Gary Mays, Armstong High’s one-armed wonder, dead at 82

When you hear the stories about Gary Mays, a multisport star at the long-closed Armstrong High School, it’s easy to dismiss what you’ve heard.Gary Mays

There’s couldn’t really have been a one-armed high school basketball player who was also the best catcher in the city. It’s got to be an urban legend.

Mays was a legend, all right. But the tales you’ve heard about him are absolutely, 100 percent true.

Mays, 82, passed away last week. He’d been living in Temple Hills for a while and his health hadn’t been good in recent years.

Continue reading Gary Mays, Armstong High’s one-armed wonder, dead at 82

In January of ’68, nobody was hotter than Jim O’Brien

Fifty years ago this week, Washington’s sports pages were full of stories on the Green Bay Packers’ recent Super Bowl II victory over the Oakland Raiders.

O'Brien head shot
Jim O’Brien played with the NY Nets in 1973-74.

In sports news closer to home, local basketball fans were starting to notice a kid named Jim O’Brien, who kept showing up in the Stuart High School boxscores with 20 or 30 points to his credit. The rail-thin, 6-foot-7 redhead averaged 17.8 points per game as a sophomore on a team that finished just 11-10.

But by January of 1968, O’Brien had shifted his game into a different gear. He’d had a 42-point, 29-rebound game against rival Falls Church to open the 1967-68 season – a stunning statistical achievement in a 32-minute high school game.

Continue reading In January of ’68, nobody was hotter than Jim O’Brien

Memories of ex-DeMatha star Sid Catlett

Sid Catlett, courtesy of DeMatha High School, in about 1965
Sid Catlett, courtesy of DeMatha High School, in about 1965

I didn’t really know Sid Catlett.

But a couple of years ago, I got to spend more than an hour on the phone with him. I’d called him for an interview for something I was working on about D.C. area high school basketball. I’d asked for about 15-20 minutes of his time.

What I got was more than 60 minutes of history, philosophy, reflection, gratitude and thought-provoking observations on learning, life and growing up with the game in Washington, D.C.

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Williams and Ferry inducted into Washington Metro Hall of Fame

Walt Williams
Walt Williams in 1991

Prince George’s County was well-represented at the Wooden Leadership in Coaching awards dinner Thursday night at the Watergate Hotel in downtown Washington.

Walt Williams (Temple Hills, MD) and Danny Ferry (Bowie, MD) were inducted into the Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame.

Both were high school standouts, with Williams playing on Crossland HS team that reached the Class AA state basketball finals three years in a row (1986-88). Ferry, of course, played at storied DeMatha Catholic HS, where the team he played on in his junior year (1983-84) wound up 29-2 and ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today.

Continue reading Williams and Ferry inducted into Washington Metro Hall of Fame

Offense is the order of the day at Capital Classic

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Bruno Fernandez, of the IMG Academy in Montverde, FL, did not play due to a minor knee injury suffered in practice Friday.

The 44th annual Capital Classic at Verizon Center on Saturday wasn’t exactly perfect.

But Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree was.

The 6-foot-8 Villanova recruit out of Philadelphia’s Neumann Goretti High School scored 18 points and didn’t miss a shot as the United States All-Stars prevailed over the Capital All-Stars, 113-101.

“I got a lot of dunks,” Cosby-Roundtree said. “I was just trying to do whatever I could to help get the lead up.”

Continue reading Offense is the order of the day at Capital Classic

Stars come out at Verizon Center as Capital Classic returns to downtown

After a nomadic existence the last few years, the Capital Classic high school all-star basketball game is returning to downtown D.C.

The 44th annual game will be played at the Verizon Center on April 8, with the preliminary game, featuring the District All-Stars against the Suburban All-Stars at 11 a.m. The main game, pitting of team of  U.S. all-stars against the a team of local standouts, is scheduled to tip off at 1 p.m.

Morsell
Maryland signee Darryl Morsell of Baltimore’s Mount Saint Joseph High School is one of the high school stars on display at the 2017 Capital Classic.

Continue reading Stars come out at Verizon Center as Capital Classic returns to downtown

Forty years ago, TC Williams wrote the perfect ending

It was 40 years ago this week that the 1976-77 T.C. Williams basketball team capped one of the great seasons in Northern Virginia basketball history.

The Titans (28-0), ranked No. 1 in both the Washington Star and Washington Post high school basketball polls, finished off an undefeated season wit
h a 95-63 rout of William Fleming of Roanoke in the Virginia Class AA final at University Hall in Charlottesville
Fleming was no match for the Titans, who rang up 28 TC williams HS
points in both the second and third quarters of the game to pull away. Playing the baseline-to-baseline, up-tempo style that had made them so successful during the regular season, that T.C. Williams team set state tournament records for single-game scoring (95 points) and its two-game total (261) as well.

Continue reading Forty years ago, TC Williams wrote the perfect ending