John Jamison remembers hearing a lot of stories about the 1963-64 Dallastown High School boys' basketball team when he was growing up.

Jamison's father, Sam, was the leading scorer on that Wildcats team, which won the York County League championship.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the title, the team will be honored on Friday night between the junior varsity and varsity games featuring Dallastown and Spring Grove.

John Jamison, who took the lead in organizing the event, said five former players, including his father, along with the team's head coach, Barry Stein, and assistant coach, Neil Harvey, are expected to attend. Stein will travel from his home in Florida for the event.

"I started thinking about this several weeks ago when I realized it was 50 years ago that they won the title," John Jamison said. "My dad is pretty excited about it. Basketball means a lot to him."

Phil Eppley, Tom Heckman, Bill Gilbert and Dave Wright are planning to be on hand Friday night, along with Sam Jamison.

"I'll say something about each player, and coach Grassel (current Dallastown head coach Mike Grassel) will have his players shake hands with the players from the 1964 team," John Jamison said. "We'll also have clippings out in the front lobby about the team."

Sam Jamison and his old teammates will share memories at a dinner on Thursday night before attending the ceremony on Friday.


"It's really nice for all the fellows to be recognized," Sam Jamison said. "I remember after we won the championship, they had an assembly in the school the next day, and they (the other students) carried us down the hallways on their shoulders."

When Sam Jamison thinks of that long-ago championship game, which was played on a neutral floor at York Suburban, the first person who comes to mind is Wildcats' center Tom Heckman.

"He was 6-3 and one half, and he could jump out of the gym," Jamison recalled. "He had like 24 or 26 rebounds in that game. We were absolutely the underdog going into that game because Spring Grove had beaten us during the regular season."

The Rockets had also won the two previous title games, but Dallastown turned the tables in the 1964 game by winning, 61-51.

"I remember I didn't want to play at York Suburban because the rims were so tight there," Sam Jamison said. "I was a shooter, and I thought the tight rims were going to be a problem, but things turned out all right."

Thirty-two years after his father's unforgettable game, John Jamison found himself staring at a rim in the South Western High School gymnasium.

Jamison was fouled just before the final horn with his team trailing by one point. He made both foul shots to give Dallastown a 46-45 victory over York High. A second generation Jamison celebrated a championship (York-Adams League) with his Wildcat teammates.

"He was better than me," John Jamison said. "He was a first-team all-star and averaged 16 or 17 points a game. I was second team and averaged 10 points a game."

Sam Jamison, the team's top scorer for three straight years, passed some of the credit for his success to teammate Jay Smith, who he called a "wonderful playmaker."

Just like Sam Jamison inspired his son to play varsity basketball, John Jamison has someone he can tell championship season stories to: His daughter is in seventh grade at Dallastown Middle School.

Lily Jamison plays basketball on the school team.

-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at