Sports Media Guru Michael Bradley Picks the Best Local Sports Stars
From high school jocks on the rise to the city's best pro teams, "El Hombre" names his all-star roster.
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College Athlete ➙ Villanova University’s Kevin Cunningham
This lacrosse ace was a unanimous first-team all-Big East selection for the second consecutive season and was named the conference’s Attack Player of the Year in 2012. The senior led Villanova with 20 goals—including three game-winners—and 21 assists. In January, Major League Lacrosse’s Boston Cannons selected him with the 19th overall pick in the collegiate draft, making him the best Nova lax man ever.
College Coach ➙ Temple University’s Fran Dunphy
You won’t find a guy with deeper local roots than Dunph, who grew up in Drexel Hill, and played high school basketball at Malvern Prep and college hoops for La Salle University. He was the head coach at Malvern, an assistant at his alma mater and eventually took over at Penn, where he ruled the Ivy League. Now the big man for Temple’s men’s basketball program, he has won the Atlantic 10 tournament three times and made four visits to the NCAA tourney. Now that Temple is joining the Big East, the Owls should get even better.
High School Coach ➙ Friends’ Central School’s Jason Polykoff
With the success the Phoenix has enjoyed lately, one would expect Polykoff to be a smooth operator and recruiter who cuts an imposing figure on the court. Instead, this boys’ basketball coach is a mild-mannered middle-school math teacher and former FCS hoops standout who just happens to preside over one of the area’s best programs. Polykoff stays out of the recruitment game (he has help with that) and focuses on meshing top talents into a selfless team that has won two of the last three Friends League titles on its way to becoming a regional powerhouse.
High School Team ➙ Haverford School Lacrosse
Some consider the Fords’ 2011-12 regular season something of a failure because they lost a single game. But what do you expect after last year’s 23-0 national-title performance? Twelve members of last year’s team received Division I scholarships. Coach John Nostrant has built a program that attracts the area’s top talent, then puts it up against the best competition he can find. The results have been remarkable.