Home Our Diocese Archmere’s Filliben, Salesianum’s Thomas to be inducted into basketball hall

Archmere’s Filliben, Salesianum’s Thomas to be inducted into basketball hall


Dialog reporter


Vince Filliben, the longtime Archmere Academy boys basketball coach, and Mike Thomas, a two-time all-state selection from Salesianum School, have been elected to the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame. They are among seven men who will be honored.

Filliben, a 1947 graduate of Archmere, coached the Auks for more than 30 years. When he stepped down in 1985, his 378 wins were the most of any Delaware high school coach. He also served as the rules interpreter for New Castle County basketball officials.

He graduated from Drexel University and played minor-league baseball in the Pittsbirgh Pirates’ organization before joining the faculty at Archmere. In addition to basketball, Filliben coached football and baseball, and he served as athletic director. The court at the Moglia Fieldhouse on the Archmere campus is named in his honor. He is also a member of the Delco Athletes Hall of Fame in Pennsylvania. Filliben also is the founding grand knight of the Holy Child Council of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the fourth-degree.

Thomas, who graduated from Salesianum in 1974, scored 1,362 points for the Sals, one of six players from the school to reach the 1,000-point mark and good for second on the school’s all-time scoring list. He went to St. Joseph’s University, where he was a 1,000-point scorer for the Hawks. He is a member of the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Joe’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Thomas has worked in sales for more than 35 years; he spent more than 19 years with Coca-Cola. He is a member of the board of directors for the Central and Walnut branches of the YMCA of Delaware.

The five other inductees are:

• Ralph Blalock, the Delaware player of the year in 1992 at Sanford, which he led to two state championships. He played at Towson University and in the British League.

• Paul Chadick of Wilmington High School, Beacom College and St. Joseph’s. He played seven seasons in the American Basketball League, leading the Wilmington Blue Bombers to the 1944 title.

• Bix Bush, who won 440 games as coach of Wilmington Friends, Sanford and Tower Hill from 1969-2005.

• Dick Koffenberger, the state’s leading scorer as a senior in 1948 at P.S. du Pont High School. He played at the University of Maryland.

• Carmen Wallace, who scored more than 2,000 points at Tower Hill, where he was twice all-state. He went on to Duke University, becoming a defensive stopper, team captain and crowd favorite. He is now a sports agent.

They will be inducted on March 21 at a ceremony at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 654 S. College Ave., Newark. Tickets are available at hof.ticketleap.com/breakfast.