There’s a great coffee table book concerning Philly Big Five basketball’s hallowed home, The Palestra:
Within its pages, “Lefty” Irvin, a former LaSalle teammate of Roland “Fatty” Taylor says of him “…When he would guard me in practice, he would hold me to no dribbles..He was the greatest defender of all time.” There’s also effusive praise for DeMatha grad Bernard Williams from former mate Larry Cannon (not a bad player himself).
“When I first saw Bernard, I thought he was the best player I had ever seen. You don’t see too many players who were as fluid as Bernard coming down the floor, handling the ball, and shooting his jumpshot. He could shoot the ball from great range so effortlessly. And what jumping ability! I had never seen anybody dunk the ball like that…He was always the voice of reason when we were being kind of crazy kids…”
Wow- even Philly guys, who have witnessed some of the best performers the game has produced, were highly impressed with our guys. “Fatty” Taylor attended Fairmont Heights and Spingarn High Schools. As you might imagine, Archbishop Carroll’s George Leftwich, and other local players are cited in the book.