Friday, May 17, 2019

Jim Phelan

James Joseph Phelan

March 19, 1929
Philadelphia, PA


1945-46 La Salle Collegiate - Philadelphia (High School)
1946-47 La Salle Collegiate - Philadelphia (High School)
1947-48 La Salle College - Philadelphia (College)
1948-49 La Salle College - Philadelphia (College)
1949-50 La Salle College - Philadelphia (College)
1950-51 La Salle College - Philadelphia (College)
1953-54 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1953-54 Pottsville Packers (EBL)
1953-54 La Salle College - Philadelphia (College) Assistant coach
1954-55 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1955-56 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1956-57 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1957-58 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1958-59 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1959-60 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1960-61 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1961-62 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1962-63 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1963-64 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1964-65 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1965-66 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1966-67 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1967-68 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1968-69 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1969-70 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1970-71 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1971-72 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1972-73 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1973-74 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1974-75 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1975-76 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1976-77 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1977-78 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1978-79 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1979-80 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1980-81 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1981-82 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1982-83 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach  
1983-84 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1984-85 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach  
1985-86 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1986-87 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach  
1987-88 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1988-89 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach  
1989-90 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach 
1990-91 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach  
1991-92 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1992-93 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1993-94 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1994-95 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1995-96 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1996-97 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1997-98 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1998-99 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
1999-00 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
2000-01 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
2001-02 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach
2002-03 Mount St. Mary's College - Maryland (College) Head coach

After starring at La Salle Collegiate, Phelan went on to La Salle College and after graduating served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. After the war, Phelan was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors and appeared in four games before being released. He signed on to play with the Pottsville Packers of the Eastern League. After that season, he was offered the head coaching job at Mount St. Mary's, a small college in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This was the beginning of a legendary tenure at MSM that last 49 seasons. He would lead the school to the NCAA Division 2 Basketball Championship in 1961-62, and over his career would attain a 830-524 record. MSM would eventually move up to Division 1 status and in 1995 the school entered the NCAA tournament for the first time. Known for his signature bowtie as well as his coaching ability, Phelan finally retired in 2003 at the age of 74.

Jim and his wife, Dottie, married in 1954 and they have five children.

Blogger Note:
I anticipate adding "HALL OF FAME" to this page one day. Hopefully it is when Jim is alive to enjoy the honor he deserves.

Mount Athletics
Washington Post, Februalry 23, 2019


Bob Peterson

Robert Peterson

January 25, 1932
Menlo Park, CA

July 30, 2011
San Jose, CA

1947-48 Sequoia High School - Redwood City, CA (High School)
1948-49 Sequoia High School - Redwood City, CA (High School)
1949-50 College of San Mateo (College)
1950-51 University of Oregon (College)
1951-52 University of Oregon (College)
1953-54 Baltimore Bullets (NBA)
1953-54 Milwaukee Hawks (NBA)
1954-55 New York Knicks (NBA)
1955-56 New York Knicks (NBA)

Born in Menlo Park, California, Peterson went to school in Redwood City before graduating and playing a year at the College of San Mateo. He transferred to Oregon where his basketball prowess would catch the interest of the Baltimore Bullets who drafted him in 1952. He served in the army before being selected again by the Bullets in 1953. After four games he was let go and joined the Milwaukee Hawks. He was signed as a free agent by the New York Knicks in January of 1955 and played for the Knicks for two seasons. His career was on an upswing as he averaged 14.3 points in the 1955-56 season. Sadly, injuries would eventually shorten Big Pete's basketball career,and he returned to California to work in the mortgage and finance industry. After retiring, he started BBQ Boys, a catering company with his son.

Bob married his high school sweetheart Jo in 1953 and they had one son and three daughters



Paul Nolen

Paul Edward Nolen

September 3, 1929
Tulia, TX

May 7, 2009
Fort Worth, TX

1946-47 Alvarado High School - Texas (High School)
1950-51 Texas Tech University (College)
1951-52 Texas Tech University (College)
1952-53 Texas Tech University (College)
1953-54 Balitmore Bullets (NBA)
1953-57 Washington Generals (Independent)

As a sophomore at Texas Tech, Nolen led the conference in scoring, would repeat as a junior and finish second in his senior year. The 6'10 center would play one game for the Baltimore Bullets before being released. He toured with the Washington Generals (the opponents of the Harlem Globetrotters) for a season before leaving basketball to enter the grocery business in Burleson, Texas.



Jim Neal

James Ellerbe Neal

May 21, 1930
Silverstreet, SC

October 3, 2011
Greer, SC

1947-48 Silverstreet High School - South Carolina (High School)
1948-49 Silverstreet High School - South Carolina (High School)
1949-50 Wofford College (College)
1950-51 Wofford College (College)
1951-52 Wofford College (College)
1952-53 Wofford College (College)
1953-54 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1954-55 Baltimore Bullets (NBA)

The 6'11 Neal was a legend at small Wofford College, averaging 32.6 points per game as a senior. He left Wofford having scored over 2000 points (including a school-record 57 in one game) and 1500 rebounds. Neal was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals and played one season with the Nats before playing with the Baltimore Bullets in 1954. When the Bullets folded, Neal's NBA career came to an end. He worked for American Enka Textile as a construction manager and later worked at BASF as an engineer prior to retiring.

Neal married Maxine Clyde and they had one son, Jim (d. 2012), and one daughter, Susan (1955-2012). Following Maxine's death, he married Suella Clyde Van Doren who remained his wife until Jim's death.

Greenville News, October 5, 2011


Jack Molinas

Jacob Louis Molinas

October 31, 1932
New York, NY

August 3, 1975
Hollywood Hills, CA

1948-49 Stuyvesant High School - New York City (High School)
1950-51 Columbia University (College)
1951-52 Columbia University (College)
1952-53 Columbia University (College)
1953-54 Fort Wayne Pistons (NBA)
1954-55 Williamsport Billies (EBL)
1955-56 Williamsport Billies (EBL) 
1956-57 Williamsport Billies (EBL)
1957-58 Williamsport Billies (EBL)
1958-59 Williamsport Billies (EBL)
1959-60 Williamsport Billies (EBL)
1959-60 Hazleton Hawks (EBL)
1960-61 Hazleton Hawks (EBL)
1961-62 Hazleton Hawks (EBL)

The infamy of Jack Molinas fades as time marches on, but he is an interesting figure in basketball, largely for notorious reasons, on a road that lead to a violent end.

Born in New York City, Molinas was a extremely talented athlete as well as an intelligent student. He was offered a basketball scholarship from Columbia and intended to become a dentist. In his sophomore year, he was among the leaders of the Ivy League in both scoring and rebounds, and everything seemed bright. However, late in the 1950-51 academic year, Molinas threw a glass of water out of the seventh floor of his dormitory. It would have been a harmless prank except that it landed on Mark Van Doren, a professor at Columbia who was on his way to being a notable figure in the counterculture as a writer in the Beat Generation along with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Molinas was suspended from Columbia for six months, and he returned to Columbia after working at various resorts in Florida. However, his attitude was totally different.

As a freshman, Molinas had been approached by a gambler named Joe Hacken and offered money to shave points in a game. He sharply declined the offer, noting that it wasn't worth the risk and he was not hurting for cash. But when he returned from his suspension, he was more amenable to such persuasion. Point shaving was reaching its zenith at this point in time, and the scandal which shook the foundation of the game was exposed shortly thereafter. In Molinas case, Hacken approached him again, offering him $5000 to make sure Columbia didn't cover the spread in a game against Holy Cross. Molinas told Hacken to bet the money for him instead of giving it to him. That way, Molinas figured, he would have $10,000 riding on the game. Molinas scored 39 points that night and had 22 rebounds, but Columbia lost to Holy Cross in overtime. Hacken originally thought, due to Molinas' performance, that he had reneged. But Molinas told him he got the result he wanted, and Hacken gave him his money. By the end of the season, Molinas had gotten over $100,000 from Hacken for throwing a more games. Now fully enveloped in gambling, he would lose that money over the summer betting on baseball games.

"I was really into gambling. I didn't care about the money. I never did. Gambling was action. Winning was glory. Money was just a way of keeping score. The real fun was moving the numbers around. Even later on, that was the fun, the excitement."

By the time Molinas was a senior, he had become a full-fledged partner with Hacken. He was the captain of the basketball team at Columbia while making large sums of money in the underground world of gambling. He was drafted by the Fort Wayne Pistons, and his salary of $9600 was no where close to the money he was making as a bookmaker. Molinas enjoyed playing for the Pistons, and by his own accord he played every NBA game on the level, never shaving a point or fixing a game. He did bet on games, but claimed he always bet on the Pistons to win when he did. However, he was still a partner in Hacken's enterprise, and word around the New York gambling circles was that Molinas was still involved in fixing the outcomes of games, even at that level. Eventually, that story made its way to the ears of Maurice Podoloff, the commissioner of the NBA. In January of 1954, Molinas was summoned to Podoloff's office to discuss this issue. Molinas told him that he bet small amounts occasionally on the Pistons to win. Podoloff suspended Molinas from the league permanently. What was more disturbing to Podoloff, however, was the statement Molinas made that he knew of other players in the NBA who were NOT on the level, and were betting AGAINST their own clubs, including teammates.

Molinas went to law school, playing in the Eastern League while at school. And after he graduated, he applied for reinstatement but was denied. His suspension had now become a lifetime ban. Podoloff, who had been understanding of the situation was grateful for the information with regards to other players in the league, had told Molinas that if he finished his law studies he could ask for reinstatement, but Podoloff cast the tie-breaking vote amongst the owners, denying Molinas a chance back in the NBA. Molinas would go on to practice law and opened his own practice in 1957, all while running a major gambling enterprise in New York City and continuing to play basketball in the Eastern League.

Molinas was a decent handicapper on honest games, but he knew they could make a lot more cash if the outcomes were more certain. From 1957 to 1961, Molinas had his hand in at least 43 college basketball games, and 33 players admitted taking money to shave points. Molinas was the man with the money and the one who approached most of these players.

In 1962, Molinas and Hacken had become aware that their phones were tapped, and had been for a while. The theory is that the police were building a case, but not building it too fast because they, too, were making money betting on these rigged games they learned about in various taps. Molinas and Hacken worked out a ruse to get back at their tappers and imply a game was rigged in one direction when it wasn't. Story is that one investigator took that information and proceeded to lose $8000 on the wager. This investigator swore to take Molinas down, and the New York DA put a microphone on Billy Reed, a basketball player at Bowling Green, to record a conversation with Molinas where Molinas advised him to not say anything to investigators about the money Reed had received to fix games. Molinas and Hacken were arrested and Molinas was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison.

After a little time in solitary confinement at Sing Sing, Molinas turned back to his gambling ways, becoming a bookie while confined in prison. He actually used a homing pigeon to communicate with a fellow inmate's wife, using the avian communication system to transmit sports information back and forth.

After six months in Sing Sing, he was transferred to Attica where it became known to the corrections officers that Molinas had good financial acumen outside the realm of gambling and bookmaking. He helped many prison officials manage their finances and investments while there, which helped him get his parole in 1968. He would move to Los Angeles in 1970 where he made a very comfortable living in real estate and insurance industry as well as various other endeavors, including the quickly-growing pornography industry.

In November of 1974, Bernard Gusoff, a partner of Molinas in a fur importing business, was found beaten to death in his apartment. There was a report the each man had taken a life insurance policy out on each other for $500,000, and Gusoff was also a partner in Molinas pornography business..

A few months later, on August 3, 1975, Molinas, living the good life in Los Angeles with a stream of money, cars and beautiful women, was entertaining a girlfriend at his luxurious home in Hollywod Hills. They were in the backyard talking when someone came into the back yard and shot Molinas in the back of the head. His friend, Shirley Marcus, was wounded in the neck. It is widely regarded to be a mob hit due to Molinas' involvement in the distribution of pornography and the involvement of the Mafia in that industry.

Series of newspaper articles from January, 1974, written by Bruce Keidan


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Jim Luisi

James Anthony Luisi

November 2, 1928
East Harlem, NY

June 7, 2002
Los Angeles, CA

1946-47 Benjamin Franklin High School - New York City (High School)
1947-48 St. Francis College - Brooklyn (College) JV
1948-49 St. Francis College - Brooklyn (College)
1949-50 St. Francis College - Brooklyn (College)
1950-51 St. Francis College - Brooklyn (College)
1953-54 Baltimore Bullets (NBA)

Born in East Harlem, Luisi would graduate from Franklin HS in New York and attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn after graduating. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1951 NBA Draft, but entered the U.S. Army and was stationed in Iceland. After the war, he returned to States to find his rights had been traded to the New York Knicks and then to the Baltimore Bullets, where he would play one season. He decided to pursue a career in the arts, attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He would appear in many Broadway productions throughout the 1960's before relocating to California. He would appear in various movies and TV shows in the 70's and 80's, probably best known for his portrayal of Lt. Doug Chapman on "The Rockford Files" and his Emmy-nominated turn as George Washington in the 1975 miniseries 'First Ladies Diaries: Martha Washington."

Luisi continued working as a respected character actor through the 80's and 90's before dying of cancer in 2002.

Jim married Georgia Phillips in 1961 and they had one daughter.



Clyde Lovellette

Clyde Edward Lovellette

September 7, 1929
Petersburg, IN

March 9, 2016
North Manchester, IN

1946-47 Garfield High School - Terre Haute, IN (High School)
1947-48 Garfield High School - Terre Haute, IN (High School)
1948-49 University of Kansas (College) Freshmen
1949-50 University of Kansas (College)
1950-51 University of Kansas (College)
1951-52 University of Kansas (College)
1952 United States National Team (Olympics)
1953-54 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)
1954-55 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)
1955-56 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)
1956-57 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)
1957-58 Cincinnati Royals (NBA)
1958-59 St. Louis Hawks (NBA)
1959-60 St. Louis Hawks (NBA)
1960-61 St. Louis Hawks (NBA)
1961-62 St. Louis Hawks (NBA)
1962-63 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1963-64 Boston Celtics (NBA)


Standing at 6-foot-9 and weighing in at 245 pounds, came out of Indiana to star on the courts at the University of Kansas. Leading Kansas to an NCAA title in 1952, Lovellette set the record for most points in a NCAA tourney (141) and most points in a single game (44).  He had lead the country in scoring that year with 28.4 points per game, becoming the first (and as of this writing, the only) collegiate player to lead the nation in scoring AND win the NCAA tournament in the same year.

Lovellette was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in the first round of the 1952 draft, but he wanted to play in the Olympics in Helsinki. The U.S. team rolled to the gold medal, and Clyde joined the Lakers a year later. Somewhat rusty, Lovellette played n every Laker game in that rookie year of 1953-54, but only averaged 8.2 points. After that season, though, he was an unstoppable force. With a hook shot with a soft touch, he would average over 20 points a game the next three seasons as well as pulling in over 12 rebounds a game. Being named to two All-Star games, Lovellette was traded after the 1956-57 season to Rochester. The Royals moved to Cincinnati prior to the start of the 1957-58 season, and in his only season in Cincy, he scored a career-high 23.4 points per game in an injury-shortend season.

In September of 1958, Lovellette was sent to the St. Louis Hawks to complete a deal a month earlier where the the Hawks gave the signing rights of five young players to Cincinnati. (Of those five, only two, Wayne Embry and Jim Palmer, would play in an NBA game.)  Lovellette played four seasons in St. Louis, averaging almost 20 points over that stretch and being named to the All-Star team two more times.

After the 1961-62 season, the 32-year old Lovellette was sold to the Boston Celtics. He would pick up his second and third rings in his two seasons there before retiring after the 1963-64 season. He was a tough and very physical player, not afraid to push, shove or elbow his opponents as he battled for position. He frustrated many an opposing player with his style of play, earning respect as well as controversy along the way.

After his playing days, he worked as a cattle rancher, country club manager, sheriff and teacher but was most proud of his days as a counselor for troubled youths in his home town of Terre Haute. He would be elected to both the Naismith Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. He died in 2016 at 86 years of age.

Lovellette was married to Sally Wheeler and the had three daughters. After divorcing Sally, he remarried to Judy Wray in 1970. 

Washington Post, March 11, 2016