Villanova's 1985 title team to gather again at Yasso-Rothrock event

The NCAA champion Wildcats will get back together again at the SteelStacks on Oct. 2.

Basketball season is starting early this year.

Well, at least the basketball chatter.

That's because on Oct. 2, the Yasso/Rothrock Christmas City Classic will be holding a special event at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

The 1985 NCAA national championship game between Villanova and Georgetown will be the focus of a special discussion that will have many of the former Wildcats players reuniting.

Longtime Lehigh Valley resident, Sports Illustrated basketball writer and noted author Jack McCallum will lead the discussion that will include Harold Jensen, Chuck Everson, Brian Harrington, Steve Pinone and possibly Mark Plansky.

Villanova, of course, beat Georgetown 66-64 on that April 1 night in what many consider to be the biggest upset in NCAA title game history.

It was a contest that, along with the 1979 Bird vs. Magic matchup and the 1983 N.C. State-Houston buzzer-beater that had the late Jimmy Valvano running around the court looking for someone to hug, elevated the NCAA tournament — better known as March Madness — as one of America's most popular sporting events.

In addition to the former Wildcats, current Villanova standout Darrun Hilliard will be coming back to the Bethlehem to participate in a Q-and-A session with fans and media.

Hilliard played in several Yasso/Rothrock Christmas City events as a player at Liberty.

Last season a sophomore at Villanova, Hilliard, a two-time Morning Call player of the year, played in 34 games, averaging 11.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by contacting Spud Yasso at 610-217-6685 or emailing him at

The theater is limited to 200 and last year's event, featuring former Lehigh standout and current Portland Trail Blazer C.J. McCollum was a sellout.

All proceeds benefit the Christmas City Classic, which last year gave out $30,000 to the Lehigh Valley Conference schools.

The classic, featuring 12 games with all 24 LVC boys and girls teams involved at either Bethlehem Catholic, Freedom or Liberty, gets the high school basketball season started every year with games on the first Saturday of December.

The event is staged in honor of the late George Yasso and Todd Rothrock, who were both fixtures on the local sports and basketball scenes and were influential in the development of dozens of Bethlehem-area athletes.


The fourth season of the Select Competition Basketball League (SCBL) begins on Sept. 8 and run to Oct. 30, all at the Swain School.

League founder and director Ed Jennings said there will be two divisions (the NCAA and NBA) with six teams in each division.

The NCAA division is primarily for kids in grades 7-9 and the NBA division will feature mostly kids in grades 10-12.

Jennings said that the top four teams in each division will make the playoffs and go into a single-elimination tournament.

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