The Albert Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey has announced their selections to be inducted into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, February 12th. Bill Hiltner, Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, said the ceremony will begin at 5:30 P.M. at the Crowne Plaza, Route 70 and Cuthbert Blvd., Cherry Hill, NJ.
Dennis Brown (Camden High School)
Dennis Brown was a 4-year varsity letterman at Camden High School, graduating in 1988. He was a starter on the powerful teams coached by the legendary Hall of Famer Clarence Turner in each of his last three years.
The Panthers won New Jersey Championships in1986 and 1987 and losing the State Championship games in 1985 and 1988.
Camden’s 1986 team was ranked #1 by USA Today finishing with an undefeated 30-0 record.
Brown scored 1,608 points (#6 on the school’s All-Time list at the time). Currently, he holds the #10 position in career scoring. He also grabbed over 1,000 rebounds.
His senior season saw Brown named 1st Team All-South Jersey, 1st Team All-Group 4 and 1st Team All- Olympic Conference as well as 2nd Team All-State.
Following his illustrious career at Camden High School, Denny attended Iona College before transferring to Coppin State University in the summer of '89. Played 15 games before season and career ended due to a broken hand. The highlight of his college career at Coppin State University was nailing five 3 pointers against Dale Davis and a Top 20 Clemson University team in a 1 point loss.
Denny is married to Janell (14 years). Our son, Ché, is 10 years old.
Currently, Brown is Creator/Executive Producer of a Political-Crime drama (a six-part TV series) called CHASE STREET. The series is being shot in its entirety in Camden and the surrounding area. His production company is CHASE STREET Entertainment.
DENNIS EARL (Riverside High School)
A South Jersey resident since the age of 6, Denny Earl earned five (5) varsity letters and excelled in three (3) sports at Riverside High School.
The highlight of his high school athletic career, however, centered on the 1962 basketball season. Denny put together what many considered to be the finest single season in the history of Riverside basketball. That year playing without a home gymnasium (which was destroyed by fire) the Rams won 24 of 27 games. Earl scored 404 points and led the team to the South Jersey Central League Championship.
In what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in South Jersey sports, Riverside shocked the heavily favored undefeated Salem team in Camden Conventional Hall to win the South Jersey Championship.
Earl was named to the All-South Jersey Team by the Courier Post and was honored as All County and All State.
Earl continued his basketball career at Rutgers University playing on record setting teams for Bill Foster from 1963 through 1966 with the late Jim Valvano.
He later played and coached U.S. Army Basketball at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and Chun Chon, Korea.
Until his recent retirement from competitive basketball, Denny played in various basketball tournaments and leagues throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He spent the better part of 30 years organizing, sponsoring, coaching and teaching basketball to boys and girls in Mount Holly, Medford, and Moorestown.
Denny’s wife, Cynthia is an attorney in Moorestown. His daughter, Rebecca an attorney with the Federal Judiciary, was an All-County Basketball player and an All-Academic Big 5 Player on the Villanova University Women’s Team.
Now physically retired from the hardwood, Denny follows the careers of his sons. Dan, an All-State High School Player for Shawnee, an All Big-10 Player and Academic All-American at Penn State, and a Professional player in Europe and the United States, is now a second-year Head Coach at VMI. Brian, an All-State High School Player for Shawnee, Ivy League Player of the year at Princeton, and a Professional player in Europe, is now a first-year Head Coach at Cornell.
When not watching basketball, Denny spends his time pursuing his art, studying and writing in the area of theoretical physics and enjoying his five grandchildren, Dylan, Mila, Owen, Alyssa, and Cooper.
FAYE GERALD SHANNON (Pleasantville High School)
A 1981 graduate of Pleasantville High School, Faye Gerald led the Greyhounds to State Championships in 1978 and 1981. When not winning State Championships, she was part of South Jersey Championship in 1980. She amassed 1,875 points at Pleasantville.
During her tenure, Pleasantville also captured the Cape-Atlantic League Championships in 1980 and 1981.
Following her senior season, Faye was named to the All-State Team in addition to All-South Jersey with 21.5 points per game average.
She was part of the Prime Events All-Century Team and the seventh of the ten members inducted to the South Jersey Basketball Club Hall of Fame.
Faye was the Carino Basketball Club Female Player of the Year in 1981.
Following her career at Pleasantville, played for Big-East Champions at St. John’s in 1982 and 1984.
After graduating from St. John’s University Faye became a sports writer for the Courier-Post, she was a co- host for Al Lannie Gospel Hour Radio Show. Faye later became a successful business woman; she owned and operated Wilson Child Care Center for over 20 years. She also established an AshWes Real Estate Development Company and currently is a Real Estate Investor. She has been named Entrepreneur of the year by the Northside Professional Business Women’s Association. Faye has spent many years volunteering and working with several local charities.
She was married to the late Richard Shannon Jr. and from that union, they had a son Wesley Walter Shannon who is 19 years old and is in the Air Force.
FRANK HENRY (International Association of Approved Basketball Officials)
Frank is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. He became a member of the International
Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) in 1971 and still holds a membership.
Prior to moving to South Jersey, he was a member of the Philadelphia IAABO board transferring to Board 34 in the late 70's. He was Past President of IAABO Board 34 and Past President of the Collegiate Basketball
Officials Association (CBOA) for the 2000-2001 season. In addition to the presidency of CBOA, Henry was the Philadelphia area representative from 1993-1999.
He was at his best when the games were the toughest! Henry always maintained control and was the type of official that coaches and Athletic Directors wanted on their games.
Frank has officiated numerous NCAA, NJSIAA, Philadelphia Catholic League and tournament games throughout his career. While no longer officiating he works with the younger Board 34 officials.
He was the recipient of the prestigious Russ Beisswanger Award (CBOA) in 2010 and the Mike Lazenoff Award (IAABO Board 34) and is a member of the Markward Basketball Club Hall of Fame.
Henry worked as an Ironworker for 44 years and has served two terms as the President of the Ironworkers Union.
MEGAN LIGHT MASON (Gloucester High School)
Megan is a 1998 graduate of Gloucester High School where she is the All-Time leading scorer with 2,443 points. As a sophomore, she amassed over 1,000 points and maintained a 25 point per game average throughout her career.
She is no stranger to All-Everything teams having been named four times to the All-Tri-County Teams, four times to the All-State, three times to the All-Group 1 and once to the All-Group 2 teams.
Following her senior season, she was selected as the Girls Basketball Player-of-the-Year by the Courier Post and also by the Albert Carino Girls’ Basketball Club of South Jersey.
The Courier Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer named her Athlete-of-the-Year. Capping off her senior season she garnered the Courier Post Scholar Athlete Award.
While playing at Fairfield University she torched the nets for 1,169 points and had over 500 assists. She helped the Stags earn an At-Large bid to the NCAA tournament in 2001.
In 2002 she was named to the All-MAAC 2nd Team and was selected the Carino Girls Basketball Club of South Jersey College Player-of-the-Year.
Currently, Megan is a teacher/coach in the Gloucester school district. She has been married for 7 years and has a 3-year-old daughter (Jordan) and a 1-year-old son named (Ty).
DAN MERRIFIELD (Mainland Regional High School)
Dan Merrifield is the 2nd all-time scoring leader (1,646 points) at Mainland Regional High School – trailing only Hall of Famer Skip Castaldi.
As a senior, Merrifield was named to the 1st Team All-South Jersey squad. He averaged 21.6 points per game. Mainland won the New Jersey Group 3 Championship that year.
Merrifield’s junior year saw the Mustangs annex the South Jersey Group 3 Championship with his contribution of 21.2 points per game. He was named to the All-South Jersey Teams in both his Junior and sophomore seasons and to the 1st Team All-South Jersey Conference three times.
Following his career at Mainland, Dan played on the great University of Virginia teams with NBA All-Star Ralph Sampson.
Merrifield is married to Judy (Christian) Merrifield and has two daughters Christina (23) and Hanna (20). He lives in Rockville Centre, NY and is Vice President / Sales Manager of Turner Broadcasting in New York City
PAT MURPHY (Gloucester Catholic)
Murphy began his coaching career at Gloucester Catholic in 1978 and on his way to being named varsity coach in 1984 coached at the freshman and JV levels. He served two tenures as the Varsity coach.
Pat totaled 327 career wins for the Rams, which ranks 27th All-Time in South Jersey. He won league championships in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2008.
Gloucester Catholic reached the title game for South Jersey Non-Public B in 2007 and was named the Gloucester County Times Coach of the Year. The Rams were also named the Team of the Year in 2007.
He was selected to coach one of the teams in the Al Carino Boys’ Basketball Club All-Star Game on two separate occasions.
Murphy is the Director of the Rams Basketball Camp (since 1985) and is the Athletic Director (since 2008) at Gloucester Catholic High School.
Pat married his high school sweetheart in 1980 (Theresa Budesa Murphy) and has five children Casey, Ryan, Theresa Mary, Tara, and Kyle) and is the grandfather of nine.
DEMETRIUS POLES (Delsea High School)
A 1991 Delsea Regional High School graduate, during his final two seasons the team had a combined record of 48-3 (20-2 in 1990 and 28-1 in 1991) and won Tri-County Royal Division championship both years.
As a senior, Poles led Delsea to its only state championship (Group 2). He scored 23 points in the championship game against Hillside. The Crusaders only loss of the season was to eventual Tournament of Champions champion St. Anthony of Jersey City in the semifinal round.
Poles finished his career with 1,783 points (school record. His 723 points in 1991 were the school’s single-season record at the time.
Poles was the starting center on Rowan’s 1996 National Championship Team. He led the team in rebounds with a 6.7 average and contributed with 5.7 points per game. He also played basketball at St. Joseph’s
University and was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Freshmen first team.
Poles was the head coach for Brahe Basket in Sweden from 2009-2013. In 2012-13, the team had a 19-1 record, was first in the South Division and finished second in the Swedish finals. He coached Kvarnby Basket
from 2003-2008. The team came in second in the South Division in 2005-2006 and had a 16-4 record.
From 2008-2009, he was the head coach for Nassjo Basket. His 18-2 squad took first in the South Division and was second in the Sweden finals. Poles coached the Swedish National Team (Boys U18) from 2012-
2013. He was selected the 2012-13 Eurobasket.com Coach of the Year.
His playing career included stints in Lebanon, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Poland, Qatar, Denmark, Germany,
Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Russia, Syria, Jordan and Argentina.
He is currently coaching both the men’s and women’s teams at Rowan.
History of the Club
The Basketball Club of South Jersey, a long-time dream of founder Al Carino, was organized in the fall of 1962 with the help of Courier-Post sportswriters Charlie Schuck and Walt Burrows.
During the first year, men such as Al Mattern, Sam Strauss, Bob Kenney, Dick Carpenter, Ben Mark, John Kling and the Rev. William Hart added their support. An All-South Jersey team and the Coach of the Year were honored at the first post-season banquet and the Suburban Newspapers presented the Suburban Cup. State Champion coaches were feted.
In 1964 the Courier-Post started the Top Ten Award and in 1966 the Club selected the first South Jersey Collegiate Player of the Year and held its first South Jersey Invitational Tournament. In addition, the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO), Camden District Board 34 presented the initial Sportsmanship Award in memory of Kenneth E. Smullen.
In 1970, the Al DiBart Memorial Foundation began the top scoring award and named it the “Bob Elder” Award. That year the Club held its Unsung Heroes night for seniors who contributed to the team.
1971 saw the best foul shooting award. It now honors Tom Bowe and is presented by IAABO Board 34. In 1973 the Club honored its first woman coach for winning a state championship.
In the fall of 1974, the Club began honoring girls at the regular meetings and the 1975 banquet cited the girls’ scoring champion in addition to the girls’ Coach-of-the-Year. The Courier-Post added the girls Top Ten Award.
Charles Nash began honoring the South Jersey girls’ scoring champion and named it the Sara J. Taylor Memorial Award in 1975.
In 1976, the first Female College Player of the Year was honored by the Club with the aid of the women officials of West Chapter 5 honoring Ginny Whitaker, the former long-time Athletic Director at Cherry Hill East.
In 1977, the first Small College Player-of-the-Year was honored. A player from a Division 2 or 3 college is recognized. 1978 saw the first All-Star games featuring senior boys and girls from South Jersey.
The Major College Player-of-the-Year Award was named in memory of Samuel Strauss in 1980.
Hall-of-Famer Tony Caracci began to sponsor an annual award to the Outstanding Guard in South Jersey in 2000. The “Most Courageous Award was renamed in memory of the late popular coach from Haddon Heights and Triton Albert “Butch” McLean, who passed away in 2012.
Hall of Fame
Al Carino, The founder and longtime President of the Basketball Club of South Jersey, set the wheels in motion for the establishment of a South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.
Carino’s first step towards that goal was to call upon Doug Frambes, former Riverside High School coach, and a sports writer at the Courier-Post to form and chair a committee for this purpose. Frambes along with Walt Burrows, Stan Mroz, George Pims, Dick Carpenter, Jack Harte, Al Mattern, Charlie Nash, Bill Thomas and Bob Viggiano met to set the ground rules and the format to be used in the selection process. In addition to selecting former outstanding coaches and players, the committee decided one inductee each year would be chosen for distinguished service to basketball in the area.
The first banquet and induction ceremony was held in February 1981 when 13 inductees were welcomed into the Hall of Fame. Carino was the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.
The following year the Hall of Fame was expanded to include women. Bob Kenney, Sports Editor of the Courier-Post and Ginny Whitaker, Athletic Director for Cherry Hill East High School were added to the selection committee for this purpose.
After five years of serving as Chairman of the Selection Committee, Frambes stepped down but remained active on the committee. In 1985 Viggiano, also a sports writer at the Courier-Post was named the new chairman of the Selection Committee. Later Dick Carpenter served as Chairman and in 1996, Harry Beaudet assumed the role of Chairman until 2014 when Bill Hiltner (former Sterling coach) was appointed the chairman.
Tickets are available for the event from Jack Mongulla, Vice President / Treasurer (856-461-8800) or by sending payment ($40.00 per ticket) to 41 Emery Way, Delanco, NJ 08075. Reservations are required.