Paul Harter

I don’t know which was prettier: Paul Harter or his jump shot.

Who was Paul Harter? Well, let me tell you two things about Paul Harter: there’s what I remember about him as a player/persona and what I remember about him as someone I’ve talked about and thought about for almost 40 years.

First off, Paul Harter was a hell of a player. He was a 6-foot-3 shooting guard who could get stuff off the dribble or catch-and-shoot … kind of whatever he wanted. He was one of the greatest perimeter shooters Reading/Berks has ever seen, and any mythical 3-point shooting contest among the greatest shooters in that area must include him.

And, yes, I know, there wasn’t a 3-point shot when Paul Harter played. That’s my point. He had that kind of range. He was like a white Ray Allen … at least that’s the way I remember him from back then in the mid- to late 1970s at Wyomissing High School.

And here’s the other thing about Paul Harter: He was good-looking, I mean, really good looking, and the kind of guy who everyone knew was good looking. You know how they say … “every cheerleader on the squad would have a crush on Paul?” It was more than that. Let me tell you who had a crush on Paul Harter. Every cheerleader in Paul’s class at Wyomissing; any cheerleader who wasn’t in Paul’s class at Wyomissing but was older or younger; every cheerleader at every high school in the county where Paul played; every cheerleader whose team ever played against Wyomissing and Paul Harter; every mom who ever came to the game, and hell, any gal who ever held a pom-pom.

All right, enough about that. But, damn, I e-mailed my mom about a detail or two about Paul Harter and she replied: “He was gorgeous.”

He was also really good at hoops. Paul Harter received a full ride to La Salle University, where he received a free education and played four seasons. He is, was and always will be someone who received a Division I basketball scholarship. And that makes you legit in any league. So what if he didn’t get a ton of playing time?

It’s a question that countless players ask themselves: Would you rather play at a Division II or III school or sit on the bench at a Division I school? I would have gone the Paul Harter route. But I never got a scholarship … and I never had Paul Harter’s looks, either!

Here’s to Paul Harter! Make a list of all the Berks/Reading players who were Division I, and it’s a small, small percentage of athletes. Paul Harter: Division I.


About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for the Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz can be heard on "Steiny & Guru" on 95.7-FM The Game in San Francisco, from 12-3.
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2 Responses to Paul Harter

  1. Terry George says:

    If the 3-point line existed in Paul’s playing days, his 1285 career point total would definitely have easily ballooned to over 1400 and arguably close to or exceeding 1500.

    The distance between the arc at the baseline and sideline in Wyo’s old gym only allows enough space for people with up to size 10 shoes to barely fit their feet without their toes stepping on the arc or heels touching the sideline (at least it was better than Central’s Hill St. gym where the arc intersected at the sideline foul line extended).

    However, those issues wouldn’t cause Paul any problems as he took jumpers basically from Coach Sherry’s seat on the bench next to the scorer’s table or just outside the center court jump circle.

    I had the pleasure of getting to know a LaSalle and Big 5 Hall of Famer player Charles “Chip” Greenberg as our daughters played AAU hoops together for a few years. He came in right after Paul finished at LaSalle. I had asked Chip if he knew and had played with Paul which he said he was being recruited during Paul’s senior year. LaSalle’s coach at that time was Lefty Ervin who previously to taking the LaSalle HC position was the HC at LaSalle College HS in the Philly suburbs and had coached Chip in HS.
    Chip mentioned that he met Paul as part of his recruitment, but it was funny reading Matt’s blog portion on how good looking Paul was and how the girls would swoon over him because that’s exactly what Chip remembered most about Paul at LaSalle 🙂

    Great stuff Matt. Thanks for writing these memories. Keep them coming!!


  2. Phil Schadler says:

    Loving the series, Matt.
    Thanks for remembering my friend Paul.

    A few Harter incidentals that come to mind:
    Teammate of All American Michael Brooks? Check.
    Participated in NCAA tourney? Check.
    Dropped several jumpers at Rupp Arena vs Univ of Ky? Check.
    Covered Danny Ainge? (Maybe not too well) Check.
    Played an impromptu 2-on-2 at Madison Square Garden vs Magic Johnson & Kareem? Check.
    Best looking guy on the court for each of those instances? Likely.


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