Everyone said Harold “Hotsy” Reinfeld always made sure to take care of his “kids.”
Those included his own children as well as hundreds of kids he coached on the basketball court for 30 years at Murrell Dobbins Tech and George Washington High School. He made sure they performed on and off the court and continued pushing them years later to better their lives.
Reinfeld died Oct. 30 at 86.
“He just did so much for his kids,” said Florrie Reinfeld, his wife of 56 years. “He got them all into college and kept in touch with them. One of his kids still called him ‘Pops.’”
They never got to see what a good player Reinfeld was.
The son of Polish immigrants discovered an affinity for the game. The Hotsy nickname came about because his Orthodox grandfather called him Chatshul, which kids in his South Philadelphia neighborhood couldn’t pronounce.
He starred first at Frankford High, where he was an All-Public League performer in 1950 while simultaneously excelling in the Jewish League. He enlisted and served in the Army before resuming his career at Temple University under legendary Coach Harry Litwack.
Reinfeld’s numbers weren’t spectacular, averaging 7.6 points over three years. But he played an integral role, serving as co-captain on a 27-4 team that advanced to the 1956 NCAA Final Four, led by future NBA players Guy Rodgers and Hal Lear. Those three were named to the first All-Philadelphia Big Five team.
That’s one reason why Reinfeld was inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
“He was a 6-foot-2-inch small forward in that era who had been a pivot man in high school and transferred those skills to forward in college,” said contemporary Dan Promislo, himself a Jewish Sports Hall inductee following a career at Drexel University. “He developed an outside shot and had nice moves across the lane, with a little bit of a running hook shot.
“He was quick and always kept the flow going when he had the ball.”
Following graduation, Reinfeld continued at Temple, receiving a master’s degree in education in 1961. He became a health and physical education teacher and coach in the School District of Philadelphia for 30 years, retiring in 1995. For 10 years, he owned and operated Camp at Oak Lane Day School in Blue Bell.
After his induction, Reinfeld became an advocate for the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
“They do not come any better than Hotsy Reinfeld,” current Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said.
Reinfeld is survived by his wife Florrie, son Bruce, daughter Leslie Master and granddaughter Chloe.
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