Helen Pfrom (1905-2006)
basketball player

1922-1923 Slatington High School Girls' Basketball Team

1922-1923 Slatington High School girls' basketball team, Helen Pfrom front center with basketball

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Helen Mae Pfrom (1905-2006) was one of the finest girls’ basketball players ever to play for Slatington High School (now Northern Lehigh High School).

Slatington High School sports statistics are fragmentary from the early 1920s when Pfrom played basketball, but Michael Hoffman, Slatington historian and author, has been able to piece together quite a bit of information from newspaper accounts. In Pfrom’s junior year, 1922-23, the team was 13-3 (5-3 in the Interscholastic Girls’ League), and she averaged 21.75 points per game (174 points in eight league games). Against Lehighton in a non-league game that year, she scored 42 points in a 56-22 win for Slatington. In her senior year, 1923-24, the team was 7-2 (4-2 in the league). Pfrom tallied 224 points for an average of 28 points per game. In a game against Palmerton, a 72-5 win, Pfrom hit 29 field goals (then a state record) to finish with 58 total points, a Slatington/Northern Lehigh record that still stands. Pfrom was "credited by other schools as being the best all-round girl athlete in the Valley." (The Slatington News, 23 March 1923)

After graduating from Slatington with the class of 1924, Pfrom attended the State Teachers College at East Stroudsburg (now East Stroudsburg University) where she continued her basketball career. In a game in January 1928, Pfrom scored 52 points, a school record. She graduated in 1928 with a B.S. degree in health education.

1927 image

1927 State Teachers College at East Stroudsburg girls' basketball team, Helen Pfrom back row, far left; credit 1927-1928 college catalog

Pfrom next worked as a physical education teacher in the Northampton Area School District. She also coached the Northampton girls’ basketball team for six years with the team winning the Lehigh Valley League championship in 1930, 1931 and 1932. The 1931-32 team went undefeated at 13-0.

During these years, Pfrom also played for a variety of alumnae, semi-pro and city league basketball teams, and she continued to be a preeminent scorer. For example, in January 1930 playing for the Hi-Grade Silks team in the Allentown City League, she scored 80 points in a game won by the Silks 95-25.

In 1931, Pfrom married George Wanisko, and she soon moved out of the area to Michigan for a while before returning to Northampton where she had two sons. She eventually began working as a substitute teacher and then again as a full-time physical education teacher before retiring in 1960 and moving to Florida. She died in 2006 in Hollywood, Florida, at the age of 101.