A father and daughter, both basketball standouts, enter Kutztown's Hall of Fame together

·3 min read

Jun. 12—The stories they heard about their dad's lofty place in Kutztown basketball history were usually told by someone else.

Don Sechler didn't spend time filling his kids' heads with tales of the good old days. He didn't push them toward playing sports.

It just happened. An unplanned family dynasty.

Sechler was the patriarch. A 1,000-point scorer, a key figure for three county championship teams and the Berks Players of the Year as a senior in 1967.

That resume couldn't stay hidden, even if Sechler rarely discussed it. Paige and Brad, Don's two children, figured out their dad was a big deal in town.

"I was pretty aware," Paige said. "When you go to Kutztown High School the banners are on the gym wall. His name was up there. I think both Brad and I were aware of that."

Don and Paige received one more accolade this past scholastic year. They were elected to Kutztown's Hall of Fame together. The ceremony was postponed because of COVID-19.

The elder Sechler, a 7-foot center, starred at Delaware Valley College and was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Sechler is a link to the Coach John Silan era, when Kutztown was the dominant program in Berks.

"We used to have sellouts every night," Don said. "Each time we played at Kutztown, you had to stand in line to get in. Unfortunately that's not happening any more."

Sechler coached at Kutztown for two years and ran the Optimist Club league, the town's youth program, for nearly 20 years.

That's where it started for Paige and Brad. They weren't forced to play. They tagged along with their dad and sports became a natural interest.

"I was maybe 6 or 7," Paige said. "I remember running around the gym while the games were going on. Eventually I played in the Optimist program myself. My dad was very involved in the community."

Paige grew to 6-1 and made an impact as soon as she reached high school. She was a three-time All-Berks selection who scored 1,612 points. That ranks 18th in county history.

Whenever Paige reminds her dad that she holds the family points lead, Don playfully mentions that he didn't have a 3-point line.

Only 11 players have surpassed Paige's points total since she graduated in 1992.

"I got familiar with watching her play and understanding pretty quickly that she was an above average talent," Brad said. "Even as a freshman. She was able to dominate at that age."

Paige was mostly a post player in high school, taller than her rivals, before she became an all-around threat at the University of Hartford. She played in more than 100 college games and was academic all-conference all four years.

Brad said he'd place Paige on the school's Mount Rushmore for girls basketball, alongside Marci Grossman and Stacey Jack, the only Kutztown players ahead of Sechler on the all-time scoring list.

"When I think about my sister, she's one of three best who has ever played at that school," Brad said. "To me, it's not even close. Maybe I'm biased because I'm her brother. But I watched what I watched. She had a stellar career."

Paige, who is the English department chair at Reading High, won a county championship in softball and was chosen for the Berks Hall of Fame two years ago.

Brad stands at 6-7 and scored more than 1,000 points himself. He'll join his dad and sister in the Hall someday. Only two people are selected each year.

The Sechlers' collective membership in the 1,000-point club is among their proudest accomplishments.

"It made us a one-of-a-kind thing," Don said. "Father, daughter, son. It is special. If you go on the internet and try to find anybody else who has done that, I don't think you're going to find it."

The Sechlers stand alone in that way.

Don and Paige now stand together in Kutztown's Hall of Fame.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting