Women’s basketball alum Cheryl Reeve inducted into Big 5 Hall of Fame

Women’s basketball | March 7, 2022

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – The Philadelphia Big 5 has announced that the 2021-22 awards banquet will be held at The Palestra on Monday, April 11. That evening, the 2021-22 All-Big 5 teams will be honored, Big 5 post-season honors will be presented, and seven Big 5 legends will be inducted into the Big 5 Hall of Fame – a former coach, five former players and a pillar of the Philadelphia basketball community.

Doors to the Palestra will open at 6 p.m., with the program beginning around 7 p.m. This event is open to the public, tickets are $15 in advance (click here to buy tickets online) or $20 at the door that night.

Here’s a quick look at the Hall of Fame inductees…

SONNY HILL

Already a member of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, Sonny’s name has been synonymous with Philadelphia basketball for generations of Big 5 players, coaches and fans. He founded the Charles Baker Memorial Summer League in 1960, then developed the Sonny Hill League as an amateur outlet for college, high school and pre-high school players in 1968. In over half a century of existence, the Sonny Hill League has helped foster and nurturing the talents of some of the biggest names to emerge from the Delaware Valley and hosted hundreds of Big 5 players. It was also the first program in the nation to allow co-ed basketball leagues. Four of the current Big 5 head coaches have come out of his program, and for years his program was the only one in the country to have coached all five Big 5 coaches at the same time, including two who went on to coach at the Games. Olympics (Jay Wright, Villanova/Dawn Staley, Temple). Sonny also co-founded the McDonald’s All-America Game, which was a gateway to the NBA for many of its participants. The first minority broadcaster of games at Penn and Temple, Sonny was named one of the 100 most influential minorities in sports by Sports Illustrated in 2004, and among his many positions, he has been a 76ers leader, radio host and broadcaster as well as an advisor and mentor to thousands of young men across the city and region.

THE ROOM – Cheryl Reeve (1985-88)

Recently named head coach of the United States Women’s National Team through 2024, Reeve played collegiately at La Salle where she was a second-team All-Big 5 and first-team All-MAAC as a senior. She finished her Explorers career ranked second in program history in assists and steals, making 110 career starts and helping La Salle go 89-29 with two Big 5 titles, two league championships. MAAC regular season and two NCAA Tournament appearances (1986, 1988). A team captain as a senior, Reeve also excelled in class, earning spots on the MAAC and Big 5 All-Academic teams his senior year and receiving the MAAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year graduate scholarship and scholarship. NCAA graduate school. Among his many honors, Reeve is a member of the La Salle Hall of Athletes and an Atlantic-10 legend. The current Minnesota Lynx head coach has coached four WNBA championship teams, twice been WNBA Coach of the Year and, before taking charge of the national team, served as an assistant coach while Team USA won gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics as well as the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

PENN- Bruce Lefkowitz (1984-87)

An absolute beast on the playing field during his days wearing red and blue, Lefkowitz is still the standard by which many of today’s players are measured by longtime Penn basketball fans. A dominant field presence in the mid-1980s, “Lefko” finished his career with 1,443 points, which at the time of his graduation placed him fifth on Penn’s all-time scoring chart. and still places him 12th all-time in the program. His career field goal percentage was 58.7, which remains Penn’s second all-time field goal percentage to this day – a stat bolstered by the fact that he took more shots than any of the top six listed in this category. Lefkowitz still remains the all-time leader in free throws made (469) and attempted (666), and he’s eighth all-time with 766 career rebounds. Lefkowitz was first-team All-Ivy as a senior, second-team All-Ivy as a junior, and honorable mention All-Ivy as a sophomore. He was a second-team All-Big 5 as a senior. Penn won two Ivy League titles during Lefkowitz’s career, in 1984-85 and his senior year of 1986-87 (he was captain of that team). The Quakers have gone 10-4 those two seasons. In his junior year, the Rouge et Bleu went 9-5 in the league and finished tied for second.

SAINT JOSEPH – Ahmad Nivins (2006-09)

A recipient of the 2008-09 Geasey Award as Big 5 Player of the Year, Nivins earned first-team All-Big 5 honors his sophomore and third-year years and was a second-team All-Big 5 pick. Big 5 as a junior. Nivins was the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year and an All-America honorable mention as a senior, a two-time NABC All-District selection, and earned three A-10 all-conference honors, including first-team recognitions in 2006-07 and 2008-09. He led the Hawks to the 2008 NCAA Tournament and finished fifth all-time with 1,789 career points, fifth all-time with 166 blocked shots, and sixth all-time with 955 career rebounds. Nivins also holds the Saint Joseph records for field goal percentage in a season (.647 in 2007-08) and career (.627).

TEMPLE – Marty Stahurski (1975-78)

Captain for two years and starter for four, Stahurski finished fourth on Temple’s all-time scoring list with 1,499 career points. That total remains the 17th all-time among Owls players, more than 40 years later. A two-time All-Big 5 first-team winner, he averaged double digits in the scoring column over the four years with a season-high 15.7 points per game as a senior. That senior season, he helped the Owls to 24 wins — the third-most total in program history at the time — and a berth in the 1978 NIT. Temple went 41-16 over the two years when Stahurski was captain. A member of the Temple Athletics Hall of Fame, Stahurski died on December 16, 2017.

VILLANOVA – Allan Ray (2003-06)

Ray was a three-time first-team All-Big 5 selection who was a consensus All-America and Naismith Award finalist his senior year. The Wildcats reached the Elite Eight that season after reaching the Sweet 16 in his junior year, going 52-13 in those two seasons combined. Ray scored 2,025 points at Villanova – a number that remains seventh on the program’s all-time scoring list – averaging 15.6 points per game in 130 appearances. He converted 312 three-pointers in his career, hitting a .367 clip from beyond the arc. Ray was first-team All-Big East as a senior, second-team All-Big East as a junior, and third-team All-Big East as a sophomore. Captain for three years, Ray saw his number 14 jersey retired by Villanova on December 21, 2019.

VILLANOVA – Head Coach Harry Perretta

A winner of 18 Philadelphia Big 5 titles and five-time Big 5 Coach of the Year from 2003-2020, Harry Perretta served as the only head coach of the Wildcats women’s basketball program for 42 years. Eight of Perretta’s players have won a total of 10 Big 5 Player of the Year honors, led by three-time winner Shelley Pennefather and two-time winner Caroline Coyer. He finished her career with a 122-41 record in the Big 5, which gave her 80 more wins than any other coach in Big 5 women’s history, and her winning percentage of .749 in town n It’s surpassed only by Stephanie Gaitley (.868 from 1992-01 at Saint Joseph’s) and Dawn Staley (.813 at Temple from 2001-08). Perretta won 783 games overall, ranking him as the winningest coach in Villanova basketball history (male or female) and 13th on the NCAA’s Division I All-Time Coaches list. Perretta has had 30 winning seasons including 20 with at least 20 wins, and his teams have earned 11 NCAA Tournament bids and made 11 WNIT appearances. Villanova won five Big East championships during the Perretta era — three tournament titles and two regular season crowns — and he coached 79 All-Big East players, including 19 who earned first-team honors. Perretta finished his career with 345 Big East wins, which puts him behind Jim Boeheim (Syracuse men) and Geno Auriemma (UConn women) in Big East basketball wins. Perretta’s team in 2002-03 qualified for the NCAA Elite Eight, and prior to the NCAA he coached the Wildcats in the 1982 AIAW Final Four at The Palestra.

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