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Millionaire Magic

Millionaire Magic

I joined the many fans who were in the MAGIC DOME a few weeks back. I only was there to pay tribute to several of my friends. Williamsport Area High School honored both their 1984 and 1999 PIAA AAAA State Championship teams. They ALL received some love during halftime of the Millionaire’s game with Loyalsock. It was like the days of old. The gym was packed, and it brought back so many memories. I enjoyed cheering and saying hello.

My family moved to Williamsport in 1989, but I have seen many games of the 1984 team on tape. They were fantastic. One of the greatest of all time. They dominated. The Millionaires went 30-0 that year, and they crushed their opponents. They won their contests by a staggering 35-point average. The Millionaires were legit, and they played some tough squads. They also defeated PA powerhouses like Carlisle, Altoona, Whitehall, Reading, and Chester. It was a MAGICAL run. They were perfection. Their execution. The way they played defense. The side middle and go. Amazing talent. A well-oiled machine. Every player had a role. Everyone shared a common goal.

The fans were incredible back then. The stands were always packed. Many folks tell me stories about waiting in line for hours just to see them live. The Millionaires were rockstars, and they were treated like kings. It was Deja Vu that Saturday. The crowd was loud, and it felt like we all traveled back. Many players received some props, but Coach Pete White’s ovation was off the charts. My man can still work the stands. Coach came over to say hello to my in-laws, Mike and Diane Coledo, who have been sitting in the same spot for over 40 years. He continued up and down the aisles. Shaking hands. Cracking jokes. Pete gave me a fist bump and mentioned that he saw my son. Coach was in his element. It was beautiful.

I played for Coach White and the Millionaires in the mid-90s. We also had a great squad my senior year. We were nipped in the State Championship, but Coach White was named the PIAA AAAA Coach of the Year. I had the best seat in the house and still remember my many interactions with Coach. The stories are true. Pete was so detailed. Coach was always prepared. He had everything chronicled to a T. Often; we knew what the other team was doing before they did. My man was the master of motivation. He knew what buttons to push. Pete had a larger-than-life personality. The crazy paisan. The WIZARD of Fourth Street. He feared no one. A legend. Brilliant man.

Coach White was my mentor. He helped spark my interest. I worked three summers during college at his Keystone Basketball Camps. I graduated 30 years ago, but Pete would randomly reach out and offer advice. He was the first to call after a big upset. Or when we were going through a rough patch. He phoned me a few weeks back to talk about an article. I had to explain my candid sense of humor. It made my year. Just a five-minute talk. I could go on and on about how Coach inspired, but he loved ALL his players. No matter where we were on his depth chart. This was so evident on Saturday. You could see it with every fist pump.

Props to the 1984 and 1999 Millionaire Basketball teams. 40 and 25 years ago. Kudos to the Williamsport Administration for organizing this event. I had a blast reminiscing and reaching out and sharing tales. It was a great moment. But most importantly, it was so good to see Coach. Never get rid of the MAGIC DOME, but it is time to rename the court. Cheers.