Most people take pride in having notable people hail from their hometowns.
I know I do.
West Chester, PA–home to some of the greatest heroes in pop-culture. Legendary skateboarder and Jackass personality Bam Margera had his rise to fame terrorizing the suburban streets of the Dub-C in the hit show Viva-La-Bam. Ryan Dunn, another Jackass member who tragically passed away in a vehicle accident grew up just 5 minutes from me.
That same program introduced us to Bam’s enormous mumbling uncle-Don Vito- (who I just found out right now is involved legally in some terrible allegations so I’m not proud of him as alumnus.)
Falcon’s QB, Matty Ice Ryan also attended one of the local high school’s before he skyrocketed to NFL mediocrity/mid-elite level/ whatever you prefer.
This blog isn’t about my illustrious home-town, however iconic these characters are.. It’s about a town I once lived in that has some literal legends and goats far beyond kids like me clinging to “celebs” who put beer cans up Steve-O’s asshole, shot Johnny Knoxville with paintball guns, or blew a sure-thing lead against Tom Brady in the The Big Game (I’m an expert in copyright law.)
An urban town about 10 minutes away from center city, located on City Avenue which separates Philly and Lower Merion (sound familiar? you’ll remember why in a second.) Home to Saint Joseph’s University (the Harvard of Jesuit universities), buzzing local food spots, and most importantly these men…
The Fresh Prince himself roamed the same streets as a younger, thinner, more handsome sophomore year Pani. The pizza joint across the street from my apartment would always tell me that it was Smith’s favorite steak.. It did slap, but at the time I thought it was a pretty wild claim.
I guess I was wrong….
This provides new meaning to “In West Philadelphia, Born and Raised.” I mean Will Smith is as big as it gets. Mogul in every right, the 2000’s big screens were filled with Smith including classics like Men in Black, I Am Legend, Pursuit of Happiness, and my personal favorite Hancock. Next time you see a movie staring Will Smith, check the credits..
The Stilt. Arguably the most dominant NBA player of all-time according to my dad and 13 year old kids who comment on Bleacher Report tweets. If you score 100 points in a single game, I don’t care if you were guarded by painters and carpenters. You put me in a JV CYO basketball game right now I don’t reach 100, I give myself maybe 30 before the young bulls start to catch on to my head-fakes and up-and-under’s.
You can’t think hoops without Wilt, and regardless of where you rank him, he’s basketball royalty.
I know a lot of people are gonna say “Kobe is from Lower Merion..” Many may recognize this high school as Bryant was one of the biggest names to elect to skip college in pursuit of the league.
Lower Merion is like 5 minutes from Overbrook so for the sake of this, gimme the benefit of the doubt. His parents went to Overbrook High School. Besides, in an interview with Philly Voice, Kobe talked about the gritty hoops he played in Overbrook…
“There’s not one playground around here where people just play basketball and don’t talk trash,” he said. “It’s just nonexistent. My family were just a bunch of trash talkers, every park I went to there was a bunch of trash talking, and it teaches you how to have thick skin.”
Kobe also is on record for saying his favorite cheesesteak was from Larry’s Steaks–A SJU staple.