PHILADELPHIA IN ONE WORD: BEAUTIFUL
William Randolph “Sonny” Hill
William Randolph “Sonny” Hill has been an integral piece of the Philadelphia basketball community for over 50-years. He has dedicated his life to the game and the betterment of the people around him.
The Sonny Hill Community Involvement League was founded in 1968. Through this organization, he has given hope, and opportunities in every field of human endeavor, using the game of basketball as a tool to understand and navigate through life.
He along with the Hall of Fame Coach John Chaney, started the first coed, overnight basketball camp in the country on the campus of Cheney State, and it later moved to the Temple University Ambler Campus.
He has enjoyed a career in broadcasting, mentorship, coaching, and he serves as an executive with the Philadelphia 76ers. He continues to host his weekly show on sports radio 94WIP-FM, and he was named in 2004 by Sports Illustrated as one of the 100-most influential minorities in sports.
Bright Hope Baptist Church
North Philadelphia is home to many places of worship. One place in particular has been solidified in history as one of the best basketball venues in the city.
The church has been a staple for 111-years. It began as a Baptist mission in 1910 and the late U.S. Rep. William H. Gray III guided the congregation and served as a champion for the community. US Representative Gray III, was preceded by his father and grandfather as senior pastor.
Bright Hope Baptist Church is the original home of the Charles Baker League, which was co-founded by Sonny Hill in 1960.
Former Senator Bill Bradley used the Baker League as a proving ground to prepare for the upcoming season with the New York Knicks when he returned home from Oxford University. He and his teammate Earl Monroe had some legendary battles on the court within hallowed halls of the church gymnasium.
Bright Hope Baptist Church, provided the city with an opportunity to enjoy basketball at a very high level for several years, before the league moved a few blocks north to the campus of Temple University and McGonigle Hall.