Avada Car Dealer News

Richard “Dixie” Reilly was the most polished and proficient ball handler in Rockland County schoolboy basketball in the 1950s. His dribbling and passing skills earned him the moniker of “Houdini of the Hardwoods.” Whenever he played, he played in front of a packed gymnasium.

Simply stated, he was one of a kind, a player who would be as exciting, dominating and fan-appealing today as he was in his time. A 1955 graduate of Haverstraw High School, Reilly was a two-time, unanimous All-Rockland County First Team selection. In his senior year, he led his Red Raider team to both the Rockland County Public School Athletic League and Section 9 championships.

When not playing basketball, Dixie was an infielder on Haverstraw High School’s varsity baseball team and on his St. Peter’s School baseball team that played in the New York Archdiocese CYO title game. Dixie also played basketball with the famed Letchworth Village Big 5, the St. Peters Holy Name team, and Brophy’s Restaurant, a top-flight team in the Rockland County semi-pro basketball league. Serving with the U.S. Army in Germany, Reilly played basketball for the 10th Infantry Crusaders, a European Armed Forces powerhouse. He also found time to play a high-caliber level of softball with Rockland County teams that appeared in the Haverstraw and Deer Head Tournaments.

Dixie was a certified I.A.A.B.O. basketball official for 24 years. His talent was recognized with assignments of sectional semi-final and final games, as well as state playoff games in Rochester and West Point. His experience and integrity took him to the college level of basketball officiating.

For five years, Dixie worked in the C.O.B.A., refereeing collegiate basketball in the metropolitan area. Dixie’s love of the sport has been passed down to the children of North Rockland where he has been active as a coach, referee and administrator in the St Peter’s CYO athletic program. For his dedication and service to his community, Dixie was named Rockland County CYO Man of the Year in 1984.

Dixie is now retired after having worked 30 years for the Rockland County Health Department as transportation supervisor. In his leisure time, Dixie enjoys playing golf, trips to Florida, and attending North Rockland High School football, basketball and baseball games. He currently resides in Stony Point with his wife, Frances McNichol Reilly.