Schools with strong basketball ties at risk of closing

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Scootie Randall's alma mater, Communications Tech, is included in the list of schools. (Photo: Mark Jordan)

Scootie Randall’s alma mater, Communications Tech, is included in the list of schools. (Photo: Mark Jordan)

Tyler Sablich (@TySablich)

A few alma matters and current high schools of some well-known Philadelphia basketball players appear to be on the verge of closing down.

According to an article on, Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr. is expected to propose the closures of 37 elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools scattered throughout the city on Thursday.

While this issue goes well beyond the topic of basketball, as teachers, principals, cleaners, and other staffers are at risk of losing their jobs, some of these schools will leave behind historic basketball programs if the proposal is ultimately approved.

Here is a brief list of high schools with strong basketball ties that could be closing  down come June:

  • Communications Technology: Comm. Tech is located in the Southwest area of Philadelphia, but it is best known on North Broad for being the alma matter of Temple senior AndrewScootie” Randall, where he led the team to the Philadelphia Public School League Title in 2008. Randall is the all-time leading scorer at Comm. Tech with 1,725 career points.
  • Strawberry Mansion: This is where Maureece Rice famously broke Wilt Chamberlain’s Philadelphia High School all-time scoring record. Rice, although never had much of a basketball career following his days at Strawberry Mansion, is arguably the best Philadelphia high school player ever. Penn State guard D.J. Newbill graduated from Strawberry Mansion just two years ago. Newbill led Strawberry Mansion to the 2010 PIAA state championship game, and was named the Pennsylvania Class AA Player of the Year after averaging 24 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals per game his senior season. NBA player Ronald “Flip” Murray is also a Strawberry Mansion grad.
  • Roberts Vaux: Vaux High school is perhaps best known for housing current highly-recruited guard Rysheed Jordan. According to, Jordan is the third-best prospect in Pennsylvania. He has cut his collegiate choices down to Temple, St. John’s and UCLA, but has also drawn offers from Kansas, Maryland, N.C. State, and Pittsburgh. If the proposal is approved, all programs at Vaux would be shut down while the building would remain open for other purposes.

Other high schools to be shut down include Bok Technical, Carroll, Douglas, Germantown, Lamberton, Phila. Military Academy at Elverson, Robeson, and University City.

Hite said the proposal was made with two goals in mind: “improving academics in all schools and ensuring the district’s long-term financial viability,” according to He would, perhaps unknowingly, leave behind some rich basketball history in the process.

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