Aces Nation Honors Basketball Greats at Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Part 1 of 5
The first in a five-part hall of fame series on Aces history.
It's a tradition over 100 years in the making. Since the early part of the 20th century, Aces basketball has been a force to be reckoned with in the Pennsylvania high school basketball ranks, winning more than 1,300 games—at a .643 winning percentage—including 34 league titles, 15 District I titles and 6 state championships.
On Saturday, Dec. 18, Lower Merion High School welcomed eight new members into the school's recently created Lower Merion Basketball Hall of Fame. The school inducted 12 members in its inaugural class in 2008—headlined by 1996 alum, Kobe Bryant—and plans on inducted new members every two years.
The 2010 class epitomizes the long-standing tradition of Aces greatness. Inductees ranged from the graduating class of 1930 to 2002, and included the first woman ever inducted into the hall of fame.
Aces history is rich, beginning with the earliest days of legendary coach William "Andy" Anderson (2008 inductee), who was instrumental in popularizing the sport of basketball in southeastern Pennsylvania from the 1920s through the 1940s.
The tradition continued during the Ardmore Avenue Playground days (now Vernon V. Young Memorial Park), when families from an 8-10 block radius in Ardmore produced great athlete after great athlete in the 1960s and 70s.
And continuing to the present, under head coach Gregg Downer—who headlined the 2010 hall of fame class—Aces basketball has seen a return to dominance, starting in the 1990s.
Aces basketball has been a tradition of family, excellence and dedication to a craft that has made many an opponent fear the maroon and white come winter each year.
This article is the first in a five-part series walking Aces fans through nearly a century's worth of athletic excellence at Lower Merion High School and honoring the 2010 hall of fame class.
The story starts with the early years—the really early years, when basketball was a little known sport in the Philadelphia area, and Lower Merion helped introduce the game to the area.
To continue reading about Al Bonniwell, a 1930 graduate, who was the first Ace to play professional basketball, or Ira Rich, a 1940 graduate who was refused entrance into a hotel on the road because of the color of his skin, but didn't spend the night alone thanks to dedicated teammates, click here.