Lansdowne, PA – July 26, 2023
The William Penn School District mourns the loss of Ralphal “Rap” Curry who passed away on July 21. Rap attended WPSD schools and graduated from Penn Wood High School in 1990. He was a star basketball player, helping to bring the team within one point of a state title in 1989 and then was named Daily Times Player of the Year in 1990.
He continued his basketball career at St. Joseph’s University where he led the Hawks to two Big 5 championships and a NIT berth in 1993. He was a three-time all-Big 5 honoree and was inducted into the SJU Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame in 1999 and 2008, respectively. Rap dealt with injuries that hampered future playing opportunities, but he stayed involved with athletics.
In 2001, he returned to Penn Wood High School where he made an impact as a coach and administrator. As head boys basketball coach, he mentored young players and instilled in them the values of hard work, teamwork, and sportsmanship. In 2004, he became the coordinator of athletics, overseeing all the sports programs and ensuring that they met the academic and athletic standards of the district. He also created a student sports broadcasting program in 2018, giving students the opportunity to learn about journalism and media production while covering their school’s games.
Curry was a role model for many aspiring athletes and students in the Penn Wood community. He exemplified what it means to be a leader, a teacher, and a supporter of youth development. He is not only a legend of Philadelphia and Delaware County basketball, but also a champion of education and sportsmanship. Rap’s presence will be greatly missed in the William Penn School District and the community. We send prayers to his wife Gina, their three children, and his extended family, who miss him greatly.