What a Classic!

What a Classic!

The 2nd Annual Joe Philo Alumni Classic, formerly known as the Alumni Basketball Games, will be held in the J.P. McCaskey High School Gymnasium on April 14. 

In 2019, the McCaskey Alumni Association decided to rename its annual Alumni Basketball Games for Joseph W. Philo, an SDOL parent. Covid-19 necessitated the 1st annual Philo Classic’s cancellation in 2020 and in 2021, but the event was finally held in April of last year. 

“I can’t believe we’re already here for year two,” said Josh Philo ’01, one of Joe’s three children. “Dad was the super-est super fan (of the Alumni Basketball Games) and I’m sure he’s getting a kick out of the whole thing.”

Joe’s daughter Jenna Philo ’04, one of McCaskey’s thousand-point scorers, has regularly played in the women’s game during the Alumni Basketball Games, now renamed for her dad, which also includes a men’s game and both former and current McCaskey basketball standouts participating. Joe never missed attending this event to watch his daughter take to the McCaskey court once more.  

Jenna expressed the approval of Joe’s three children — herself, Josh, and Dan Baver of Pottstown — when the Alumni Association announced the renaming in 2019. 

“We all support the decision one hundred percent,” Jenna said. “We are extremely humbled and thankful.”

Born in Trenton, N.J., Joe Philo worked for 40 years as an expert technician for Stadel Volvo and was a die-hard fan of the INDY 500 and car racing. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of youth athletics in Lancaster, serving for many years on the board of the Lancaster County Midget Baseball Association. Most of all he was a passionate supporter of his children.

Joe’s wife of 25 years, Nancy Philo, who passed away in 2005 at age 51, was a regular volunteer at McCaskey basketball games–yet another reason this event has deep meaning for the children.

“Last year’s game was bittersweet,” Josh recalls. “It was fantastic seeing all the players with my dad’s name on their shirts and playing together one more time. I kept thinking about the great times we had in the gym — Jenna playing, Mom and Dad running the concession stand and myself announcing. It was truly a family affair.”

The Joe Philo Alumni Classic will begin on April 14 at 6 PM. Doors open at 5:30 PM. All tickets are sold at the door and cost $3 for students and $5 for general admission. Children under 5 are admitted for free.