Peller Phillips Jr., former Seattle U basketball player, dies at 71
Peller Phillips Jr., who was accused but later exonerated in an investigation of a 1965 point-shaving scandal, went on to become a Seattle businessman, teacher and coach.
Peller Phillips Jr., a guard who played on a Seattle University team that qualified but never played in the NCAA men's basketball tournament after being embroiled in a point-shaving scandal, died Feb. 19. He was 71.
Mr. Phillips, who died of congestive heart failure, was one of three Seattle University players charged with conspiracy bribery in 1965. The players were expelled from school but later exonerated.
Mr. Phillips was born in Brewton, Ala., on Oct. 19, 1941 and became a high-school basketball star in Detroit. The 5-foot-10 point guard played at Coalinga (Calif.) Junior College (now West Hills College) before being recruited by SU.
Despite the scandal, Mr. Phillips returned to graduate from Seattle University. He worked for Xerox, as a mortgage broker, and as a teacher and coach in the Seattle Public Schools and owned a barbecue restaurant, Peller's Open Pit Barbeque.
He raised four children, three of them outstanding athletes at Seattle's Garfield High School. Peller III, Mark and Kim won 35 individual and team state championships in track and field between them and set numerous state records. Peller III still owns the state's all-time prep record in the long jump of 25 feet, 9-¾ inches. Peller Jr. rarely missed one of their sports events.
Peller Phillips Jr. is also survived by his wife Deena, four siblings and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled Sunday, at St. Clement of Rome Episcopal Church, 1501 32nd Ave. S., at 10 a.m.