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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1 Response to Paul Harter

  1. 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.

    Like

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