Luke Malishchak 
(right) with Kevin Daley of the Globetrotters on the Great Wall in China
(Times Leader)
Who were the best players under 5'10 to play in Pennsylvania High School Boys Basketball?  
Do you have a player to add, send the information to wgaffey@pa.net

Bill Adams and Pat Shute in the locker room after the State Championship
(John Prosperi, Guilfoyle Gazette).

Listed  in alphabetical order:

Bill Adams and Pat Shute, the 5'9" bookend backcourt duo who led Altoona Bishop Guilfoyle High School to the 1967 PCIAA Class A State Championship.

Donnie Appleman, 5'7" was the scoring whiz for Williamsburg High School in 1962.  He went on to play at Penn State and then St. Francis College.

Mike Depaul,  5'9" the two-time all-state selection and Catholic High School All-America  led the Reading Central Catholic "Cardinals" to the PCIAA state championship game in 1951.

"Vaughnie" Brown, 5'2" playing for Susquehanna Twp in 1989 was unstoppable in the "four corners spread" engineering the upset of Hershey High School and severely damaging their quest for the League title. He was lightning quick and once he penetrated, he either scored or dished off to a teammate for an easy score. In a scrimmage with Williamsport, coach Pete White remarked, "if you didn't have that little guy you would never have scored!" 

Mickey Citro, 5'9" playing for MMI in 1952-53, had the quickness and the outside shot.
(Information credit: Al Godecki)

"Paddy" Corrigan, 5'9 playing for Freeland St. Ann's in the 1950's was the leading scorer and later became the Postmaster in Selinsgrove. (Information credit: Al Godecki)

Johnny and Eddie Duda, the 5'9" twins who led Coal Township High School 's "Purple Deamons"  to the  Class A District 4 Championship over Williamsport in 1953.  Today, Coal Township is part of the Shamokin Area School District.

Tom Fee and Johnny Unice both played for Uniontown when they won the state title in 1962. Unice played at Washington and Jefferson College and later coached there. . These guys didn't score a lot of points but they started for one of the best teams Abe Everhart ever had at Uniontown High School.  "They were not an inch over 5'7." (Nominated by  Patsy Correal, Uniontown, Pa)

Mel Freeman, 5'9". He jumped center on the Uniontown Red Raider basketball team in 1958, despite being only 5 foot, 9 inches tall - all while playing as a playmaking guard. Nicknamed "The Little Magician", Freeman is a member of the Red Raider vaunted 1000 point club. He scored 1090 points in his High School career. He was named Section 2 MVP for two straight years. He was also named 2nd string all-state as a senior. (Credit ôRed Raider Nation Website)

Don Hennon,  5'9"  scored 2,376 points for Wampum High School, graduating in 1955; he scored 45 points as junior for the University of Pittsburgh against Duke in double overtime on 12-21-57.

Louis Gates, 5'4"  was a three year regular for the West Philadelphia Speedboys from 1961 through 1963.   The Speedboys lost in the league semi-final his sophomore year (14-5) and captured the city championship in his junior (20-3) and senior (23-2) years.  Two of the loses in his junior year were games won by the Speedboys by over 35 points each and later forfeited for the use of an ineligible player.  The ineligible player was a deep sub who scored a total of five points in the two games.  Though not a high scorer ( 9 ppg. as a senior) he was a clutch scorer with fourteen points in West's 76-73 win over John Bartram (Earl Monroe) in the league title game his junior year and 13 points, including the game-winner, in the 55-51 win over Ben Franklin (Fred Carter) in the league championship game. (Contribution credit: Tom Taylor)

"Vinnie" Graham, 5'9" of Belle Vernon scored 2,429 high school career points graduating in 1995.  He starred in the backcourt in the 1995 Pennsylvania victory over Maryland 125-116 in the Annual Pennsylvania vs Maryland Shootout All Star Series. Andre Howard (6"8") of Philadelphia Overbrook led Pennsylvania scorers in that game with 25.  Graham accepted a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati.

Marc Graves, 5'6" who patrolled the backcourt with Pete White Jr. for the 1984 Williamsport State Championship team and later played at Wilkes College.  At the 1984, Mid State All Star basketball game, Graves was one of the contestants in the halftime "slam dunk" contest!

Ed Grezelak, 5'8" the playmaker for Lawrence Park, the 1961 Erie County Champions.  He joined teammates Earl Hall and Jim Cipalla playing for the County All-Stars against the City All-Stars in the Sixth Annual Belle Valley Lions All-Star twinbill.

Tony Iati, 5'8"   A first team All-State selection, he led York Catholic to 32-2 campaign in 1977-78 and the state AA State Championship. His 23ppg state playoff average included 25 pts in the finals, a 57-56 win over Northgate.

Dickey Johnston, 5'7" led the 1966 Altoona Mountain Lions to a great season.  They eventually  lost in the Western Regional Final to the eventual state champions, Midland.  Johnston went to the University of Tennessee on a basketball scholarship.

Dick Kiewlak, 5'9" the set shot artist for the 1961 PIAA Class A State Championship Nanticoke team.  A crowd of 8,841 fans jammed the Harrisburg Farm Show arena to watch Kiewlak and his Nanticoke teammates defeat Hickory 56-46 for the 1961 title. (In 1961, the team classifications were A, B, C).

Rick Litts, 5'9

Feb 27,1970
Del Valley 125
Honesdale  110

Mike Richards gets 78 and 5'9 Rick Litts gets 67 in a Wayne County League game

 

 

 

 

Joe Lalli, 5' 8"  was second team all-state in basketball at Dunmore High School in 1963 and then went to George Washington University and was named second-team all-Southern Conference in basketballHe led the Colonials basketball team in scoring his junior and senior years, wrapped up his college sports career by hitting .417 his final baseball season and is in the GW Hall of Fame.

Luke Malishchak, 5'7" played at Nanticoke High School in 1999 and then Moravian College before joining the New York Nationals and touring the world and playing every night against the Harlem Globetrotters.  He was discovered by scout Al Clocker while playing a summer pick up game on a Wilkes Barre playground.

Mike Marshall, 5'9 he graduated from Chester in 1966 and went to the state finals once (when Schenley beat Chester 74-64), and in his junior year went to the state quarterfinals. Those were two of only three losses during those two years.  An incredible ball-handler, he also was able to dunk in warm-ups.  (Credit: Allen E. Rennett, Los Angeles, CA 90012)

Joe and Tony Nastasi, 5'7" the Nastasi brothers were both starters on the 1965 Northern Cambria Class B State Championship team that defeated Montrose to end not only their bid for the state title, but also their bid to tie the state record for consecutive wins.  Montrose had won the state title the year before and came in undefeated with 53 wins in a row over two years.  Northern Cambria ended the season at 27-1 with the lone loss to DeMatha Catholic of Maryland in the finals of the prestigious Johnstown War Memorial Holiday Tournament.
(#24 Joe Nastasi, #20 Greg Kuhn, #10 Anthony Nastasi, 3/7/65-Johnstown Tribune Democrat)

James "Tee" Parham, (5'8") was a two-time first team All Public player for Northeast High in the early 1950's.  He played behind Guy Rodgers as a sophomore and then teamed with 5'9" William "Sonny" Hill to form one of the league's most dynamic backcourts in 1954 and 1955.  Parham averaged 22.1 ppg. as a junior and 21.6 ppg. as a senior, and was "old" Northeast's career leading scorer with 971 points.  He did not play in college but played in the Eastern League and in the Baker League.  "Tee" is considered one of the best offensive guards to come out of Philadelphia.  Herb Adderly was also a teammate at Northeast High and future NBA players Wilt Chamberlain, Ray Scott and John Scott joined Tee on the All-Public team in 1955.  (Contribution credit: Tom Taylor).

Tom Pearsall, 5'9."  The all-time leading scorer at Albright College in Reading with 2,164 points; averaged 20.8 over his career from 1959-63 (all-time leader);  the career leader in free throws attempted and made; 4th in FT %--78.8%, 3rd in FG's made.  Bob Smith said, "He was the best 5'9" college player I ever saw."  (Credit: Rick Ferry and Bob Smith)

Bill Ramsdell, 5'8."  He played for North East High School (Erie County League) in the early to mid-1960s.  He was a deadeye shooter who once scored 62 ponts in a game. That single-game record still stands. He was the best ball handler I have ever seen at any level of play. He was as impressive handling the ball as any Harlem Globetrotter I have seen. It was probably stretching it to say he was 5'8" but I have seen him dunk the ball in practice.
(Credit: Gary Stear, Greenwood, IN)
 

Steve Rouse, 5'7." The smallest member of the 1964-65 Erie Times-News All Erie County "Dream Team."  He played for North East High School.  Also named to the first team was his teammate, Greg Hamilton a 6'0 junior.   Rouse was a senior.



(Rouse photo credit: Erie Sunday Times-News, March 21, 1965)

Mike Schieb, 5' 8" played at Millersburg High School and in 1974 scored 60 points in a game and tallied 1,981 career points. At  Susquehanna University (1975-1978 )  he won the prestigious Francis Pomeroy Naismith Award  for the best collegiate player (any division) under 6 feet tall.

Willie Somerset, 5'9. Helped to lead Farrell High School to back to back state Class A Championships in 1959 and 1960.  He was named to the 1960 Basketball All-State First Team, received a scholarship to Duquesne, and was later drafted into the NBA.

Michael Soriano, 5'6" played at St. Mary's Area High School in the early 1980's.  He was the point guard and handled the 4 corner offense.  He was all about teamwork.  The team upset Punxsutawney and tallied 25 out of 26 at the free throw line in a 45-44 win using the 4-corner spread with Soriano.  The team used a match-up defense to keep Soriano out front so the other teams could not post him up.  (Information credit: Jim Herzing)

Greg Stover, 5'8" Milton Area High School---  scored 2100 points in his career--graduated in 1990-- led Milton Area High School to State AAA Championship game in 1988 as a sophomore.  (Credit: Jeffrey DeBaro)

Lance Whiteside, 5' 9" played at Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt.  He was point guard for the 1986 and 1989  District 3 AAA Crusaders.  Whiteside, a four year starter in basketball and 1000 point scorer, excelled in football, as well, starting at cornerback for 1987 District 3 AAA Champs in football.   He earned Big 15 honors twice in his junior and senior years in basketball, and was a chosen to play for Pennsylvania in the 1989 Big 33 High School All-Star game.  He also went on to start at cornerback for the 1993 Gator Bowl Champs, the Ole Miss Runnin' Rebels.  That team finished 9-3.

Richard Wright, less than 5'9-"Best player under 5' 9' I ever saw was Richard Wright, Abington HS 1974.  Played on at least 1 Pa. State Champion team for Abington.  Was the star as early on as his sophomore on Abington teams that featured Robert "Piper" Harvey, Keith Parham, Ricky Reed, etc...." (Karen Moresco <klmoresco@aol.com)

Chris Zimmerman, Shamokin Area. He scored over 2000 points and had over 1000 assists. He is a 3 times district 4 champion and went on to play at Bucknell and then Susquehanna. He played at Shamokin from 1995-1999.  (Nominated by Tony Carnuccio, Assistant Principal, Shamokin Area Middle/High School)

 

Mythical
"Set Shot" Bufford, 5'9" helped to propel the Pittsburgh Pices from  mediocre status to the Professional Championship defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the Civic Arena in 1979 with the help of noted basketball astrologist, Mona Mondieu (Stockard Channing)  and  star player Moses Guthrie (Julius Erving).  
Movie quote, Harry: "stand up so the coach can get a good look at you"
                            Set Shot
: "I am standing"                           
(Credit: "The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh")

"Ollie" (Wade Schenck) in the movie "Hoosiers" - the quiet little substitute described as "pint-sized" wins a big game by making the foul shots at the end of the game.  Then a game later, tiny Hickory High School takes home the 1952 Indiana state championship.  Gross revenue from the movie,  $28,607,524.00.
 
(Credit: IMDbPro)


Credits: Wilkes Barre Times Leader, Altoona Guilfoyle Gazette, Tony Labriola, Pete White Sr. Jon Gaffey, Reading Eagle, Ellie Gaffey, Tim Manning, Tom Taylor, Bud Tangert, Patsy Correal.