Happy 90th Birthday to The Palestra! (66 Weeks To Go)

By Kiera Reilly, C’93, and Steve Jung, C’93

We continue our #93tothe25th countdown by jumping ahead to this past weekend which marked 66 weeks until our 25th reunion. Why the jump ahead? Because it’s a special night at The Palestra.

Tonight, Penn Basketball faces off against Princeton at the Palestra. The Palestra, “The Cathedral of College Basketball,” Penn’s home court and also home of the Big Five, has been home to more college basketball games than any other venue in the country. This year, the Palestra turned 90, and tonight, Penn Athletics is celebrating the 90th year of the Palestra before the game.

We have very fond memories of attending basketball games at the Palestra. Our senior year, the Men’s Basketball team won the Ivy League title, and our Ivy Stone is located on the building’s exterior.

Classmate Steve Jung, C’93, saved some Palestra programs (the Palestra Illustrated – do you remember that?) and ticket stubs from the games he attended during our time at Penn.

Programs from The Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania for Penn Basketball programs.

The Palestra Illustrated programs courtesy of Steve Jung, C’93

Steve writes:

I think I had season tickets for just the Ivy League games. There was always a fun energy at the Palestra. Since it wasn’t a shallow bowl, even the upper level felt close to the action. One of my best memories was the Penn-Princeton game our freshmen year. Penn’s down 49-50 with 2 seconds on the clock. Paul Chambers is on the line for a one-and-one (I though it was Vince Curran until I saw video online). Chambers misses the free throw, but Hassan Duncombe swoops in for the offensive rebound and put-back. Penn 51-Princeton 50. The place went nuts. I remember throwing streamers from the stands after the first Penn basket of the game. Then there was Ivy Day, when we planted ours in the courtyard. I worked at a Med School lab for 2 years after graduation, so I caught some games then. I even saw a Penn-Princeton game at Jadwin. It wasn’t the Palestra.

Penn basketball tickets from the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania

Tickets from Penn basketball games at the Palestra, courtesy of Steve Jung, C’93. Some are general admission, while others have assigned seats.


The programs for each game, The Palestra Illustrated, featured Penn Basketball team members on the cover. These two programs feature guard Jerome Allen.

The Palestra Illustrated for Penn vs Holy Cross, December, 1992 with Jerome Allen on the cover, University of Pennsylvania

The Palestra Illustrated: Penn vs Holy Cross, December 11, 1992, with sophomore Jerome Allen on the cover. Courtesy of Steve Jung, C’93.

The Palestra Illustrated, February 1993 for Ivy Weekend at the University of Pennsylvania with Jermoe Allen.

The Palestra Illustrated: Ivy Weekend with Penn vs Columbia and then Cornell. Courtesy of Steve Jung, C’93.


The game tickets below show, on the right, a Big 5 game against St. Joe’s on  January 25, 1993, and Penn vs. Princeton on January 30, 1993. Penn won that game 64 – 46.

Penn Basketball tickets for games at the Palestra in 1993 at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn basketball tickets from 1993. Note the one on the far right – Penn vs. Princeton on January 30, 1993. Courtesy of Steve Jung, C’93.

Tonight will be a tough match-up for the Quakers, because Princeton is always a tough opponent. Penn Athletics said that the Quakers have played the Tigers more than any other opponent in the Palestra. For more information on tonight’s match-up (and information on how to watch the game in the Philadelphia area or online click here).

I remember walking to games at the Palestra our senior year with my friend Chris Lehmann, and he would say, “It’s going to be pandemonium at the Palestra!” Attending games at the Palestra made for some of my fondest memories of my time at Penn.

Happy 90th Birthday Palestra!

We feel blessed that you serve as our home court.

Let’s Go Quakers! Beat Princeton!


Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

February 3-4, 2017, marked 66 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 13, 2018)! Join us we count down the weeks to our reunion #93tothe25th:

  • Do you have old photos or mementos from our time at Penn? Photos of Spring Fling? Football at Franklin Field? Classes at DRL? We are taking a trip down memory lane and would love for you to share your memories with our class in a future post. Please email us upenn1993@gmail.com!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

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Filed under Class of 1993, Kiera R., Penn Basketball

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