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

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

Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 2.27.53 PM
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

Maryland gets a break from schedule-makers

Maryland’s basketball team, coming off back-to-back 27-win seasons for the first time in school history, faces a lot of questions entering the 2016-17 season.

Starters Jake Layman, Rasheed Sulaimon, Robert Carter and Diamond Stone have moved on. The return of point guard Melo Trimble and the arrival of a strong recruiting class seems to have convinced someone that the drop-off won’t be too severe, though. ESPN picked the Terrapins 18th nationally in its most recent preseason poll.BB coach

That’s the good news. The bad news for Terrapins fans is that four Big Ten teams (Wisconsin at No. 8, Michigan State at No. 10, Indiana at No. 11 and Purdue at No. 14) are ranked ahead of the Terrapins by ESPN.

However, the conference’s schedule-makers (Maryland’s slate was released last week) seem to have done the Terrapins a favor.

Continue reading Maryland gets a break from schedule-makers

In Capital Classic, there is no try: Luke Maye not be ignored

Typically, the guys who do the thankless grunt work don’t get noticed in high school all-star basketball games. Fans come to see high-flying dunks, ankle-breaking crossover dribbles and great moves to the basket.Luke Maye

In Friday night’s 42nd annual Capital Classic at Catholic University, however, the contributions of North Carolina-bound Luke Maye couldn’t be ignored.

Maye, a rugged 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward from Cornelius, N.C., grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds to go along with his 15 points as the U.S. All-Stars rallied past the Capital All-Stars late for a 105-102 victory.

Continue reading In Capital Classic, there is no try: Luke Maye not be ignored

For Wizards radio announcer, broadcasting is a dream job and a link to his mother

Washington Wizards announcer Dave Johnson (Handout April 13, 2015)
Washington Wizards announcer Dave Johnson.              (Handout / April 13, 2015)
Dave Johnson doesn’t just think about basketball when he’s broadcasting a Washington Wizards game. He also thinks about his mother. His late mother, Mary Lue , suffered from multiple sclerosis and spent most of her time in a wheelchair. For her to leave the house was a chore for all involved; she had to be lifted in and of the car by Dave and his father. On most days, that radio was her only link to the outside world. That radio was usually tuned to WTOP, Washington’s all-news station — a place where her son has worked for the last 20 years. “She listened to WTOP all day long to keep up with the news — and that’s where I ended up working,” the Annapolis resident said. He’s been at the station since 1995. He picked up the Wizards gig two years later — in the 1997-98 basketball season — and is probably best known for that. But he hung on WTOP, too, phoning in early-morning sports reports from wherever his NBA travels take him.


Locals pulled huge upset in Capital Classic back in 1978

Nobody much cares which team wins an all-star basketball game, especially a high school all-star game. The game is supposed to be a showcase for the players, a chance to show what they can do in front of college scouts. It’s also for the fans, who get a glimpse of the college (and potentially professional) stars of the future.

The Capital Classic all-star game, which was created in 1974 and featured a squad of D.C. area players going up against a national all-star team each spring, was no different. The games were popular and well-attended at the old Capital Centre in Prince George’s County and the early matchups included such future stars as Moses Malone, Magic Johnson and Albert King.

The one thing those early games didn’t feature was a competitive performance by the locals. In the first four years the game was played, the best the D.C. all-stars could do was lose by 18 points to the nCapital Classic logo.00ational team. In the most lopsided game of the series to that point – a 138-107 victory by the U.S. squad in 1976 – the score probably didn’t get any further out of hand because the players on the winning team got tired from all the running and dunking.

By the time the fifth anniversary game came around – 36 years ago this week – local basketball officials were determined to change things. Area coaches and players were sheepish about what had happened in previous years and wanted badly to make a better showing. Continue reading Locals pulled huge upset in Capital Classic back in 1978