Spend any time in public life and legends will grow like English Ivy.

Ask "high-school basketball star" Joe McGettigan.

The West Philly native -- former first assistant district attorney for DA Seth Williams and now special assistant Pennsylvania attorney general assigned to the team prosecuting former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on pedophilia charges — wants to deflate one oft-told tale about him.

Some who know him tell the story of McGettigan, 62, as a high school basketball star who went on to play professional ball in Europe before settling down to prosecute criminals.

The truth, says McGettigan, is that he did play high school basketball for three high schools he attended but star status was sabotaged by his knees.

"I was pretty good, though," McGettigan adds.

And he did play some basketball in Italy, McGettigan says, but the games he played were incidental. He says he was there because he was  trying to figure out what do with his life – and pursuing a girl he was interested in.

McGettigan also never wrote for the television series "Law & Order" although he said he did once write a script for producer Dick Wolf that was not produced.

It is true, however, that McGettigan was a legal consultant in 2001 for Steven Bochco's short-lived "Philly" series starring Kim Delaney.

McGettigan also acted in a courtroom scene in one 2002 episode of the series, playing the role of a police detective.