Mitchell 'Mike' Sklar
By Patricia   Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 2, 2006
Mitchell  "Mike " Sklar, 93, longtime owner of a Washington sports   equipment store and a local professional basketball team in
the 1950s, died of   heart disease Nov. 5 at Sunrise Assisted Living Community in Rockville.
Mr. Sklar, widely known as Coach,  owned and operated Mitchel's Sport Shop in three Northwest locations over the years: first at
14th and Gerard streets, then at Wisconsin Avenue and Albemarle Street, and finally at  the Chevy Chase Center. As a
70-year-old, he spotted someone stealing four boxes of New Balance sneakers from his shop and chased the perpetrator out
of  the store and down to the Metro until the thief dropped the shoes, his family said.
In the 1950s, Mr. Sklar started a pro basketball team he called the D.C.  All-Stars, popularly known as Sklar's Stars. The roster
was made  up of All-American collegiate stars and future NBA stars such as Elgin  Baylor and Dick Groat. The newspapers
reported in 1955 that he was talking  to the NBA about starting a pro franchise, but nothing came of it.
He was a man who loved sports, including the Washington Redskins. Three  weeks before his death, when he was barely
speaking, he turned from the television to his relatives and said his only intelligible words of the day:  Boy, that Sonny Jurgensen
looks younger every year.
A Washington native, Mr. Sklar graduated from  McKinley Technical High  School. He caught batting practice with Walter Big
Train Johnson of the Washington Senators and was a good friend of Boston Celtics coach Red  Auerbach's.
Mr. Sklar started his sporting goods shop in the 1940s and sold uniforms and gear to many area high schools and colleges
until he retired in 1990. He became friends with Jim Tatum, coach of the University of Maryland football team from 1947 to 1955,
and traveled with the team.
Well-dressed and talkative, he also was an excellent dancer.
He was one of the founders of the Norbeck Country Club and later played golf at Woodmont Country Club, where he also was
captain of the tennis team. He was a member of the Amity Club of Washington and the Samuel Gompers Lodge.
Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Adele Sklar of Rockville; two daughters, Susan Goldstein of Kensington and Linda Rich of
Rockville; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.