Mike Gale

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Mike Gale

Postby rlee » Fri May 06, 2016 5:52 am

From Andre McCarter:

Mike Gale, NBA Retired Player Inducted into Philly's Legendary Overbrook High School Hall of Fame His Game ; Sweet as Sugar
Michael Eugene Gale, retired NBA player will be inducted into the legendary Philadelphia Overbrook High School's Hall of Fame on May7, 2016. Wilt Chamberlain is the most notable basketball player from Overbrook High. Mike Gale will go into the Hall of Fame with other inductees from various fields of endeavors and expertise. The induction is long overdue. Mike Gale's basketball contributions at Overbrook H.S., Elizabeth City State in North Carolina, in the ABA /NBA ,as well as, an off the court reputation of integrity exemplifies his selection into the Overbrook Hall of Fame. His basketball journey is a testament to the fact that it is not how you start but how you execute the adversities of the journey as one pursues desired and successful completed goals. Mike Gale did what was necessary and more in his basketball /life journey.
The name Mike Gale is left off many list of players that come to mind when discussing Overbrook basketball, Philadelphia city high school basketball overall. Mike Gale worked his way up through each level of the Overbrook system to his senior year. In Gale's 1966-67 senior year he led Overbrook to the public league title and was 1st team All-Public and was the Public League Player of the year. Despite the work on the court Mike Gale put down for Overbrook H.S. he followed in the long line of good basketball players that Philly playgrounds were producing during this era in Philly basketball history. In 1967 thePhiladelphia youth basketball Sonny Hill league was in its embryo stages when Gale played so the popularity and influence had not reached the apex that would soon come.
Gale had a very good basketball career as a Hill-topper at Overbrook High School. He was coached by our legendary coach Paul Ward who had coached Walt Hazzard, Wally 'Wonder' Jones and many other great players. Upon my arrival at the Brook, Coach Ward made sure I was aware of his most recent top guard a name I heard over and over as I entered Overbrook High School, Mike Gale. Coach Ward was proud of what Gale had accomplished in his career at Elizabeth City after having not received better offers from bigger schools who did not see the special qualities Coach Ward said to me that Mike Gale possessed. I was happy for Mike Gale being selected the 47th player drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1971 NBA draft. It encouraged me to keep working on my game.
Scholarships were not pouring in locally so like many Philly players, Mike had to leave the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area to find a home where he was wanted and appreciated. The place was Elizabeth City State. If you were to ask someone in the Philly basketball world, "have you ever heard of Elizabeth City State, they would have said . . .where ? I would doubt at that time, any of us would have known.
Elizabeth City State provided Mike Gale with the opportunity to get a college education, grow up away from home and provided a place to hone his skills as a basketball player. Gale would go on to become All-CIAA and CIAA MVP. Mike took advantage of opportunity.
Instead of going with the Chicago Bulls, Gale took advantage of the option that was available in those days because he was also drafted by the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association. Gale played for the Kentucky Colonels from 1971-1974. In his 1974-1975 ABA season he helped win an ABA championship with the New York Nets led by Julius Erving and Super John Williamson.
Gale would find another pivotal home with the San Antonio Spurs where he played on really good Spurs teams lining up with the legendary George 'Ice Man' Gervin. Mike Gale flourished with the Spurs who saw the value Coach Paul Ward saw years before at Overbrook H.S. the intangibles other did not or could not discern.
According to Bob Bass, in an article titled 'Mike Gale Was An Important Piece in Spurs Universe', Bass said of Gale, "defense was Mike Gale's expertise." "He was a Bruce Bowen type of a player",said the former Spurs Coach and General Manager. Bob Bass was instrumental in the Spurs acquiring Gale. "He had the size and strength to guard just about anybody except a 7'-footer." Most often, Gale was assigned the opponents leading scorer.
Mike Gale played eleven years in the ABA /NBA scoring over 6,000 points and over 3,000 assist. Three times he led his team in assist and steals for the season.
While with the San Antonio Spurs Gale was known as 'Sugar' which is a major accomplishment when you are on a team with the likes of George Gervin the smoothest, sweetest, one of a kind finger-roll master, scorer ever in the history of basketball you must be producing some pure 'Sugar'.
The San Antonio Spurs have kept Gale, who has resided in San Antonio for years, in the family mix always including him in their championship parades over the years and claiming him as one of their own. . . family.
Being inducted into Overbrook's Hall of Fame is prestigious because, it is not just basketball centered, it includes illustrious inductees from all types of career endeavors. Basketball wise Overbrook hails as arguably the greatest legacy of NBA players and major contributors to the game of basketball ever recorded in the annals of high school boys basketball. Mike Gale's journey has now gone full circle as the Philadelphia native is now back home and officially being celebrated by the Overbrook Hall of Fame the birthplace of his basketball journey and it is sweet as sugar!
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