smith's first Tarheels team and finished the season second-team all-ACC with 14.9 points per game. He won a total of 15 letters in high school in basketball, track, football, baseball and volleyball.
Fran O'Malley, St. Rose
In 1954, O'Malley was a sophomore starter for the LaSalle team that won the NCAA national championship. It's a crowning moment in the school's athletic history that almost didn't happen. In the first round, LaSalle was losing to Fordham until O'Malley hit a last-second shot to force overtime. As a senior at St. Rose - he lived in Carbondale - O'Malley earned all-state and second team all-America Catholic team honors.
One year after winning the title, O'Malley helped take LaSalle back to the NCAA title game, where the Explorers lost to Bill Russell's San Francisco team. As a senior, O'Malley was all-Big 5 and won the Joseph Schmitz Jr. award as the "senior athlete best exemplifying the tradition of LaSalle in loyalty, sportsmanship and courage."
Danny Seigle, Carbondale
At Carbondale, Seigle led his team to a state record 59 straight wins. At Wagner, he was the two-time conference all-star on the cover of the team's 1998 media guide. In the Philippines, though, Seigle is Michael Jordan. In 1993, Seigle led the bald-headed Carbondale team to a state championship, scoring 27 points in the title game.
At Division I Wagner, he scored 1,652 points, sixth most in school history, and after his 1998 senior season joined his older brother Andy in the Philippine Basketball Association. He was the leading vote getter for the 2004 PBA all-star game with more than 223,000 votes.
Raveling, St. Michaels
He was a multi-sport athlete at St. Michael's and wound up accepting a full scholarship to Villanova. In 1959, his junior year, Raveling finished top 25 in the nation in shooting percentage and rebounding, then he was drafted one year later by the Philadelphia Warriors.
He started his coaching career as an assistant at Villanova and then at Maryland. He later become a head college coach for 22 years at Washington State, Iowa and USC. He has written books on basketbal and served as an assistant on the USA Olympic team.
Amber Jacobs, Abington Heights
Third-team Parade all-America in high school. Honorable mention all-America in college. Later a point guard in the WNBA. First is from her senior year in high school, in the state quarterfinals, when she drove and dished to teammate Sue Frye with the game on the line, getting the assist on the game-winner instead of going for glory by herself. Second is from her junior year of college when Jacobs hit game-winners in both the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, taking Boston College to its first Sweet Sixteen. She was the All-Region Player of the Year three times, the only girls basketball player to earn that title more than twice.
Tara Macciocco - Dunmore High School
Four-time division all-star, three-time Lackawanna League Player of the Year, two-time Regional Player of the Year and all-state as a senior in 1993. Tara Macciocco led the Lackawanna League South in scoring as a freshman and by the time she graduated, she had a new league record for career points, 2,211. Before injuries marred her college career, Macciocco had a high school career that went from good to great, averaging 25.4 points per game and leading her team to the PIAA title game her senior year.
She later became the women's basketball coach at Marywood.
Paul Biko Cathedral High
In high school, Biko led Cathedral to consecutive state titles. As a senior he was first-team all-state and fourth-team all-America. His senior year, he averaged 38 points per game. He went to Bucknell on a basketball scholarship. In his senior season at Bucknell, he earned all- Middle Atlantic Conference honors
Bill Witaconis Scranton Prep
When his family moved to Scranton from Shenandoah in 1955, Bill Witaconis had never played basketball. By 1960, his senior year at Scranton Prep, Witaconis was the Cavaliers team captain. In 1964, he was all-ECAC small college for the second straight year and an honorable mention Little All-America.
Witaconis is likely one of only two players in school history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.
Red Wallace, Fell Twp.
Red Wallace remains a bright spot in the history of area basketball. Known for his two-handed, over-the-head set shot, his high school , college and professional career were all played out -- for the most part -- right here in Northeast Pennsylvania, starting at Fell Twp. High School in Simpson during the mid-1930s.
He returned from service and played for the original Boston Celtics for a year before coming back home to play and coach, often at the same time, for the Scranton Miners an Wilkes-Barre Barons. He died in 1977, a few months after winning his second state title as Elk Lake's head basketball coach with a 36-0 record.
Karen Hiznay Forest City
At Forest City, Hiznay set the scoring record for the Wayne County Girls Basketball League, while also competing in volleyball, softball and tennis. When she got to Villanova, Hiznay became a starter as a freshman and was part of the program's rise to prominence. In each of her four years, the team set new school records for wins, culminating with 22 wins in 1981. In 1985 she earned her M.D. from Temple and in 1990 she was inducted into Philadelphia's Big Five Hall of Fame. She is still the schools only women's basketball player to be named academic All-America.
Bill Bessoir Scranton Prep
During high school Bessoir was a 6-foot-6 scorer and rebounder. He was third-team all-state as a senior, despite playing most of the season with a mask over his face because of jaw surgery. He tallied 2,009 points in his high school career. Coach and Athlete magazine named him a high school all-American and Street and Smith named him one of the 100 best high school players.
He scored 27 points in the Division III championship game his first season at Scranton and was named the MVP of the final four. He went on to earn first-team all- America his junior and senior years and he was named Division III Player of the Year by Basketball Times Magazine as a senior.
Jane Gilpin -- Wallenpaupack High School
By the time she graduated from Wallenpaupack in 1983, only four girls in state history had scored more career points. All-State as a senior, she averaged 27.5 points and 12 rebounds while leading Wallenpaupack into the state quarterfinals. She had 2,118 career points and 1,118 rebounds.
Gilpin accepted a scholarship to Penn State. After two years at Penn State, Gilpin made the move herself, joining the University of San Diego. Her .819 free-throw percentage at San Diego in 1987 was the best in the West Coast Conference that year.
Christie Kennedy -- Wallenpaupack High School
An undersized center, she scored 2,003 career points at Wallenpaupack and was named second-team all-state as a senior. In her final regular season game of her 1988 senior season - against a Carbondale box-and-one defense specifically designed to stop her -Christie Kennedy scored 50 points and grabbed 25 rebounds.
She was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year her freshman year at Fordham. Among her defining moments in college: scoring 20 points and grabbing a tournament-record 17 rebounds in the Patriot League championship game her senior year. She was named tournament MVP.
Stew Casterline -- Tunkhannock Area High School
Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Honorable Mention Little All-America in college football. Twice a high school basketball all-star. Stew Casterline was a three-sport athlete, in high school and in college at Mansfield State. He was a three year basketball letterman at Mansfield after being named twice to the Susquehanna League All-Star team.
Credit for all of these stories and information goes to Chad Jennings and the Scranton Times Tribune. We shortened the articles and eliminated the pictures which by the way were also very well done by Bob Sanchuk. According to the newspaper, the series will be completed on December 26, 2004. To see the complete articles and the pictures, click HERE.