The Philadelphia sports community lost one of its own Dec. 3 when Phil Jasner, a Temple alumnus who was the longtime NBA writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, died at age 68.
After serving as both a writer and editor for The Temple News from 1960 to 1964, Jasner worked as a sports writer for the Trentonian before he was hired at the Daily News in 1972. He worked his way up from covering high schools to taking the 76ers beat in 1981 on a full-time basis.
Jasner went on to have an illustrious career, which led him to be inducted into five halls of fame. He is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the Overbrook High School Hall of Fame, the Temple University School of Communications and Theater’s Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
The following column by Jasner appeared in the Jan. 8, 1964 issue of The Temple News.
Making predictions, like having a little knowledge, is a dangerous thing. Within the past year, this writer has picked such gems as Patterson over Liston, Navy over Texas, the 76ers over Boston, and the Eagles over anyone. I have yet to pick a winner in a Miss America contest, and the girl I selected to take the Miss Philadelphia crown never even came close.
Brer Rabbitt, a long-eared, smiling fellow who has absolutely nothing to do with the world of sports, once said: “You kin never ketch up with knowin’.”
The redoubtable bunny never said anything about “guessin’.”
So here goes:
Jim Williams, Temple’s 6-8 sophomore, will become the best “big man” in Owl basketball history before he graduates. Larry Sheckman will be equally successful pitching baseballs. Villanova will go to the finals of the NCAA tournament in March, while LaSalle will make it to the Eastern Regionals. Temple and or St. Joe’s will appear in the NIT. Penn will be content to play out its schedule, finishing near the top of the Ivy League. Penn will beat Princeton.
Richie Moore will be next year’s hoop star at Villanova. Walt Simpson will play for the Camden Bullets. Bill Melshionno will outplay George Leftwich at Villanova, Darby’s Charley Coleman will inherit Wally Jones’ quarterback chores at ‘Nova. Jones and Frank Corace will be drafted by the 76ers, but Wally will play for the Globetrotters, and Frank will play in the Eastern League. Both the Quaker City Festival and the Los Angeles Classic will outshine the New York Holiday Tourney in ’64. Barry Kramer will not make first team All-America.
Moving to the Gridiron: Temple football will stay where it is, content to meet the Boston U.’s and Ithaca’s, instead of moving to play Villanova and West Chester. Mark Lichtenfeld will regain the “touch” as a senior quarterback. Temple will equal or better its ’63 showing (5-3-1). The Eagles will finish fourth in the Eastern Division of the NFL. Y.A. Tittle will play another season for the New York Giants and retire. The Giants will buy a quarterback to replace YAY, rather than gamble with Glynn Griffing.
Back to hardcourts: Unlike Jerry Lucas, Bill Bradley will not hesitate to play NBA ball. Paul Hegh, a Temple freshman from Frankford, will emerge as a darkhorse guard on next year’s Owl varsity. LaSalle, without Corace and Sampson, will lack punch off the boards, but “little guys” like Harry Carpenter, Joe Cunnane, George Paull and Hubie Marshall will keep the Explorers rolling. Stan Pawlak will become and Ivy League star.
And finally: Five years from now, an ex-college sportswriter will read this column and wonder if he really knew what he was talking about.