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Harry Litwack: Standing Tall at Temple

August 11, 2014 By:
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Lois Litwack Kieserman (left) and Shelley Litwack Smoger stand tall by the statue of their late father, basketball legend Harry Litwack.

Nothing could be more appropriate than a larger-than-life statue to memorialize the larger-than-life career of Temple basketball giant Harry Litwack.

Temple held dedication ceremonies to honor the late icon — who coached at the school nearly 30 years before retiring in 1973 — some months ago but only last week installed the bronze statue in his image at the Liacouras Center on the school’s North Philadelphia campus.

Litwack, who died in 1999 at age 91, also had played with the SPHAs, the professional Jewish team of legend, and served as an assistant coach of the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA.

But it was at Temple that the cigar-chomping Polish emigre made his reputation, winning the National Invitation Tournament championship in 1969 on his way to compiling a 373-193 record with the Owls. Among the future NBA stars he coached while they were Owls: Guy Rodgers and Hal Lear.

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