Washington on hand to see Dover’s title shot

Former Dover basketball star turned Philadelphia newscaster Ukee Washington poses with Dover’s cheerleaders on Saturday. (@UkeeWashinton Twitter photo)

NEWARK — It’s been over four decades since Ukee Washington had his shot at winning a boys’ basketball state title for Dover High.

But there’s nothing more the well-known Philadelphia broadcaster would like then to be there when the Senators finally do win the state crown.

So just like with some of Dover’s other title-game appearances, Washington was there at the Carpenter Center on Saturday when the Senators dropped a tough 48-45 decision to Sanford.

“We’re all family,” said Washington. “I’ve talked to so many people that I’ve gone to school with. The family members of Dover High, this bond is just so strong. Whenever we have a chance to be on this stage, everybody — if they can — comes out. I just had to be a part of it.”

Washington was the star of the 1977 Senator squad that fell to Brandywine, 68-58, in the state finals.

On Friday, Washington posted an old State News’ clipping of him laying on the Dover court in his Senator uniform. He also wished this year’s Dover players good luck.
Washington got the chance to talk about the game during his newscast on KYW-TV on Friday.

“Everybody’s killing me about the shorts,” he joked about the old black-and-white photo.

While the ‘77 title game wasn’t as close as Saturday’s, Washington knows how this year’s players feel.

In 1976, Dover lost a two-point decision to Newark in the state semifinals when Washington was called for a controversial goal-tending with just three seconds left. Saturday’s three-point loss for Dover brought back some of those memories.

“These young men and these coaches will never forget this game,” said Washington. “They were so close. Just like I’ll never forget that goal-tending.

“But it was a great day. The crowd was fantastic on both sides. That’s what it’s all about — everybody getting out to support high school basketball in Delaware. I enjoyed it.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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