the dude
 10/1/2017 7:51:43 AM      Replies: 55

the dude8/6/2017 9:28:15 PM

Herve I recall has posted several times of the legendarily great Dunbar team from Baltimore.  Well, there's an ESPN film on them Tuesday night, looks good. Part of a Twin bill actually:



colonial778/7/2017 12:40:43 PM

Best damn HS team I ever saw. 


notta hater8/7/2017 3:12:59 PM

indeed a great team. I was living in St. Louis in 1985 and they rolled into town for the 7-UP shootout with the remainder of their team which was out of this world crazy good still. I also recall seeing an unreal DeMatha team that had Danny Ferry and 3-4 starting DI players and I think Jerrod Mustaf who was a freshman who got decent playing time. Amazing days of hoops in DC and Baltimore (I also recall Mike Brey was on that team as an assistant coach post-GW).


the dude8/7/2017 3:27:42 PM

Was that Dunbar team, the Greatest HS team of all time? 

notta hater8/7/2017 4:11:13 PM

Dude, yes. It had three NBA first round picks on the squad. One (Lewis) had not started the year before (I think he played behind Wingate - who was not a NBA first round pick after he graduated but played in the NBA). Dematha and Dunbar of DC had some good teams with some good players on the squads and some other schools including LeBron James and Lew Alcindor ' team that had a long stretch of wins in a row and championships. But this team had three number 1 picks and a ton of consecutive games it won against really good teams like Dematha etc. Other than AAU or private schools, I am not sure you're going to see this happen again soon. I am sure if you spoke to the coach or some of the players they would tell you there were even better kids who dropped out, died, were incarcerated etc. who never even tried out for the team . . . .


the dude8/7/2017 4:22:24 PM

Notta, one could surely make a compelling case, as you have, that they indeed they were the greatest ever. This should be one helluva film.

Incredible how much hoops talent the DMV cranks out, but all those guys concentrated on one team, at one time, amazing.

ziik the senile old man8/7/2017 5:21:32 PM

Not in Dunbar's league, at all, but Louisville Ballard sent 4 players to GW, and 3 to UVa, off a team from the 70's. 

thomas8/7/2017 5:23:03 PM

A lot of people have said that Dunbar team was the greatest team of all time. I heard an interview with Mugsy Bogues(the point guard on that team) recently and it was mentioned that Dunbar won 59 straight games over a 2 or 3 year period. Since then, I BELIEVE there has been several high school teams that have had a similar amount of talent, but that is only because private schools/basketball factory schools can stockpile talent like never before. Schools like Oak Hill, Montrose Christian, Findlay Prep, Hargrave Military Academy and others are able to bring in a bunch of guys who are projected to be NBA players as upperclassman and they dominate the competition. That Dunbar team was made up of guys who all grew up in the same section of Baltimore and went to the local school.

Notta,  I wasn't aware that DeMatha was one of the teams they beat. I know Morgan Wootten always had DeMatha playing against the best of the best in this area and outside of this area, so I shouldn't be surprised. Everyone is aware of the tremendous amount of talent that this area always produces, but it may have been at it's peak during the 1980's. In addition to Danny Ferry and Jerrod Mustaf who you mentioned, other players from that era such as Sherman Douglas and Charles Smith also went on to the NBA. 

I'm wondering how much/if they are going to discuss Bob Wade's time at Maryland? A great stat about Bob Wade is, he only coached at Maryland for 3 years, yet recruited and signed 3 future first round NBA picks in Jerrod Mustaf, Walt Williams and the late Brian Williams!!


notta hater8/7/2017 6:51:28 PM

Thomas, check that. Dunbar may not have played Dematha during the run chalk that up to me being old.  Dematha was darn good during that period. I think Ferry was HS POY. I think the team had Hood and at least one or two others who played DI and the pros. Sherman Douglas was at Spingarn and Smith was at what was once known as St. Anthony's and had been renamed before it became all-girls and then merged with Carroll. These teams don't even take into consideration some incredible teams that were in the Northern Virginia and Maryland burbs during this same period - remember kids like Bias and Amaker?


the dude8/7/2017 11:57:49 PM

Baltimore in the past has been very good to GW.  Recent years, not so much.  Would be nice to see us recruiting from the area more again.  Terry Nolan hopefully the start of just that.


thomas8/8/2017 8:09:38 AM

Notta,  during the 1980's, not only did this area have top players, it seemed as if there was always 5 or 6 teams ranked in the top 25 nationally. I've heard recent interviews with great D.C.area high school players like Dennis Scott, Lawrence Moten and Charles Smith disussing all the great teams in the area when they played. L.Moten talked about his JR year in high school(1988-1989), the 1st Team All-Met had several players(Grant Hill, Michael Smith, Dickey Simpkins, Monty Williams, George Lynch) who played in the NBA. The 1985 Danny Ferry-led DeMatha team that you mentioned had 3 guys who were 1st Round NBA draft picks(Ferry, Steve Hood, Jerrod Mustaf) like the Baltimore Dunbar team, but since they lost to Spingarn in the City Title Game, they get overlooked. I'm sure a 30 for 30 on Morgan Wootten will be come out at some point. 

notta hater8/8/2017 12:25:29 PM

Thomas be careful. You are starting to sneak into the fold some Flint Hill folks (some of those folks were from other parts of the country).

the dude8/8/2017 2:06:12 PM

Any shenanigans going on to get these guys living in the same district? Or were they all really from the same HS district?

I believe Wade went on to have real issues with recruiting violations, so it would not come as a shock if some  Public HS rules were bent/broken.  (like, a guy living with a Great Aunt or something)

thomas8/8/2017 5:51:26 PM

Notta,  yeah I know Stu Vettor was one of the originators(early to mid 80's??) of collecting blue-chip players from all over the world and having them play for him at multiple schools for almost 30 years. The Post still ranked his teams and recognized his players for postseason honors so I guess we can call the out-of-towners locals. 

The Dude, I think all the guys on Dunbar were guys who grew up near Dunbar, maybe he bent some rules to bring in a few Baltimore guys who were from outside of Dunbar's school zone, but he wasn't bringing in guys from Prince George's County, D.C. or Virginia to play for him. It will be interesting to see how much they discuss Bob Wade's time at Maryland, his recruiting violations were kind of bogus in my mind, it involved giving a kid(a role player, not even a star) a ride and/or buying him a meal. It wasn't like he had a low-level assistant giving money to a madame and her stable of prostitutes to show recruits and their dads/guardians a "good time" or getting the mother of 5-star recruits a high paying job in Durham, North Carolina. HA!  Wade did recruit well in the short time he was at Maryland. I mean, Maryland was as low as a school could get after Bias died, and he was able to land some big-time recruits almost immediately. 


the dude8/8/2017 6:58:42 PM

Haha Thomas, true.  Seems like he got a raw deal.   Its just an incredible colllection of talent for one public HS, amazing.  

Well this film looks great, and for those of us who are fans of local hoops, hard to imagine a film more up your alley.  8pm tonight on ESPN.


colonial778/9/2017 12:29:26 AM

Got to watch My cousin play many times against this great team. 


gw05098/9/2017 8:33:09 AM

Watched last night.  Thought it was very good.  They did touch on Bob Wade at UMD and it was presented more along the lines of what Thomas said, violations per se but more or less just trying to help a kid out like he did at Dunbar.  


So sad that Reggie Lewis got that bs second opinion on his heart. 


ziik the senile old man8/9/2017 11:52:42 AM

GW0509- sometimes, patients shop around to get the medical 'opinion' that suits them. Cardio issues in young athletes are a specialty, and its a tough specialty dealing with damaged players who want to play.


thomas8/9/2017 2:16:57 PM

GW0509, I was so focused on the basketball accomplishments of that Dunbar team, I actually overlooked Reggie Lewis' tragic death. I started feeling some sadness early in the film when his mother mentioned that she had heart issues which caused her to pass out in her backyard when she was 21, so Reggie's heart condition appeared to be hereditary. She also mentioned that Reggie was born with the same condition, but the doctors said he would outgrow it. I had also forgotten that 2 of his Dunbar teammates, Bogues and Wingate, were on the opposing team(Charlotte) in the playoff game where he collapsed.  

ziik, I agree. It looks like Reggie Lewis was going to keep seeing doctor after doctor until one of them cleared him to play. The fact that he died during a light workout at a college gym shows how dire his condition was. It's good that players since then have shut it down when doctors discover any sort of potentially fatal heart issue and tell them not to play. 

Another interesting aspect of this film was the mentions of Len Bias. First, because Reggie Lewis was drafted to the Celtics a year after Bias died, and the rumor that R.Lewis did cocaine with Bias and 2 other guys during a Celtics summer league in 1985 or 1986. I didn't think they would take it THERE, but they did. It sounded as if the guy(Derrick Lewis) who told Jackie McMullen that he did drugs with those guys was telling the truth, but he recanted the story after it was printed. J.McMullen mentioned that a prominent player(she said that she'll never name this player) confirmed everything D.Lewis told her about Lewis and Bias doing cocaine together!!

Do you guys think Derrick Lewis recanted because he felt guilty about slandering a dead man or was he threatened?? I'm leaning towards he was threatened!!


ziik the senile old man8/9/2017 2:43:22 PM

Thomas, I have a vaguely similar heart condition, so, I follow these cases a bit. Cardiomyopathy comes in several variations, I sort of recall that was Reggie's issue, but, there have been so many, I may be misdiagnosing the poor guy all these years later.


SI did a brilliant piece a while back, if you care to read up on it. (heart issues in young ballers) My cardio man was keen on the story, as a former Hoya soccer star.

A lot of kids get an implantible defibrillator these days, and play on. Few colleges take the risk, but, a couple have.

thomas8/9/2017 4:40:37 PM

ziik the senile old man,  I follow these cases a bit too because of how tragic they are. I've got to ask you a few things that maybe you and your doctor have discussed. Do you think the doctors in Reggie Lewis' case should have paid more attention to the fact that his mother had a similar condition and collapsed when she was 21? If the Celtics doctors were aware of this, you'd expect them to be WAY more cautious when dealing with Reggie Lewis. The team doctors actually allowed Reggie Lewis to return to that playoff game against Charlotte after he collapsed.

Also, in the case of the former Dayton player Steve McElvene, how could a guy who played high level basketball and football(where players need to be cleared by doctors to play on a somewhat regular basis) have a potentially fatal heart condition that goes undiagnosed? Is it common for these heart conditions to go undiagnosed? 

About the medical advances allowing guys to play on, there was a player from Virginia named Allan Chaney who collapsed while at a practice at Virginia Tech. The doctors told him he could never play again, he stayed at Virginia Tech and graduated. He recieved an implantible defibrilator, was cleared to play and resumed his playing career as a JR at High Point. He played very well for his entire JR season without any health problems. Unfortunately just 4 games into his SR year, he had another incident during a game in which he laid down on the court after feeling some chest pains. The internal defibrilator did its job by detecting an abnormality and sending an electrical stimulus to his heart, so he never lost consciousness during this episode, but his playing career was done for good. Here's the article down below.   

ziik the senile old man8/9/2017 5:42:45 PM

Thomas, because it is you: you can skip the senility reference. Otherwise, I have earned it.

My device has saved my life, according to my doc, 8-9-10, maybe 11 times, total. Now, my heart is stronger. It is like getting kicked in the chest, when the device triggers. I have lost consciousness, but, never from the device. Once or twice, I lost my balance. It was embarrassing. There were other embarrassments with it too.

I think Reggie's docs ought to have been more cautious, given family history. 

But, respecting McElvene, I know these conditions can go undetected. I do think, if schools want to play scholarship athletes, they owe them top notch medical care, especially medical exams and diagnosis. I disagree that a player should be allowed to 'consent' to play with a known medical risk. His death, if it occurs at a game, affects a slew of other folks, too. Even a traumatic injury does.

Hidden defects: I had several undetected heart attacks, before my major issues showed. My regular doc (who later saved my life), gave me electrocardiograms. I looked so healthy, when an exam showed a heart attack, he said the machine was wacky, and needed to be repaired.

The WVa, GMU (old guy), and GWU coach (Penders) each have these machines. 

They can creep you out. I have some untold tales. And, my wife will not touch it. But, I am on my second. Best miniature computers and batteries in the world.






the dude8/9/2017 9:23:01 PM

Tremendous first half of this film, which is all I've been able to watch so far.  Great portrait of the city and the turblulent times too.  Perfect balance of that and hoops. Brilliant.

Did Baltimore produce the 2 Greatest 5'3 basketball players of all time?


notta hater8/10/2017 6:43:01 AM

depending on how you measure, the Poets had the best high school team in an era of damn good teams (also in an era where a lot of players played multiple sports btw - a poke at today's kids who focus solely on one sport). I don't have any inside information but I came away with the impression then, like now that Reggie Lewis suffered from what other athletes did (including Hank Gathers) and shopped for the opinion that he wanted to hear (the so-called "choose any color you want as long as it's blue" problem). He knew the risks but a lot of guys did it to support their families in the best way they could. Also remember as murky as it is now to figure out, in those days teams were not always looking for the "right" answer unless there was a financial risk - not saying the Celtics did nything wrong, but that was a different era than now in terms of teams telling players they were not going to clear them to play.  I remember being stunned that WSJ dropped into tabloid level writing to suggest that cocaine did his heart in. In another coincidence (other than the Celtics curse). There was another good athlete in Baltimore named Reggie Lewis (Reginald) who went to Dunbar of Baltimore years before Reggie Lewis and played football at an HSBC and then went to Harvard Law School and became at one point the richest African American in the US -- he too died way too young at 50 from cancer (also the older brother of GW Law Alum Jean Fugett). His museum is next to the Harbor. Very interesting high school with very interesting outcomes.

notta hater8/10/2017 9:01:21 AM

oops meant HBC

ziik the senile old man8/10/2017 1:28:26 PM

We know, Notta. Few of us root for the banks. Howard, Morgan State, Delaware State, Yahoo!!


Sun Trust et al? Not so much

the dude8/10/2017 1:31:33 PM

Brilliant film, recommend it to all.  Fantastic triump in the first half, terrible tragedy in the 2nd half.  

Thomas, great questions.  I suspect that Reggie had both a hereditary heart condition and that the stories of cocaine use may well have been true.  There is a lot reporting that points to cocaine use, including a Doctor saying "Reg, the only thing that could cause what we're seeing is heavy cocaine use."  The MacMullen reporting, that player you mention, and several others. In addition to heart conditions, there was also a history of addiction in the family.    There's a clip of Reggie in the film denying any cocaine use and he seemed 100% believable, eyes straight into the camera, body language very honest.  Many others who deny he used drugs also seemed credible.

The underlying cause though was the hereditary heart condition and (perhaps exaccerbated by cocaine use)  To those who said he shopped for a Doc to green light him, I absolutely agree.  That Doctor should have his license revoked and should not have won the lawsuit against him.  Total sleaze, even appears as such in the  film.

Incredible story of triumph though, from Wade to the 4 players.  All of them seem like fantastic guys who had to overcome a lot just to make it out.  Wade no doubt played a big role in that. The greatest HS team ever indeed.




thomas8/11/2017 2:44:44 PM

The Dude,  yeah it was a brilliant film because it even chronicled the 1968 Baltimore riots and the cautionary tales of 2 Dunbar players who played in the 1970's and how it impacted Bob Wade and his players, but early in the film when his mother said she collapsed and woke up in a hospital at the age of 21 due to a heart issue, I immediately thought of Reggie Lewis suffering that same fate, which ultimately resulted in his death. That was kind of deflating for me. 

About the cocaine use, I agree that the main reason Reggie Lewis died was because of a hereditary heart issue that his mother had, and the cocaine use may have made it worse. I'm glad that Jackie McMullen has some integrity and didn't out the 4th guy doing cocaine with them. Unless it was concluded that cocaine was the main contributor of his death, there was no reason for Derrick Lewis or the 4th guy to discuss the times their drug use with R.Lewis. 

hondo8/11/2017 8:25:15 PM

What happened to Wade after Maryland?

the dude8/14/2017 1:30:21 AM

The greatest local hoops game that never was

thomas8/14/2017 8:14:15 AM

I watched this again yesterday and Notta, you were right originally, the 1983 Dunbar team did beat DeMatha, they mentioned how Mugsy Bogues made a spectacular behind-the-back alley-oop pass to Reggie Williams during the game. Another thing I missed the first time was that Reggie Lewis' son(probably in his mid 20's now) also has a similar heart ailment as his father and grandmother. They didn't say whether he played any sports. 

Hondo,  that's a good question. The only times I heard about Bob Wade after he left Maryland was when people would discuss the post-Len Bias gloomy years, and Baltimore City high school coaches being angry at Maryland/preventing their players from signing with Maryland for how they treated B.Wade. John Thompson Jr. didn't appear in the film, but it was rumored that he pushed hard for B.Wade to get the Maryland job(even though Maryland was somewhat of a rival) and B.Wade unsuccessful stint as coach made the Maryland folks even angrier at Georgetown.  

notta hater8/14/2017 9:53:12 AM


xac8/14/2017 5:47:42 PM

This may date me a bit, but the greatest high school game I remember happened at Cole Filed House on 1965. There was so much hype before the game, it was incredible for the high school level. Of course, eveyone has there own opinion about GOAT, but for me, it was this game:

The Game

For my money, this DeMatha team is also ranked right up there with the greatest high school teams of all time, not to mention the team the  they beat.


the dude8/14/2017 7:29:22 PM

Wow XAC, a worthy contender indeed!

notta hater8/15/2017 10:03:17 AM

I don't know if you can resolve the debate once you start moving to the era of black and white highlight clips. I obviously never saw the team but the Carroll team of 1958-60 was a beast. It won 55 straight games. It included the future president of Notre Dame, a future Basketball HOF and coach at Georgetown, two NBA pros. 


ziik the senile old man8/15/2017 10:10:25 AM

Who else was on the Alcindor team?

I recall seeing the DeMatha guys play-Catlett, Wiles, et al. But, do not recall who was on PM aside from Lew. When Lew was Lew.


the dude8/16/2017 1:56:26 AM

I don't follow HS hoops as closely as some of you, but it seems to me that 35 years later there is basically almost no chance that all of the Dunbar guys would have stayed and played for their public school right? Almost no chance?

notta hater8/16/2017 12:51:58 PM

Dude that's true for DC, PGCO, MOCO, Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax public schools also. There are a few factors. Resources would likely be the most significant. The privates can budget the expense and justify it in multiple contexts. Public schools in the Mid-Atlantic have different accountabilities and money is too tight to justify the expense of new uniforms, new equipment, exclusive court time (some of these schools have multiple gyms for 1/10th of the students than public schools), good training and conditioning facilities, modest to rich travel budgets, school website with webmaster to continue to push names out into the media, extra focus on test taking to obtain certain scores on standardized tests, alumni who can plant the seed in a college staff . . . . I coached AAU kids who I figured were headed to some darn nice public schools in Fairfax only to get tugged by parents who told me that Tommy or Jane were headed to private school X. For a few I would think - wow, you're going from starting for your local HS by your soph year to being burried on the bench at that school. For some I would think - wow, this is going to be a nice ticket to an IVY, Patriot or NESCAC school for you. Then I would always think about the particular public school that was being deprived of a good kid who would likely start and help that school get a DC Top 20 ranking and a league championship or even a deep run in the state tournament. If it's like that in the cushy county programs I cannot imagine how coveted those kids are from counties and cities who are not cushy.

3 4:03:54 PM


I think today's HS environment evolved from way back. I started following HS basketball just before the big DeMatha/Power game, and in those days, there was a big rivalry between the private Catholic schools and the Interhigh League in DC. The suburban schools (I was a MOCO guy), generally were a notch or two below these leagues. Morgan Wooten and DeMatha were also in the middle of some controversy, because it was felt that private schools had the advantage of being able to recruit players, and I'm pretty sure that some players who got "scholarships" at DeMatha, St. Johns, or Mackin may not have met the academic requirements of the non-athletes. Recognizing this model, other private"schools" started to pop up, giving rise to the many basketball factories that are so prevalent today. John Thompson took things a step further when he became coach at St. Anthony's and took "guardianship" of one of the most highly hyped phenoms ever to come out of DC (Donald Washington). Donald made St. Anthony's a power, and JT guided him to Dean Smith at UNC (which is how their relationship started). Washington had to leave UNC after two years because of academic reasons, and turned pro. The "guardianship" thing seems to have caught on, because it's amazing how many coaches and assistant coaches have since done this to lock in players. Although I don't live locally in DC anymore, I follow the post and metro sports, and can't help but notice how the Top 25 is generally stacked with private schools. I think you're statement about Dunbar is right-- given the opportunity, it's doubtful all of the players would have stayed till the end in today's environment. 

As an aside, I think you'll find interesting the fact that Morgan Wooten and John Thompson were rivals who did not like each other at all. This thread was about the greatest game, but these two were involved in an incident known then as:

The Greatest Game That Was Never Played


xac8/16/2017 4:15:34 PM

Sorry - Last post was me.

bigfan8/16/2017 4:31:31 PM

Good insight, Notta and XAC.

Thought Morgan Wooten always sounded like a good guy. Given the last paragraph before the link, sounds like a really smart guy who definitely knew who to dislike.

the dude8/16/2017 4:57:19 PM

Notta, XAC great post, thanks, very eye opening.  

What % of the sure fire D1 DMV hoop prospects end up in Private Schools? Am I correct in thinking the majority these days?


xac8/16/2017 8:15:17 PM

Regardless of whether recruits are "sure fire" or not, the % is high (using current GW roster (scholarships) as a baseline).

Justin Mazzulla               Warwick, RI/Bishop Hendricken                                         Private

Terry Nolan Jr.                Essex, MD/Mount Carmel                                                  Private

Armel Potter                   Marietta, GA/Sprayberry/Charleston Southern                    Public

Jair Bolden                     Brooklyn, NY/Westtown School (PA)                                   Private

Justin Williams               Glen Burnie, MD/Annapolis Area Christian School                 Private

Adam Mitola                   Florham Park, NJ/Gill St. Bernard's                                     Private

Patrick Steeves               Montreal, Quebec/The Hotchkiss School (CT)/Harvard          Private

Arnaldo Toro                  Hormigueros, Puerto Rico/St. Benedict's Prep (NJ)                Private

Yuta Watanabe               Kagawa, Japan/St. Thomas More School (CT)                       Private

DJ Williams                     Chicago, IL/Simeon/Illinois                                                Private

Maceo Jack                     Buffalo, NY/St. Thomas More School                                   Private

Javier Langarica              Bilbao, Spain/Bilbao                                                             ?

Bo Zeigler                       Detroit, MI/Community/South Florida                                  Public


Another point of reference might be the 2017 Top 10 recruits per ESPN--  8 are from Private and 2 from Public.




the dude8/16/2017 8:50:05 PM

XAC, I'm almost more amazed that even 2 of the top 10 HS recruits nationally attended public schools.  Our Core 4 were all private too, as it seems almost every GW recruit with a few exceptions.

From what I can gather, a lot of the guys who play at Public schools may have been overlooked by the Private schools, and then just stayed there?  




thomas8/16/2017 10:26:44 PM

D.J.Williams attended a public school in Simeon. Chicago seems to be one of the few cities where the top 8th graders from the city(and state in some cases) attend public schools for all 4 years. D.J.Williams played on a loaded Simeon team as a freshman and sophomore, NBA player Jabari Parker was his teammate, along with 5 or 6 other guys who played D-1 ball. I know those Simeon teams were highly ranked nationally during DJ's freshman and sophomore years. 

I'm not sure what has caused the talent decline in public schools, maybe it's the AAU explosion and all the new private/charter schools that opened up in the late 90's?? During this period of time, the overwhelming majority of kids(middle-school age and younger) who show superstar potential will be sent to a private school. It seems like the only hope for the public schools is that a talented player get frustrated by his on-court private school situation and transfers to a public school. 

XAC,  that's a great article you posted!! I knew John Thompson Jr. and Morgan Wootten hated each other, but I didn't know the particulars of what caused the conflict. I know most people posting/reading here aren't big fans of John Thompson Jr., but you all had to get a little(or big) chuckle reading how he agreed to play DeMatha in a summer league game(which were big events in the 1970's) and when the game started he had a bunch of St.Anthony students who weren't basketball players suit up to play DeMatha instead of his team. So JTII was trolling before trolling somehow became a popular thing to do!! JTII claimed he did it in retaliation for Wootten getting St.Anthony's kicked out of a prestigious post-season tournament the year before. 


xac8/16/2017 11:43:27 PM

Yes, I stand corrected. Simeon Career Academy is public, but also a vocational school, and perennial basketball powerhouse. The full name just struck me as privateundecided

As I was looking at where some of the other players were coming from, I had several thoughts:

We have two alumni from St. Thomas More. The enrollment runs about 130 students for grades 8-12, and the annual tuition runs about $54K. You have to wonder how a lot of kids can manage that kind of financial requirement, and maybe some of those who stay in public aren't lucky enough to have a benefactor.

A lot of these private schools are pretty obvious about what they're doing-- they specialize in "helping" student athletes. Schools like "Prolific Prep Academy" are all about basketball, and they have the # 7 national recruit for 2017.

It's not coincidental that player rankings (which most of us have varying opinions about), came about in parallel with the rise in the number of these schools. These schools create a filter to help facilitate the ranking services, and it seems like it's an advantage to go to one of these schools. This may be why some public school players are overlooked (Armel Potter?)

We got Jair from Westtown (PA), which is a Quaker school. Jair was only the third or fourth best player on his team (when he was a senior). One of his teammates last year was Mo Bamba, who is the # 3 recruit in the country for 2017 and will probably to be a one-and-done at Texas. Because he played for Westtown, the visibility was an advantage for Jair.

Thomas does make a good point about the AAU explosion. Interesting to know how these teams seek out players, but it may be related to private schools as well. 


the dude8/17/2017 1:09:53 AM

Growing up in Westfield NJ, we had in just my graduating HS class (public Westfield HS)  a future NFL player, MLB minor leaguers, but in 3 consecutive years, ST Anthony's (Hurley SR) plucked our 3 best baskebtall players.

Seems to me that in basketball, its a near lock, and these 3 guys were far from D1 locks or future pros (1 guy played low D1, 1 guy played D3 after transfering back to Westfield)

Thomas/others, what is it about the Chicago schools that they retain the public school players in your view?



notta hater8/17/2017 7:00:43 AM

Dude I dated a Westfield lady in college - in addition to a guy who went to Michigan and then the NFL she introduced me to a guy who did great things at AU I forget his name but maybe a nickname of Boo or something. 20 years ago it would be a freak thing to have a kid go from Sidwell to All-American at a DI to the NBA. Ditto with Maret or Potomac School being a place where recruiters park for 4 consecutive years. I think it's resources and the fact that kids from the academic programs are not going to panic in college over the books. Also, they are taught in smaller class sizes and get a ton of practice on the SAT/ACT which means the recruiter is not panicked about the kid qualifying. I am not saying the major BCS DIs are looking at these schools as pipelines, but a ton of the mid-majors are clearly looking. I also don't know which came first - AAU coaches directing the kids to certain private schools or if the college coaches are urging them to consider some of these private schools but I have heard rumors that some players who have soft verbals at BCS programs leave to go to certain private schools with the knowledge and approval of the college coaches. In DC it started with the Catholic schools and then transitioned a bit to some small privates including Flint Hill and Montrose, Harker Prep and a few others. I don't know a ton about Chicago but I thought Isiah Thomas went to some small private school that at the time seemed out of place in the hoops "recruitment" world. Didn't Hoop Dreams touch on the topic of Chicago inner city hoop stars going to private schools too? Further the Catholic schools there have some good programs like Iggy Prep and Brother Rice. It could simply be that DC is an area of about 2-3 million, the Chicago area is about 3 times that which means that there's not enough capacity at the private schools to take on this many students. It's an interesting topic.

the mv8/17/2017 9:41:05 AM

There has been a tendency for colleges to direct players to private schools (when involved early enough in the process) and prep schools.  Often, these schools run a similar style, plays, etc. as the college team and in many cases, the private school or prep school team is coached by someone who was once affiliated with the college (a former assistant, player, basketball operations person, etc.).  This is very common in football as well.


xac8/17/2017 12:54:44 PM

Notta - I think you may be talking about Boo Bowers, who was a very good player on some average AU teams. This was in the early 80's and if I recall correctly, he did get drafted by the NBA. Not sure what happened after that. Besides Kermit, he may have been the best player to come out of AU.

thomas8/17/2017 1:11:13 PM

Great responses from everyone here, I don't know where to begin!!

Notta,  I'm glad you brought up Isiah Thomas and hoop dreams, the movie gave a somewhat sad reality of how this process worked back in the day when the coach of St.Joseph's(Isiah's high school) Pingatore would send a black guy to the inner city Chicago playgrounds to watch players, when he identified a great player, he'd talk to their families and convinced them to attend St.Joseph's. That's what he did with Arthur Agee and William Gates, both of them attended St.Joseph's as freshman, Gates played on the varsity all 4 years, but they basically told Arthur Agee to GET LOST when he wasn't good enough to make the varsity as a sophomore!! The way St.Joseph's lied to Arthur Agee and his family, and kicked him out of school was despicable!! 

Arthur Agee had to transfer to Marshall, a supposedly low-standard public school. It was ironic how Agee led his Marshall team to the State's Final 4 as a SR, while Pingatore, William Gates and St.Joe's lost in the early rounds in that state tournament!! It's also interesting to see how the process of getting great city players to attend private schools was in the late 80's as opposed to now. Kids don't play ball in playgrounds anymore because the adults have AAU teams for 10-year olds, the coaches can scout and recruit those AAU games now!! 

Another reason for the private school dominance is, players and their parents/guardians are now convinced that it's better to be the 4th or 5th best player at a private school then a great player at a public school. Which explains why we've seen/see guys like Bob Hurley Sr., Stu Vettor and the local/national basketball-only private schools cherry-pick players from public schools the New York/New Jersey area and the rest of the country. 

The case of William Bagley III is a shining example of why players choose these private schools. He attends a small, private school in California and was considered the #1 prospect in the Class of 2018. About a week ago, he all of a sudden becomes a member of the class of 2017 and has signed with Duke!! So, an AAU guy or some other adult who sees dollar signs in a star player can put a kid into these private schools and have him move up a grade at the last minute when Duke, Kentucky, or Kansas can free up a scholarship. 

ziik the senile old man8/17/2017 1:21:52 PM

Thomas, you need to post more. Thanks.

I wonder if KZXCZSKIS's up coming retirement affected Bagley's decision. 

the dude8/17/2017 6:56:35 PM

They make them well in Westfield N, Notta. Ladies too.  

Boo Bowers was one of them.  He was indeed drafted by the NBA, an injury immediately did him in.  His daughter, Tamecka Dixon, one of the greats  of the woman's game was a huge star at Westfield before they moved to Linden, NJ, she of course went onto Kansas and WNBA stardom.

Roger Ebert's Film of the Decade, Hoops Dreams.  Might have my vote as well.


the dude8/17/2017 7:13:43 PM

...And Notta, you are referring to Butch Woolfolk right?  1st round pick of the NY Giants and Michigan great.  Also Westfield NJ class of 1977 product.  There was something in the water in that town, always has been, but the late 70s it was a factory of future pros, olympians, etc.  

NJ Colonial can tell ya. Tenn Colonial too.


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