His name is nowhere on the list.

Nowhere with the York Catholic basketball icons, the ones who scored 1,000 career points and more.

It's been nearly 30 years since a knee injury ended the high school basketball career of Jim Forjan Jr., but those who truly know the glorious decades of Irish basketball know his place.

"I don't know if there was anybody better in basketball (at York Catholic) than Jimmy Forjan," said Mike Keesey, the long-time Irish coach who also played for them. "If he hadn't gotten hurt, he would have been the one setting the (scoring) records."

Forjan was a scoring phenom, leading the Irish to back-to-back state titles as a sophomore and junior, averaging 20 points a game in the state playoffs in 1979.

He wasn't muscular. Not fast. But he was quick with the ball and a tireless worker.

"He made everybody else better," said Gary Markle, Forjan's coach. "We were on a high. ... We had aspirations of winning three in a row until Jimmy went down."

The problems actually began on the football field during his senior year, where the standout quarterback and defensive back heard his knee pop while making a tackle against Spring Grove.

Doctors told him to sit out the rest of the football season and simply rehab the knee, that it would be ready for basketball.

But the knee never felt right.

No matter that he started his senior basketball season on a tear, scoring points in bunches, like torching South Western for 47 even though he aggravated the knee injury.

The following game his leg gave out again - this time he could feel it tear.

His season and career ended and so did any chance the Irish had to win districts or states again. And his scoring stopped with more than two months left in the season, only 30 or 40 points shy of 1,000 - just a game or two worth of work.

He threw his energy into a comeback with surgery and rehab - and then choosing to attend Penn State over Pitt, Duke and Rhode Island.

Former Irish standout Jim Forjan Jr. and his wife Tamra live in Manchester Township.
Former Irish standout Jim Forjan Jr. and his wife Tamra live in Manchester Township. (Submitted)
He finally found himself during his junior season after packing on 20 pounds and making a school-record 32-straight free throws.

"I have said this several times in my life: I'm pretty certain when I was done at Penn State I was at least as good of a player than if I wouldn't have hurt my leg. Maybe better.

"I worked so hard at getting my body back in shape, and I appreciated the opportunity to be out there."

* * *

He stayed at Penn State as a graduate assistant coach while earning his master's degree in finance. He's now in his 13th year of teaching at York College.

When he finds time, he watches the most recent scoring stars at York Catholic, some of them blowing past his point totals.

But he rarely gives much thought to what could have been in sports. Not with four kids to raise with his wife, all of them aspiring athletes.

He knows that adversity all those years ago - and even some of that anonymity now - has driven him, yet kept him grounded.

Probably helped him more than he ever could have imagined.