Eleven years ago, University of Maryland’s star forward Donta Scott was introduced to organized competitive basketball in through the Chester, PA “Biddy” League. Biddy Basketball was started more than 70 years ago, in 1951, by Jay Archer, Executive Director of the Youth Center in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Archer created Biddy Basketball to teach boys and girls the skills and fundamentals of basketball.
The Chester Biddy Basketball League is the most prestigious and longest running youth basketball league in Delaware County, PA. Chester Biddy players have gone on to compete at the high school, college, and even NBA levels. In addition to Scott, notable Chester Biddy alumni include 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Champion Derrick Jones Jr, Jameer Nelson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Michigan State point guard A.J. Hoggard and former Penn State 3 point sniper Shep Garner.
When Scott began playing Biddy basketball as a gangly 10 year old 5th grader he was incapable making a layup. His youth coach, Howard Hudson, said “some of the kids and opposing coaches used to tease and laugh at Donta because he was so raw.” What they did not and could not possibly understand was how determined Donta was to become a good basketball player.
Two years later, as a 12 year old 7th grader, Donta was the finest Biddy player in the nation and named “Mr. Biddy” as he led his team to the National Biddy Championship. He would go on to have a legendary schoolboy career with Imhotep Charter High School in the Philadelphia Public League and become a 4 year starter for the Maryland Terrapins.
On Sunday, August 28, Scott returned to talk to some of the current participants in the Chester Biddy League. He gave the kids copies of his book Wired Differently: My School Journey and provided practical advice regarding personal decision-making. The youth were attentive and engaged as Donta talked about his time in the Biddy League and his educational experiences.
Also in attendance were Tanner Rouse, First Asst. DA at Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, and his children. Rouse and Melissa Muroff, Assistand District Attorney, were there in support of the Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods (CPSN). They were pleased to see Scott, a former Chester Biggy player, come back and deliver a positive message to the current players.
Scott has given away books on six separate occasions to elementary and middle school age students in Maryland and Pennsylvania. However, he was emotional about the time he spent with the Chester Biddy League players. “I’m really thankful that the Turtle Athletic Foundation made the donation to make this possible. The Chester Biddy League was my introduction to real basketball.”
“People like Ralph Dorsey and Rayleen Pierce have given so much to me. To see them still serving youth inspires me to do my part. I remember how I felt when I spent time with (NBA players) Jameer Nelson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Of course, I want to win another Big 10 title and a National Championship, but representing the University of Maryland like this is really important to me.”
School starts next week and Scott is anxious rejoin his teammates and prepare for the upcoming season with new coach Kevin Willard.