Memories of a lifetime: Local man used to play Globetrotters
Campion spent 8 years with Washington Generals battling famous team.
By John Hartsock, firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: January 26, 2009
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For the past eight decades, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters have entertained basketball fans with their exhilarating combination of eye-opening talent and side-splitting, hilarious antics.
The Globetrotters almost always win their games, and their most common opponent, the Washington Generals, almost always lose.
But it’s not by design that the Generals – a talented outfit in their own right – have come up short in all but a few of the thousands of games they’ve played against the Globetrotters over the course of nearly a century.
Not at all, maintain former Generals player Bill Campion – who has been living in Altoona for the past 17 years – and the legendary Generals founder and team owner Louis “Red” Klotz, who also spent many years as a player/coach with the organization.
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“Red Klotz said that he would never tolerate anybody purposely trying to lose a game,” said Campion, 56, a retired federal corrections employee who lives in the Greenwood section of Altoona. “I always felt that the harder the Washington Generals played, you could see the best come out of the Globetrotters as well.”
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But so did the Generals. The 6-foot-9 Campion – who hails from the Bronx, N.Y. and played high school basketball against former Pittsburgh Pirates pitching standout John Candelaria – shined on the basketball court during his collegiate days at Manhattan College, scoring 1,223 career points in two and a half seasons. He set the career school rebound record with 1,070, the single-season school rebound record with 419, and the single-game rebound record with 30 in a game against Hofstra.
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Campion, Bill [MC1975]
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I believe that Bill is a member of the Class of 1975.
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated. ]
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