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September 2, 2013
The 24th New York City Basketball Hall of Fame will be held on Thursday, September 19th at the famed New York Athletic Club on Central Park South on 59th street.
This year's inductees are players Jerry Harkness, Vaughn Harper, George Thompson, and Hank Whitney. The legendary coach of St. Peter's the late Don Kennedy, also former NBA officials Lee Jones and Manny Sokol, will be honored as contributors to the game of basketball.
As a player Jerry Harkness a Harlem native attended DeWitt Clinton HS in the Bronx where he was a star. He would later attend Loyola University in Chicago and lead his team to win the 1963 NCAA Championship title over University of Cincinnati. The guard later played for the New York Knicks for one season (1963-64), then two seasons (1967-69) with the ABA's Indiana Pacers. He later became an Indianapolis sportscaster, and spent much of his time fighting civil rights issues.
Vaughn Harper was an outstanding high school and college player would help Boys & Girls HS win the city title as a junior. In college he was named an All-American finishing with more than a 1,000 points at Syracuse. The forward later was draft by the Detroit Pistons (1967) in the six round but failed to make the team. Later, he would take on a new career path for the next 30 years he became a NYC legendary radio host for WBLS 107.5 radio show. Harper's "Quiet Storm" program gave listeners a smooth mellow music selections.
George Thompson attended Erasmus HS in Brooklyn and later would play for Marquette where he held a single season scoring record. The guard was selected in the fifth round by the Boston Celtics in 1969. Thompson played for ABA teams Pittsburgh Pipers, Condors, and the Memphis Tams (1969-1974). He play for a year with the Milwaukee Bucks (1974-75). Thompson would later become a regular basketball analyst for MU basketball for television and radio for 27 years.
Hank Whitney a Brooklyn native would attend Iowa University and was later drafted in the fourth round by the Syracuse Nationals (the original name of the Philadelphia 76's) in 1961. He would continue his professional career playing in the ABA for New Jersey Americans (1967-68), Houston Mavericks (1968-69), New York Nets (1968-69) m and the Carolina Cougars (1969-70).
Coach Don Kennedy (1907- 2004) legacy lives on at St Peters College with an impressive record. From 1950-72 he posted a winning record of 323-195, with five appearances in the National Invitational Tournament. Kennedy would garner national attention after defeating the highly ranked Duke University team in the 1968 in the NIT quarter-finals. The Brooklyn native first coached at three high schools more notably Regis HS in Manhattan, where he won the national schoolboy championship in 1948.
New York NEWS