HERSHEY, Pa. —
Hershey boys basketball coach Paul Blackburn has some personality and his players see it almost every day.
(Joey Alander, Hershey Junior Guard/Forward)
“(He has) hints of fun, entertaining and jokes," says junior Guard Joey Alander. "But he is always focused on the next game, always focused on winning and the match-up we got next."
“Fun serious personality, it doesn’t depend on who we play he will bring the smile and serious whenever and wherever it is needed." adds junior guard Jake Moyer.
How would coach describe himself?
“Amongst the people I grew up with and my friends I am known affectionally as the voice of reason,” Blackburn says with a sarcastic head turn and grin.
And why not after all he is a coach. Sometimes, especially in the sports, worlds collide and that is exactly what happened at the Sixers game on December 23 much to his players surprise.
Moyer was just taking in the pause in action, when suddenly he saw his coach.
"I see on the board highlights of Dr. J andI thought this is pretty cool and I see coach Blackburn come on the screen and I look at my mom and I am like "is that coach Blackburn. '"
Alandar who was also at the game by coincidence saw coach.
"I just Hear this voice coming over and I look up. I didn’t believe it at first. I thought my eyes were deceiving me, I rubbed my eyes and he is still there."
Right there on the jumbotron, Coach Blackburn wearing a Sixers hoodie in the in the "Zink A like Contest" named after legendary Philly PA announcer Dave Zinkoff.
For Blackburn this was a chance to live out a moment he often took in a young kid watching the Sixers.
“I was in my element to say the leas,t I just blocked out the fans and put it together and went back to my childhood again!”
And the crowed let it be known he came home a winner.
“I did my best and like I tell my players. Do the right thing thing and we live with the result and (for me) the result was a free t-shirt.”
Plus a smile, a cool story, and one last "Julius Errrrrrrrving" from Blackburn.