Joe DeRosa, Perry Reese Jr., Mike Phillips part of Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame 2023 Class

The late Perry Reese Jr. left a lasting impression on the East Holmes community and the Hiland Hawks basetball program.
The Repository

North Canton's Joe DeRosa , Canton native Perry Reese Jr. and Manchester High School product Mike Phillips all are part of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame's 2023 Class.

Kansas coach Bill Self, left, talks with referee Joe DeRosa, right, during the first half of the team's exhibition NCAA college basketball game against Pittsburg State in Lawrence, Kan., Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

They will be enshrined June 10 in Columbus at the Hilton Polaris.

The rest of this year's class consists of Andra Bell, Jim Brewer, Norris Cole, Gale Daugherty, Geno Ford, Amber Gray, Erica Hayes Zinn, Don Knodel, Nikita Lowery Dawkins, John Milhoan, Tom Rettig, Bill Szabo, Robin Tucker, Cleo "Chico" Vaughn and Al Vilcheck.

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DeRosa is one of only two people to officiate both the NBA Finals and the NCAA Men's Final Four. He spent 22 years as an NBA referee before moving to the NCAA. DeRosa's son JB now is an NBA official.

Reese, a Timken High School graduate, died in 2000 at the age of 48. An African-American Catholic man in the heart of Amish country, Reese led the Hiland Hawks to a 304-85 record, 11 conference championships, five state tournament appearances and a 1992 state title in 16 seasons.

Kentucky 6-10 center Mike Phillips goes up for a shot despite the defensive efforts of Vanderbilt teammates Jeff Fosnes (23) and John Sneed (32). The Commodores nudged the Wildcats 69-65 before 15,626 fans at Memorial Gym on Feb. 14, 1976.

Phillips, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 59, led Manchester to a state championship and a 26-0 record in 1974. The 6-foot-11 Phillips went on to the University of Kentucky, where he formed the "Twin Towers" with Rick Robey and led the Wildcats to the 1978 NCAA national championship. Phillips scored 2,573 career points at Manchester and another 1,367 at Kentucky.

This year's class showcases the impact of 2016 inductee Charlie Huggins. Reese was Huggins' assistant at Hiland. Huggins' 1967 state champion Strasburg Tigers team is being recognized at the June 10 ceremony, as are the 1982 and 1983 Zanesville Rosecrans girls state champion teams coached by Dave Bell.

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