Ryan Howard, Villanova and Prep Charter Announced as Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame's 2006 Pride of Philly Award Winners
The winners of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame's 2006 Pride of Philadelphia Awards are the 2005-06 Philadelphia Prep Charter boys' basketball team, the 2005-06 Villanova Men's Basketball team and Ryan Howard of the Phillies.
The Pride of Philadelphia Awards are given annually to teams or individuals who exemplify the spirit and pride of Philadelphia sports.
"It is wonderful this year to be able to recognize unbelievable athletic achievement at the professional, collegiate and scholastic levels," said Steve Tallant, the Hall of Fame's vice-president for Foundation Development.
Philadelphia Prep Charter won the 2006 Pennsylvania Class II Boys basketball championship March 25 in Hershey. With the 82-51 victory over Beaver Falls, Prep Charter became the first team in Philadelphia high school athletic history to win a state championship in any sport.
Featuring an unconventional four-guard system, the 2005-06 Villanova Men's Basketball team rode its 25-4 record to a number one seed in the 2006 NCAA tournament. As the top seed in the Minneapolis Region, Villanova beat Monmouth in the first round and Arizona in the second to advance to the Sweet 16. A 60-59 overtime thriller over Boston College put the Wildcats in the Elite 8, where they fell to eventual champion Florida.
Following up his 2005 Rookie-of the Year season, Ryan Howard slugged 58 home runs in 2006 to win the National League MVP Award. Howard become just the fourth Phillie to win the MVP award, joining Chuck Klein (1932), Jim Konstanty (1950) and three-time winner Mike Schmidt (1980. '82 and '86). Howard made his first All-Star team and won the Home Run Derby in Pittsburgh's PNC Park
"This year's recipients truly exemplify our goal of dignity and class which define the Pride of Philadelphia Awards," continued Tallant.
Past Pride of Philadelphia winners include Team Smarty Jones, Bernard Hopkins, 2003-04 St. Josephs Men's Basketball Team, Team Afleet Alex and the 2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms.