Mel Greenberg is a January, 1965, graduate of Northeast High who grew up in that section of the city and still resides there. He has been on the staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer for 35 years and is best known for his national and local coverage of women’s basketball.
Using knowledgeable coaches of the day, Greenberg launched the first national women’s basketball poll in November, 1976. Two years later, the Associated Press began running it on a regular basis. In the fall of 1994, the AP switched to a panel of writers and began to administer the vote count internally, with Greenberg being one of the members of the panel and keeper of the poll’s history, which reached 30 years with Poll No. 500 at the start of the 2005-2006 season. His knowledge as a historian of the modern era of the sport has earned Greenberg various nicknames as “The Guru,” “Mr. Women’s Basketball,” “The Godfather,” and several others. He is constantly sought as a reference source and consultant, especially by TV networks and athletic companies, as well as collegiate sports information directors.
During his collegiate days at Temple University he was a basketball manager for Hall of Fame coach Harry Litwack’s men’s team that won the 1969 National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden. In March, 1991, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) created the Mel Greenberg Media Award, given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the sport through the profession.
Mel was the first big winner. In 1992, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame. The United States Basketball Writers Association elected Greenberg to its Hall of Fame in 2002. Mel received The Jake Wade Award at the 2005 College Sports Information Directors Workshop in Philadelphia in July, 2005. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the media to the field of intercollegiate athletics.