Philadelphia High School Basketball
A Look at Joe Goldenberg's 21-Year Coaching
Career at West Philadelphia High (1970-90)
This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in championship games and
(at the bottom) the names of all varsity players during Coach Goldenberg's 21 seasons. . . .
To provide additions/corrections: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
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Coach Goldenberg's All-Stars and 1,000-Point Scorers
* - Played in NBA
Joe Goldenberg, an alumnus and star player, coached basketball at West Philadelphia for 21 seasons (1970-90), winning 410 games, five Public League crowns (in succession) and four City Titles (also in succession). In 1978, the Speedboys beat Roman Catholic, 67-64, for that fourth straight CT. Here is that story . . .
League / Overall
(*-Strike by Teachers
Halted PL Play)
1970: 9-5 / 10-5
1971: 10-2 / 14-3
1972: 10-4 / 13-5
*1973: 2-0 / 3-0
1974: 10-3 / 17-5
1975: 14-0 / 25-0
1976: 13-0 / 24-2
1977: 14-0 / 30-0
1978: 14-1 / 33-1
1979: 15-0 / 21-4
1980: 13-1 / 19-6
1981: 10-5 / 13-9
1982: 12-0 / 20-3
1983: 8-0 / 19-5
1984: 12-0 / 24-5
1985: 10-3 / 19-6
1986: 9-4 / 18-7
1987: 12-1 / 26-4
1988: 13-0 / 24-2
1989: 9-4 / 18-8
1990: 11-3 / 20-6
21 Seasons, 1970-1990
League - 230-36
Overall - 410-86
Appearances Ended in . . .
1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1989
1979, 1986, 1990
1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977,
1978, 1983, 1987, 1988
This story was written in December 1982, when the Speedboys did more than play
basketball on a trip to Las Vegas . . .
By Ted Silary
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Because of her busy schedule, Lola Falana doesn't get much of a chance to partake of
college or NBA basketball, let alone the high school version.
But when someone calls and says she can sing the national anthem before a game, well, that's a whole different
"I love it when they ask me to sing the anthem," said Falana, who's in the midst of a two-week engagement at
the Sands. "That way, I always get a great seat."
Yesterday afternoon, Falana wasn't singing the national anthem - or anything else, for that matter - but she did
take time to visit briefly with the players and coaches of West Philadelphia's basketball team. Pictures were taken,
questions were asked and answered and, most of all, every eye bugged out.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, she's a 12," said point guard Tracey Kelty.
Falana was born in Camden, but she attended Roosevelt Junior High and Germantown High in Philadelphia. She
never experienced the thrills of Public League basketball, however, either as a cheerleader or fan.
"I was involved in dance every day after school," she said, "so I didn't have much of a chance to follow sports.
But now, I'm very much into sports.
"I like basketball, football, tennis, gymnastics, almost everything. The only thing I'm not too excited about is
ockey. I can't take the violence."
Kelty was luckier than most of the Speedboys because it was his second look at Falana. Tracey's ninth-grade
history teacher at Sulzberger Junior High is Lola's aunt.
"Lola came to Sulzberger," Tracey said. "She performed in an assembly, sang a couple of songs. The students
were going crazy, trying to jump on the stage and get close to her. I was right there with 'em. A couple policemen
came with her. I guess they knew everyone would be excited.
"I thought we were coming here to see a show. G (Coach Joe Goldenberg) didn't really tell us what we'd be
doing. This was nice, though. The guys liked it. Do you see how clean (dressed up) they got?"
During the time the team spent on the stage with Lola, the biggest ham probably was sub guard John Allison,
who even put his arm around Falana's waist for one picture.
"I'd like to take her out if I could," Allison said. "Can you get me her phone number?
"I was hoping we'd all get to take individual pictures with her, shake her hand and get her autograph. But I didn't
bring any paper. I forgot."
Last night, Goldenberg and his assistants, Frank Greco and Phil Umansky, took in Lola's midnight show,
compliments of the Sands.
Their mood needed some brightening, too, because the Speedboys lost to Clark of Las Vegas, 76-65, in the
"Some guys came to play, some guys didn't," Goldenberg said. " That seems to happen in all our games. Not
just consolation games.
"If everybody had the heart of Lawrence Taylor, Tracey Kelty and Howard Evans we would be a little bit
different team. At times, we don't get enough hard play from certain people. "
Evans paced the Speedboys with 24 points and eight assists while Taylor had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Kelty
dealt nine assists.
In the championship game, Osceola of Kissimmee, Fla., defeated Chaparral of Las Vegas, 71-58, as MVP
Frank Ford (28) and Jimmy McCrimon combined for 51 points.
This story was written in December 1983, when Joe headed a project that
enabled his team to play in Hawaii . . .
By Ted Silary
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- West Philadelphia's basketball team is here for eight days and seven nights because of
two things: the heart and ingenuity of coach Joe Goldenberg.
The sponsors of the first Iolani Prep Basketball Classic agreed to pay the Speedboys' tab for five nights at the
old but classy Moana Sheraton, which sits within shouting distance of famed Waikiki Beach.
Nights six and seven, as well as the cost of airfare, were paid for by West students, who bought more than
33,000 soft pretzels from Goldenberg, assistant Phil Umansky and ex-assistant Frank Greco, now the head
coach at Central.
"There was no way we were going to come over here for four or five days," Goldenberg said. "When I found
out we'd have such a long flight (about 11 hours) and that we'd be experiencing a five-hour time change, I said
we'd better go the full route, make a week's vacation out of it, so the kids would have some time to relax and
adjust before the games started. "
Pretzel sales began the first week of January, two weeks before Goldenberg knew for sure that there would be
a tournament and 11 months before the school district gave its blessing.
But the groundwork began last December when Goldenberg met Glenn Young, the coach of Iolani, during
the Las Vegas Holiday Prep Classic.
"Glenn was really intrigued by the concept of a tournament like that and he said he was thinking of having the
same thing over here," Goldenberg said. ''I told him, 'If you do, make sure you invite us. ' When we left Las
Vegas, Glenn said conditions were pretty much go and that he'd get back to me. Two weeks later, he did. "
And quickly, Goldenberg got the blessing of the school and the district. All that was needed was the approval
of the new city schools superintendent, Dr. Constance Clayton.
"We kept hearing that she was going to say yes, that it was just a formality," Goldenberg said. "Then we got
a letter at the end of November, one of the nicest letters I've ever received. She said some wonderful things.
I'm going to have it framed. "
For four players - forward Derrick McCarter, guards Howard Evans and Steve Holloman and center Henry
Smith - what Clayton did was ensure an incredible two-year Christmastime parlay. Las Vegas one year, Hawaii
McCarter still finds it hard to believe. But probably not as much as his brother, Terry, a starting forward for
the Speedboys in 1971, when the phrase ''long trip" was used in reference to bus rides to Lincoln, Northeast
"I guess all this, going to Las Vegas and Hawaii, won't hit me until I'm 30," Derrick said. "I'll look back and
realize what a great thing I had a chance to do. My mother and father never really took the time to go on a
real big vacation. They just go to Washington, where my brother lives, for about a week each summer. "
If Derrick McCarter was having trouble early on recognizing how special a road trip this would be, his
teachers and classmates helped to put it in perspective.
"It seemed like almost everybody was envious," Derrick said, laughing. ''Teachers were saying, 'I've been
working hard all these years. How come you get to go to Hawaii and I can't? ' Guys on the football team kept
saying, 'It's not fair. You guys get treated better than us and the other sports teams. ' Mr. G likes to mess
with them. He says, 'If you win like the basketball team does, you'll get treated the same way. ' "
Although Wednesday's trip to Pearl Harbor was the only planned activity the Speedboys were able to take
advantage of, they have shown a special brand of resourcefulness. They're seeing the sights, soaking in the
beauty of this island city in the Pacific.
"I kept looking forward to the beach," McCarter said. "Now we're here and I'm not getting to the beach
very much. Anyway, I'm not the greatest fan of swimming ever since 'Jaws. ' I like walking up and down
the street in front of the hotel. A lot of pretty sights.
"The last couple months, every day I gave at least some thought to coming here. Now I'm giving thought
to how I can get back . . . Well, maybe not to here but at least to someplace real nice. After I go to college,
get a job and get married, I hope I can save enough money to do something like this again. "
McCarter isn't the only one entertaining those thoughts.
In fact . . .
"We might not have to worry about coming back," McCarter said, "because we might not leave."
This story was written in January 1990, when Joe earned his 400th win and
announced he would retire at the end of the season . . .
By Ted Silary
The winningest coach in Public League basketball history will soon add ''ex" and a hyphen to his title.
After West Philadelphia yesterday downed host Kensington, 105-57, to raise his 21-year varsity record to
400-82, coach Joe Goldenberg said the current season would be his last.
"I told the players. They know," said Goldenberg, 52. "I'll take a sabbatical from next September through
to June, then go out on early retirement. So this is it for coaching.
"I'm going to start a second career. Some of the details are still pending, so I can't be specific."
When yesterday's game ended, Kensington's fans had to be muttering, "Gimme a break. One hundred
points isn't that big a deal. "
The reason: A split-second after the final horn sounded, the Speedboys hoisted Goldenberg to their
shoulders and romped around the court in celebration of No. 400.
"They didn't know where they were going," he said, laughing. "I had to point them toward our locker
room. Pat Cassano, a teacher at West and our scorekeeper, must have tipped off the Kensington people.
Because there was a knock on the door and in came (Kensington phys-ed administrators) Jim Parrish and
Carole Cipriano. They gave me a brand, new ball with 400 wins, the details, on it. Later, the coach,
Paul Kolakowski, said they'll send me the nets.
"I can't tell how you nice they made me feel. I mean, those were just really nice gestures. "
In February 1985, when Goldenberg won his 300th game, he had no recollection of victory No. 1.
"I still don't," he said, laughing. "Whatever team we beat then, it's still the same. "
Goldenberg, a 1955 West grad, replaced the man who'd been his coach, Doug Connelly, for the 1969-70
season. His teams have won five league championships (1974 to '78), they won four City Titles ('75 to
'78) and they have made playoff appearances in the last 16 years.
Win No. 400 could have come last weekend in the championship game of the Rockledge (Fla.) Holiday
Classic. But the Speedboys (now 10-2) fell to host Rockledge, 61-56.
"My wife (Claire) had planned a big to-do," Goldenberg said. "Our losing saved her a fortune. She had
invited the immediate world to a postgame celebration, but we screwed it up.
"The whole thing was based on, 'If they win, we'll do this. If they don't, chuck it.' The people at the
Holiday Inn in Cocoa Beach were very understanding. A lot of people hung around just to see what would
happen (regarding the possible party). I feel badly for the kids that we didn't win the tournament, but this
(lengthy, storied career) all started in Philadelphia and I guess that's where this (special occasion) should
have happened. "
West's scoring leaders yesterday were Roy Lloyd (19), Ed Gland (15), frosh Laurence Pembrook (also
15) and soph Alvin Horne (13). Ray Harris (17), James Spry (16), Anthony Oliver (13) and Darien
Martin (11) did all of Kensington's scoring.
Upon retirement, Goldenberg said, he will have "nothing but fond memories.
"It's been a great experience," he said. "I've met and dealt with hundreds of kids. In coaching, you can't
help but have a few negative experiences, but the overwhelming majority have been positive, and that's
what I'm going to remember. "
Much has changed during Goldenberg's tenure. In his first three years, the Speedboys played only 50
games total. They now play that many in two years, as do most Public League teams.
They also travel. Goldenberg has taken teams to Las Vegas, Hawaii and the Bahamas, as well as Florida,
Goldenberg becomes the third prominent "Pub" coach in the last year to announce his retirement.
Overbrook's Mark "Max" Levin went 306-145 in 18 seasons through '89, while Southern's Mitch
Schneider went 252-86 in 15 seasons through '89.
Among them, Goldenberg, Levin and Schneider have won 958 games.
"These (milestone) wins are nice," Goldenberg said, "but it's more important to get in the playoffs."
Recaps of victories in
Public League championship games/City Titles . . .
At Temple's McGonigle Hall
West Phila. 48, Gratz 46
Mark Dwight (14) and Tim Smith (10, 11 rebounds) were the only West players to score in double figures. Sixth-man Clarence Hamilton had six assists and made a one-and-one with 0:55 left to provide a 48-44 lead. For Gratz, Marvin Brown had 14 points and 20 rebounds.
At Temple's McGonigle Hall
West Phila. 62, Gratz 40
Mark Dwight scored 22 points, Tim Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds and 6-6 sophomore Gene Banks claimed 15 rebounds. Gratz's Keith Johnson had 11 points and 18 rebounds.
At the Palestra
West Phila. 89, Overbrook 78
Junior Gene Banks (23 points, 22 rebounds) and sophomore Clarence "Eggy" Tillman (26, 20) dominated inside and junior Darryl "City Lights" Warwick had 20 points and five assists. Junior Lewis Lloyd was Overbrook's best with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Robert Carter had 23 points.
At the Palestra
West Phila. 61, Overbrook 51
With All-America Gene Banks watching from the bench (he was suspended for violating team rules), Clarence "Eggy" Tillman had 24 points and 12 rebounds before a turnaway crowd (8,000-plus). Mike Powell, who started in Banks's place, had 13 points. The Speedboys finished the season at 30-0 and were 79-2 in Banks's 3-year varsity career. Overbrook's Lewis Lloyd had 19 points and 13 rebounds.
At the Palestra
West Phila. 68, Mastbaum 56
Seventh-man Mark Davis, who'd attended Mastbaum as a junior, posted 20 points and nine rebounds as the Speedboys won their fifth straight title under coach Joe Goldenberg. Kevin "Rock" McCray had 12 points and seven assists. Burt Biggs, who went on to fame as boxer Tyrell Biggs, started for West. A few weeks earlier, West's state-record, 68-game winning streak had been snapped by Overbrook. For Mastbaum, Ray Thompson had 16 points and 15 rebounds.
At Temple's McGonigle Hall
West Phila. 67, Judge 45
Gene Banks, a 6-6 soph, shot 11-for-14 and 2-for-3 for 24 points and snatched 13 rebounds as the Speedboys completed a 25-0 season. Tim Smith had eight points and six rebounds and held Judge star Al Clancy to three points. Michael Collins added 11 points and five assists while Mark Dwight had 10 points, nine boards. Charlie Rice led Judge with 15 points and nine rebounds.
At the Palestra
West Phila. 71, Kenrick 61
Gene Banks (24 points, 18 rebounds) and Clarence "Eggy" Tillman (22, 14) were dominant inside while Ron "Weiner" Williams added 14 points and Darryl Warwick and Louis Crawley split 12 assists. Kenrick's Tom Catagnus shot 12-for-14 at the line en route to 24 points and Paul Mulholland mixed 14 points, nine rebounds.
At the Palestra
West Phila. 72, Judge 52
Gene Banks totaled 31 points (11-for-11 at the line) and 23 rebounds to help the Speedboys cap a 30-0 season, finalize the record during the Banks Era at 79-2 and extend a winning streak to 43 games. At the end of the game, Banks tossed four, long-stemmed roses (three red, one yellow) into the stands. Clarence "Eggy" Tillman added 12 points and 14 rebounds. For Judge, Tom "Mo" Greenfield had 11 points and 12 boards.
At the Palestra
West Phila. 67, Roman 64
Clarence "Eggy" Tillman poured in 31 points, Vincent Ross took 13 rebounds and Kevin "Rock" McCray dished eight assists as West proved best in the city for a record fourth consecutive time. Tillman shot 11-for-19 and 9-for-10. Reggie Jackson (24, 11 rebounds) and Charlie Robbins (16) led Roman, which used an 11-0 run to draw within 58-57. McCray's two free throws with 0:28 left provided comfort at 66-60. The Speedboys finished the season at 33-1 with 87 wins in their last 89 games and 112 in 115.
Below are the players who helped
Joe Goldenberg claim 410 wins, five Public League championships
and four City Titles in 21 seasons as the coach at West Philadelphia. The year indicates the player's final
season. Most were seniors. Some transferred and some were underclassmen who did not play in the
|Faison||1970||Burt Biggs||1978||Derrick McCarter||1984|
|Jerome Langston||1970||Clarence "Eggy" Tillman||1978||George Jones||1984|
|Joe Woodlock||1970||Derek Coleman||1978||Henry Hayward||1984|
|Oscar Berryman||1970||Greg Gaymon||1978||Henry Smith||1984|
|Roger Clay||1970||Greg McKinley||1978||Howard Evans||1984|
|Steven Palmer||1970||Ira Potter||1978||John Washington||1984|
|Tom Jordan||1970||James "Pee Wee" Thomas||1978||Ronald Champion||1984|
|Wallace||1970||Karl Jones||1978||Steve Holloman||1984|
|Beverly||1971||Ken Riddick||1978||Tom Macey||1984|
|Brundage||1971||Mark Davis||1978||Derrick Butler||1985|
|Earl Bundy||1971||Vincent Ross||1978||Derrick Hopkins||1985|
|Hudson||1971||Jim Jones||1979||Earl Richards||1985|
|M. Taylor||1971||Jimmy Moore||1979||Ed Lester||1985|
|Terry McCarter||1971||Kevin "Rock" McCray||1979||Eric "Buttton" Pearson||1985|
|Tommy Hooks||1971||Kevin Warwick||1979||Micah Waters||1985|
|Darnell Benson||1972||Norman Winston||1979||Sean Kershaw||1985|
|Floyd Bivins||1972||Phil Webb||1979||Tim Baker||1985|
|Fred Goodman||1972||Rick Peters||1979||Tony Cauthen||1985|
|Jan Pearson||1972||Vincent Johnson||1979||Claude Gravely||1986|
|Jeff Green||1972||Chris Davis||1980||Derrick Lee||1986|
|Mike Johnson||1972||David Beard||1980||James Hillyard||1986|
|Mike Stokes||1972||Eric Smith||1980||Marcus Brown||1986|
|Ray Smith||1972||Greg "Box" Brandon||1980||Rodney Jones||1986|
|Tony Britt||1972||Jerry Moore||1980||Akhenaton "Kahn" Mikell||1987|
|Wayne Taylor||1972||John Briggs||1980||Dwayne Jeter||1987|
|Fernando Davis||1973||Kenny Jones||1980||Gary Farmer||1987|
|Mark Dwight||1973||Bruce Davis||1981||Gary Lee||1987|
|Mike Thomas||1973||Charlie Peck||1981||Marcus Preston||1987|
|Ray Elzey||1973||Claude Hughes||1981||Mike Monroe||1987|
|Ray Stevenson||1973||Darryl McAdams||1981||Will Richardson||1987|
|Rick Williams||1973||Derrick Williams||1981||Benny "Basket" Ball||1988|
|Tim Smith||1973||George Erwin||1981||Derek Higgins||1988|
|Clarence Hamilton||1974||Kenyatta Bey||1981||Eric Williams||1988|
|Gary Anderson||1974||Ron Johnson||1981||Fred Richardson||1988|
|Greg Martin||1974||Ronald Johnson||1981||Marvin Rogers||1988|
|Herman Adams||1974||Tobias Walker||1981||Mik Kilgore||1988|
|Joe Waller||1974||Wayne Batson||1981||Orlando Butler||1988|
|Julius Bullock||1974||Armond Banks||1982||Rich Stone||1988|
|Ted Hampton||1974||Arnett Woodall||1982||Richard McDowell||1988|
|Alfred Cave||1975||Danny Thomas||1982||Robert Cathey||1988|
|Butch Jordan||1975||Drew Warthen||1982||Robert Mobley||1988|
|Calvin Goodwin||1975||Jeff White||1982||Donald Suswell||1989|
|Jeff Coleman||1975||Sam "Pebbles" McCray||1982||Gerald Jordan||1989|
|Mike Collins||1975||Will Jones||1982||Harold McLendon||1989|
|Mike Green||1975||William Harriott||1982||Lloyd Smith||1989|
|Wilbert Lorick||1975||Willie Dunmeyer||1982||Malcolm Musgrove||1989|
|Cliff Riddick||1976||Derrick Garner||1983||Mike Mobley||1989|
|Donald Watkins||1976||John Allison||1983||Roy Lloyd||1989|
|Louis Crawley||1976||Lawrence Taylor||1983||Alvin Horne||1990|
|Ronald Williams||1976||Marc Anderson||1983||Andre Johnson||1990|
|Tony Roots||1976||Mark Davis||1983||Brian Hancock||1990|
|Darryl Warwick||1977||Ray Bannister||1983||Devin Baker||1990|
|Gene Banks||1977||Robert Palmer||1983||Edwin Gland||1990|
|Joe Garrett||1977||Rodney Wescott||1983||Jimmie Memminger||1990|
|Mike Nichols||1977||Tracey Kelty||1983||Lamar James||1990|
|Mike Powell||1977||Laurence Pembrook||1990|
|Randy Barr||1977||Rob Williams||1990|
|Terry "Cotton" Scott||1977||Sam McCloud||1990|