The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is a who’s who of Philadelphia sports history.
“Philadelphia is not an underdog city,” said Ken Avallon, the president of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. “We are a champion city.”
On Thursday night, Marilyn Stephens, Dick “Hoops” Weiss and the late Steve Fredericks, three Temple alumni, were inducted into the 13th class of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
Each year, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame inducts local athletes, teams and journalists who are natives of the area and have made a large impact within the sports spectrum, both nationally and locally. Former inductees include former Phillies player Gary Maddox, Philadelphia sports announcer Lou Nolan and MLB pitcher Curt Schilling.
Weiss, a 1969 journalism alumnus, is a native of Upper Darby and a famed basketball writer. After graduating from Temple, he worked at both the Philly and New York Daily News as a sports writer for over 45 years.
Weiss is both a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and a charter member of the US Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. Currently, he covers basketball for Blue Star Media.
“To me, getting an award in the town you grew up in is always special,” Weiss said. “Going in with a lot of the people who are here tonight really increases the magnitude of it all. I’m blown away by the whole thing.”
During his time at Temple, he wrote for the Temple News and became the sports editor. Along with his writing, he also edited the sports section of the yearbook and played Men’s Soccer.
“The thing I loved about Temple is it is Philadelphia,” Weiss said. “It gave me the opportunity to learn the business. I got a lot out of it.”
Stephens graduated in 1984, was both honored and attended the event this past Thursday.
Stephens was a local high school basketball player at Simon Gratz High School and played forward for Temple from 1980 to 1984. Her number was retired by Temple in 2000. She holds several records, including 23 rebounds in a single game. She is also in the Big 5 Hall of Fame and Temple’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Like Weiss, Stephens said she was honored to be inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and the city she grew up in.
“The class that I’m going in with there were mentors and people that I admired,” Stephens said. “To be spoken in the same sentence as them is just awesome.”
Stephens said she is a very proud Temple alumna, despite people looking down on her decision to attend the university.
“The first exposure I had [to the campus], I looked around and thought ‘Oh I love this place,’” Stephens said. “I always had a feeling of confidence and success when I walked in there and when I still walk in there.”
Fredericks, a 1961 journalism alumnus, passed away four years ago, so his friend and longtime talk show partner Mike Missanelli was able to accept on his behalf.
Fredericks graduated from West Philly High School in 1957. He worked in sports talk radio as a play-by-play announcer for the 76ers and the Big 5 for 26 years.
“He always loved what he was doing,” Missanelli said. “Whether it was radio or play-by-play, he was brilliant at it.”