PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Big 5 will inductfour new members into its Hall of Fame on Monday, April 13 at the Palestra as part of the season-ending Big 5 Basketball banquet. The 2015 class will include former University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball standout Ugonna Onyekwe, as well as Stan Hochman (Media), Bill Raftery (Special Category) and Pepe Sanchez (Temple).
Onyekwe (2000-03) was a first-team All-Big 5 selection as a junior and senior -- leading Penn to its most recent Big 5 title as a junior in 2001-02 -- and a second-team All-Big 5 pick his freshman year. He was also a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and a four-time All-Ivy pick as he helped Penn to Ivy titles in three of his four years.
Onyekwe graduated second on Penn’s all-time scoring list, with 1,762 points, and eighth on the all-time rebounding list (759). He was also tied for first all-time in games played (118); second all-time in field goals made (690) and blocked shots (139); fifth in games started (105); and 11th in free throws made (329).
Onyekwe was a part of two Penn teams that went unbeaten in Ivy League play, in 1999-2000 and 2002-03. His junior year, 2001-02, the Quakers tied for the Ivy title with Princeton and Yale, but emerged from the three-way tie to gain the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. All three of those teams won more than 20 games overall.
The 2015 Big 5 Basketball banquet is scheduled for Monday, April 13 at 6 p.m. on the floor of The Palestra. The Big 5 will also honor its 2014-2015 men’s and women’s award winners at the banquet, making the evening a true celebration of Big 5 basketball past and present. Tickets to the event are $50 each. Please contact Steve Crider at 814-935-5015 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
Taking a look at the other inductees…
Stan Hochman has been covering sports for the Philadelphia Daily News since 1959. He started as the Phillies beat writer and covered Big Five basketball for seven years until becoming a full-time columnist. He broadcast the Quaker City tournament with Sonny Hill on radio and worked alongside Les Keiter on televised road games. He was the weekend sports anchor on Channel 6, was a regular on PRISM and Comcast, and currently does a weekly Poobah segment on WIP-radio. He is a member of four Halls of Fame and was voted Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year three times.
Bill Raftery, a popular and successful college basketball broadcaster who has worked for major networks like ESPN, CBS, and Fox Sports, graduated from La Salle in 1963 and holds an honorary doctorate from the school. Raftery played for the Explorers from 1960-63, leading the team in scoring as a sophomore at 17.8 ppg. As a senior in 1963, he co-captained the team to an NIT berth. After 11 years as head coach of Seton Hall, Raftery transitioned to the broadcast booth where his infectious personality and style still has college basketball viewers entertained. He often returns to Philadelphia to call Big 5 games and resides in northern New Jersey with his wife Joan. Raftery can currently be heard on Fox Sports 1 calling Big East basketball.
Pepe Sanchez (1996-2000) is one of only six Temple players to earn Associated Press All-America honors (third team in 1999-2000). He was named the Philadelphia Big 5 MVP twice in his junior and senior seasons. Not a prolific scorer, Sanchez distinguished himself as one of the game’s best passers, dishing 689 assists, and his 5.9 career assist average is still a school record. He also owns the Big 5 record, and still ranks third nationally, with 365 career steals. As a senior he was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year. The Argentina native helped his country win the Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and spent the last 14 years playing professionally overseas.
Download: 2015 Hall of Fame Media Release.pdf