“Mr. High School Sports” – WPIAL Hall-of-Famer Remembers ‘The Dunk’

By Matt Popchock


Die-hard fans will remember the more all-encompassing points of the men’s basketball game played at the old Fitzgerald Field House on the night of Jan. 25, 1988.

The University of Pittsburgh was coming off a tough loss at Oklahoma, and the nationally-ranked Panthers needed an ego boost. The most important thing was the win, and they indeed got it by hammering lowly Providence, 90-56, in Big East action.

But most of us, including CBS Sports basketball commentator Bill Raftery, will always remember that game for “The Dunk.”

Most of us, that is, except for maybe University of Arizona men’s coach and Ellwood City native Sean Miller, back then one of the premier members of that squad, who remembers it a little differently.

Miller, a former Blackhawk basketball standout, was recently enshrined into the WPIAL Hall of Fame, along with his father and high school head coach, John Miller. Check out the younger Miller’s lighthearted take on one of the definitive plays in Pitt hoops history, as told to Post-Gazette scholastic sports editor Mike White.

Over a quarter-century has passed since Miller, one of the most celebrated pre-three-point-line players in WPIAL basketball history, guided his Cougars to a district championship, and next winter will also mark a silver anniversary, that of the aforementioned play. Still, as he once told KOLD-TV, our sister station in Tucson, Arizona, he remembers it just as fondly:

Send it in, Jer–uh, I mean…pass it in, Sean.

(Follow me on Twitter @mpopchock.)

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