Wilt’s 100-point game, the legendary career of “Smokin’ Joe, “ and the Hollywood depiction of the Mighty Macs will be saluted at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association's 108th annual Dinner on Monday, January 30, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, NJ, it was announced by PSWA president Rich Westcott.
Almost fifty years ago, on March 2nd, in the unlikely site of Hershey, Pennsylvania, center Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors made history by becoming the first (and, so far, only) player to score 100 points in a game as the Warriors beat the New York Knicks 169-147. The Warriors’ Joe Rucklick (who threw the pass that resulted in Wilt’s field goal for the 100th point), the Knicks’ Dave Budd, and referee Pete D’Ambrosio will all be in attendance. PSWA member Bill Campbell, who broadcast the game back to Philadelphia, will also be in Cherry Hill and will speak, and his historic call of Wilt breaking the century mark will be played.
He was voted one of the top ten heavyweight fighters of all time, and belongs to both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. And he belongs, perhaps most importantly, to Philadelphia. Joe Frazier, aka “Smokin’ Joe,” lost his fight with liver cancer this past November. The PSWA will celebrate Frazier’s life and career, as undefeated welterweight champion Mike Jones will speak about his mentor and friend. Joe’s daughter, Judge Jacqueline Frazier Lynd, will ring a memorial 10-bell count, a traditional boxing sendoff when a fighter passes on.
Immaculata University's Mighty Macs were three time National NCAA Women's Basketball Champions from 1972-74, led by future Hall of Fame coach Cathy Rush. Rush took the program from obscurity to dynasty in a story so amazing that it just had to become a movie. And it did – The Mighty Macs was released to positive reviews in 2011 starring Carla Gugino (as Rush) and Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn. Rush and writer/director Tim Chambers, a former Penn football star from Broomall, Pa., who worked on the film for years and fought to keep his vision intact, will both be at our head table.
These tributes are just part of an evening that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who is even remotely a sports fan. Here’s a partial list of those who will be joining the festivities January 30th: Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (Pro Athlete of the Year award); Villanova University track and cross country All America Sheila Reed (Outstanding Amateur Athlete); Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence (Good Guy); Phillies general Manager Ruben Amaro Junior (accepting the Philadelphia Phillies Team of the Year award); All-Star pitcher Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants (Native Son); Philadelphia University basketball coach Herb Magee (Living Legend); Villanova football coach Andy Talley (Humanitarian); Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, WNBA Coach of the Year Cheryl Reeve, Philadelphia Union soccer star Sebastian Le Toux, college football coaching Hall of Famer Bill Manlove, and Villanova University women's basketball coaching legend Harry Perretta (all Special Achievement honorees).
The most coveted award-Most Courageous-is kept secret until the night of the dinner. Comedian Joe Conklin will also perform at the oldest continuing sports awards banquet in the nation.
Tickets for the dinner at $95 apiece are available online at www.PSWA.org, or by sending a check payable to PSWA, c/o Robbie Kenney, Ticket Chairman, 110 Harrogate Drive., Lumberton, NJ 08048. Fans can also friend PSWA on Facebook. Doors to the banquet open at 5 p.m. with the dinner starting promptly at 6:30 p.m.