Monday, August 10, 2009

Beanie Gordon, one of Wash High's finest

Thanks to several readers of the Observer-Reporter, my attention was drawn to a two-paragraph obituary that ran in Sunday's edition.

It read:
James E. Gordon

James E. “Beanie” Gordon, 71, of Michigan, passed away in St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell, Mich.

Arrangements are entrusted to Lantz Funeral Home Inc., 121 Ridge Avenue, Washington. A complete obituary will be published in a later edition.

According to readers, Gordon was one of Washington's High School best, if not THE best, basketball player in its history.

Gordon played at Wash High during the 1950s, an era when the Prexies produced some of the best basketball talent in the WPIAL and all of Western Pennsylvania. John Riser played three years at Pitt (1954-57) and scored ,1664 points with 775 rebounds. He averaged 14.9 points in his career. Jim Ferrell was another Wash High great from the era.

Gordon played guard for the Prexies and as a senior was a UPI honorable mention all-state selection along with Ferrell (Charleroi's Jim Chacko was a first-team pick). Gordon, a local legend in rec leagues, went on to Youngstown State. There, he played from 1957-59 on some of the Penguins' most successful teams.

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