Philadelphia High School Basketball
A Look at Steve Kane's 26-Year Coaching
Career at University City (1974-99)
This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recap of the win in a championship game
and (at the bottom) the names of all varsity players during Coach Kane's 26 seasons. . . .
To provide additions/corrections: email@example.com. Thanks!
Return to TedSilary.com Home Page
Steve Kane coached basketball at University City for 26 seasons, winning 346 games and one Public League championship. That crown was claimed in 1995. Here is that story . . .
By Ted Silary
Sometimes a guy reaches into his pocket and comes up with nothing but lint.
League / Overall
1980: 10-5 / 16-9
1986: 12-1 / 26-2
1987: 9-4 / 18-8
1988: 10-3 / 17-7
1989: 5-8 / 8-13
1990: 6-7 / 10-10
1991: 5-4 / 11-9
1992: 6-5 / 12-7
1993: 8-3 / 13-7
(Overall determined to be
232-146 after 1993 season)
1994: 10-1 / 20-2
1995: 11-0 / 22-2
1996: 14-1 / 18-4
1997: 11-5 / 17-9
1998: 12-1 / 19-6
1999: 10-3 / 18-6
26 Seasons, 1974-99
League - 205-134
Overall - 346-175
Appearances Ended in . . .
1980, 1992, 1993, 1999
1994, 1998, 1997
"I never did that in my
life," he claimed.
Said Kane: "If you told me we'd win with Rasheed getting one field goal, I would have said, 'You . . . are . . . crazy!' "
Crazy would be the way to describe the final moments. You also might want to mix in amazing along with a pinch of
controversial and scary.
With 31.7 seconds remaining, Gratz found itself in deep trouble as star point guard Terrell Stokes fouled out and
Brokenborough converted a one-and- one to give U. City a 43-39 lead.
Guard Jarret Kearse, a sophomore substitute, removed some of the panic by burying a turnaround, off-balance,
left-wing "three" at 0:20. After Brokenborough inbounded to Anwar Blagmon, deep sub Terrance Smith flicked away
the ball and Kearse gained possession on the floor in a scramble.
Tweet! Though Kearse did a remarkable job of remaining stationary, he was called for traveling after being jostled by
the diving Brokenborough.
The call was greeted by the tossing of two thickly padded folding chairs onto the court from behind Gratz's bench. A
four-minute delay followed as security guards, joined by at least 15 policemen, moved into position all around the court.
At 8.9, Brokenborough was fouled and made the first for a 44-42 lead. When he missed the second, Harris tracked
down the rebound. But the ball was dislodged and recovered by Smith, who was fouled.
What a scenario. Smith had been on the floor for less than a minute. He had not yet taken any kind of shot. Previously,
he had not seen game action since Feb. 9.
Somehow, Smith summoned the brass to sink the front end of the one-and-one.
Job half-done. Time for No. 2 . . .
Clang. The ball hit the right side of the rim and bounced left. Forward Erik Hood outleaped Wilson about 8 feet away,
planted his feet, spun and lifted.
By the time he released the ball, his hand was no more than 4 feet from the hoop.
The ball hit once on the near side of the rim. It hit twice on the far side. It dropped . . . Not into the net.
"I don't know how that shot didn't go in," Gratz coach Bill Ellerbee said. "They must have put some kind of vibrator
on the rim."
Said Harris: "That scared me. It was a wide-open shot. I wanted to go over and try to block it, but I didn't want to risk
Except for Kane, the most emotional Jaguar had to be Brokenborough, a four- year varsity performer.
He had not played well. He had persevered and triumphed.
"When I was getting ready for ninth grade, all people told me was, 'Don't go to U. City. They ain't got any players,' " he
said. "It was, 'Gratz and FLC, they're the teams. You won't win a championship at U. City.'
"It took me four years, but I got one. If you can only get one, this is the best time, in your last year. I can't tell you
how happy I am."
U. City's only previous title game appearance had been a 66-64 loss to Southern in 1986 . . . Bill Ellerbee: "We didn't
execute well. We were hoping to hang around and steal it at the end." . . . In a Dec. 15 non-league game, Gratz beat U.
City, 56-55. "We won by one when it counted," Rasheed Brokenborough said . . . Steve Kane: "I woke up at 4 o'clock
in the morning still not knowing what (primary) defense we were going to play. When I saw (guard) Michael Tucker, I
asked him, 'What should we use? ' He said, '100.' That's man-to-man fullcourt. We went with it. Shows how much
oaching I did."
This story was written in 1994 when
Rasheed Brokenborough, only a junior,
reached 1,000 career points . . .
By Ted Silary
Rasheed Brokenborough's dreams were as big as his pending accomplishment.
He was going to snatch a rebound, dribble the length of the floor, explode upward into a dunk while absorbing contact,
then shuffle to the foul line and hit nothing but cotton.
Brokenborough, a 6-4, 185-pound junior - yes, junior - small forward, yesterday became the first player in University
City's 21-season basketball history to reach 1,000 career points.
The magic moment occurred two minutes and 28 seconds into the first quarter of the Jaguars' 78-59 Public League
Division A-D triumph at Olney.
The lefthanded Brokenborough, who has turned getting close to the basket into an art form, maneuvered into the lane,
flipped in a 6-foot jump hook - he learned the move from teammate Tariek Stinson - then braced himself for poundings
on the back from his teammates and coach Steve Kane.
The points were his second and third. No. 1 had come 51 seconds earlier on the first of two free throws. By game's
end, he owned 27 points on 9-for-16 (one three-pointer) shooting from the field and 8-for-15 from the line, along with
13 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals. Just so you know, he routinely covers the opposition's top offensive threat.
Brokenborough had hoped to hit the milestone last Friday in a home game against John Bartram. Last Tuesday, Kane
made sure that Rasheed would fall short of 1,000 in a game at Edward Bok. Alas, the Bartram game was postponed.
"It would have been better at home, but that's OK," Brokenborough said. ''About a dozen U. City kids made it to the
game. Mr. Kane is going to get the art teacher to paint me a black and yellow ball with the details."
Although Brokenborough once scored "60-something" points in a middle school game for Pepper, in Southwest
Philadelphia, his high school success has surprised him.
"That is a pretty big accomplishment for a guy who couldn't even shoot the ball when he started playing," he said. "I
used to score everything inside. No jump shots at all. I could barely dribble, either."
Brokenborough learned to shoot jumpers under the tutelage of James Wright, who directs the Mantua Community
enter, at 34th and Haverford streets. He also worked out constantly with neighborhood buddies Craig Wise (Central,
Canisius), Marvin Stinson (Dobbins; Gloucester County College, in New Jersey), Tariek's brother, and Bill Sheed
(U. City, Treasure Valley JC, in Ontario, Ore.)
"If you'd ask Mr. Wright, he'd say he didn't do anything to help me. I know better," Brokenborough said. "Mr. Kane
has helped me a lot, too. He gave me a lot of confidence by making me a starter in ninth grade. My mom (Barbara)
kept pumping me up. I kept saying I never thought it would happen. She kept saying it would.
"When I started playing, I saw the game as all scoring for me. Now I look to get my teammates started early. My
points are going to come. It works out nice. I like it when my teammates are happy."
Kane, who has coached the Jaguars since the beginning, is the president of the Rasheed Brokenborough Fan Club.
"Forget the basketball," he said. "What a beautiful kid. You ask the people around our school. Nobody has anything
bad to say about this guy."
Brokenborough's name is already known to Division I coaches. And he intends to capitalize on his opportunity. In
tandem with senior guard Fred Warrick, another neighbor who stars at Edward Bok Tech, Brokenborough is
receiving private tutoring for the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
"In ninth grade, I didn't realize how important good grades are," he said. "But I've doing well ever since. I'm going
to take the SAT in March."
This story about guard Thomas "Skimoe"
Hinton and his foul-shooting duels
with Coach Kane was written in 1989 . . .
By Ted Silary
Thomas "Skimoe" Hinton is one of the more proficient free-throw shooters in Public League basketball history.
Yet, he is only 82.353 percent as good as someone within his own school, University City.
His coach, Steve Kane.
"Skimoe's not the best foul shooter in UC's (16-year) history. I am," crowed Kane, 50. "All the kids know it. They
all test me.
"Every year, we have a contest on the first day of practice. I made 34 in a row about seven or eight years ago and
that's still the record. This year, I made it to 33. The 34th was down and in, then came out. Skimoe's best for all
season is 28. He's got two more days (at practice) to beat me."
But perhaps not the will.
When Hinton was asked yesterday whether he expects to erase Kane's mark, he responded, "I doubt it."
One must understand, however, that the question was posed after U. City had been swamped, 73-50, by host Ben
Franklin and after Hinton, a 5-8, 160-pound senior wing guard, had failed to sink a free throw for the first time all
Not that opportunities were abundant. Hinton, who had 12 points, 4 assists and 3 steals, did not step to the line until
1:50 remained. After executing three miniknee bends and one really deep knee bend, Hinton missed a one-and- one.
He was fouled while scoring a layup on the Jaguars' next possession, but again the free throw missed.
"First time I missed two in a row all season," Hinton moaned. "I don't think that. I know that."
Hinton has missed only 26 free throws all season, so who could challenge the assertion? He has converted 175 of
201 chances in 20 games, which figures to 87.1 percent.
"Sure, some other Public League guys probably shot close to 90 percent through the years, " Kane said, "but how
many shot the amount Skimoe has? More than 200. That's a helluva lot of free throws."
On Jan. 24, when Hinton scored a school-record 44 points in a loss to William Penn, he was 22-for-26 from the
"Their guys were saying, 'What's with you? You live on the line?' " Hinton said. "They said, 'You pay the refs to
call fouls for you?'
"When I drive, I'm trying to score. But if I can't do that, I try to draw a foul. Do both, actually. I can't explain why
so many go in. It's just confidence. That's all you need. For me, foul shots are like a big guy's slam dunk. When I
make them over and over, it gets me going."
Though Hinton does not have particularly quick feet, he has perfected a hip-hop style of dribbling that enables
him to penetrate zones and force defenders to jump too soon. Often yesterday he appeared to be jostled while
shooting, but whistles were not forthcoming.
"If I'm not getting calls in the first and second quarters," Hinton said, ''I can tell it's not going to be my day."
The ultimate bad day of Skimoe Hinton's life, with respect to basketball, was Feb. 8, 1988, when he found that
a poor academic performance would cancel the remainder of his season.
U. City was 17-3 at the time, ranked fourth in the city. Oblivion followed, because no one else could even
remotely replace Hinton, then a lead guard, as a ballhandler.
Said Hinton: "Mr. Kane said I sold the team out. The teachers said it. The students said it, too. They were right.
I heard it every day after that. I didn't talk to any of my teammates the rest of the year. I felt so bad. They'd try
to talk to me, but I couldn't say anything back. That experience stuck with me all through the summer. It made
me come back hungrier. I had to prove a point.
"Schoolwork isn't that hard. Teachers have always said I'm lazy. My mother (Ida) does everything for me.
When I got to high school, I didn't know much about responsibility. I'm learning more and more about it."
Kane gladly will second that.
"He has matured a lot as a person," Kane said. "He showed me how much just the other day at the Markward
Club luncheon. He was the first U. City player to ever write out a speech. He was eloquent. He delivered it in
absolutely beautiful fashion. In terms of public speaking, not much is expected out of the Public League kids.
But everybody congratulated him afterward for a speech well done."
Said Hinton: "I wrote it in my third-period class. I just wanted to say something nice. It felt good to know I
made people proud, especially my mom and Mr. Kane."
Today or Monday at practice, if he approaches, say, 30 consecutive free-throw conversions, Skimoe Hinton
will make Steve Kane sweat.
"He's the only one with a shot at me," Kane said. "The other guys have such poor concentration, they can't
make any more than five or six in a row. Skimoe keeps saying, 'I'm going to get you, Mr. Kane.' "
The coach then added, in a tough-guy voice, "Yeah? We'll see."
Recap of victory in
Public League championship game . . .
At the Civic Center
University City 44, Gratz 43
Franchise swingman Rasheed Brokenborough went just 1-for-9 from the floor, but managed 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists as the Jaguars won their first title in their 22nd season and completed the first girl-boy sweep in PL title history. Brokenborough finished with 1,774 career points, No. 3 in PL history. Anthony "Chop" Harris (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Alfonso Wilson (eight, 12) helped out. Gratz had a chance to tie in the waning moments when Terrance "Fats" Smith was fouled. He made the first free throw, then missed the second. Gratz's Erik Hood grabbed the rebound and lofted a follow. The ball bounced tantalizingly on the rim three times before dropping off to the side.
Below are the players who helped
Steve Kane claim 346 wins and one Public League
championship in 26 seasons as the coach at University City. The year indicates the
player's final season. Most were seniors. Some transferred and some were underclassmen
who did not play in the following season.