Meet The Great Porky Vieira on Saturday

Porky and Wilt
Porky Vieira, the legendary Bridgeport basketball star, and Wilt Chamberlain, then a 7-foot-1 sensation at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, co-starred in a 1950s documentary, "The Long and Short of It." Courtesy University of New Haven Athletics Communication

Bridgeport has produced many outstanding athletes. The short, but mighty, Frank “Porky” Vieira might be the greatest. You can meet him Saturday 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bridgeport Public Library, 925 Broad Street where Don Harrison will sign copies of his new book about hoops in Connecticut. Details below.

Porky Vieira, one of the most prolific scorers in basketball history, will join Don Harrison for a joint presentation on Saturday, Feb. 4 (2-4 p.m.) at the Bridgeport Public Library, 925 Broad St.. Harrison will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Hoops in Connecticut: The Nutmeg State’s Passion for Basketball.

Although standing just 5-foot-6, Vieira was a two-time All-State player at Bridgeport Central H.S., a guard who AVERAGED 32.8 ppg. across four seasons at then-tiny Quinnipiac College in the mid-1950s. He was so good, in fact, that he was selected to play in the annual East-West College All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden; alas, an injury incurred in a pre-game practice prevented him from suiting up.

Porky routinely scored 30 to 40 points a game in the semi-pro ranks, even against touring NBA teams, in the late 1950s and early ’60s. He connected on 30- to 35-foot set shots, hook shots from the dead corner, seemingly from anywhere.

Also an outstanding baseball player, Vieira went on to become the founding coach of the University of New Haven baseball program, winning more than 1,000 games and sending 50-plus players into the pros, including a Cy Young Award winner, Steve Bedrosian.

Hoops in Connecticut, which has entered a second printing, is a compact history of basketball in the state of Connecticut, covering the 34 state natives who have played in the NBA and ABA, outstanding high school teams and college teams. There are interviews with many of the game’s luminaries–from Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Famer Calvin Murphy (Norwalk) to former NBA stars Charles Smith, John Bagley, Wes Matthews, Vin Baker and the late John Williamson, from former Harlem Globetrotter Alvin Clinkscales to Johnny Egan, Chris Smith, Chuck Aleksinas, Tony Hanson, Ed Goldstone and the inimitable Vieira.

Several coaches are featured: The late Fred Barakat of Fairfield University, Dave Bike of Sacred Heart, UConn’s Dee Rowe, Joe Vancisin, Bill Detrick, Frank Crisafi, Red Verderame and Bassick High’s Harrison Taylor.

From an area standpoint, there is a strong emphasis on Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University, Bassick High’s undefeated 1988-89 state championship team, and the myriad athletes and coaches who emerged from the Bridgeport playgrounds–Messrs. Vieira, Vancisin, Taylor, the two Smiths, Matthews, Bagley, Walter Luckett, Clinkscales, Charlie Bentley, Frank Oleynick, et al.

There are more than 90 images, including a color photo of UConn’s 2010-11 NCAA championship team visiting President Obama at the White House.



  1. Fantastic!
    It reminds me of a book in the late seventies: “Chase the Game” about Bridgeport high school basketball. I wonder where I could score a copy of that book.


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