At least one reporter thinks so:
Hats off to longtime local radio host and former St. Albans, Mackin, and Maret Coach James “Butch” McAdams for revealing on WOL-1450 AM this morning that he will soon name his Top Fifty schoolboy basketball players from Metro D.C. Coach attended our inaugural event at Landover Towne Center last Saturday. It’s great to have as knowledgable and personable figure in the fold.
“Coach’s Corner” is part of the 8-9 a.m. Saturday mortgage show:
Jesse Karangu invited us back on “The Big Show With JK”. We had a blast- thanks again JK:
I haven’t posted one of these in a minute. They’re lists dedicated to some local names that too often fall throught the cracks when we’re reminiscing about ballplayers:
Charlie Jenkins, ARMSTRONG
Michael Ray, CHAMBERLAIN
Bob Keller, ST. JOHN’s
Russell “Bo” Clarke, SPINGARN
Gordon Austin, SHERWOOD
Kenny Robinson, MACKIN
Kevin Lewis, WILSON
Andrew Corbin, H.D. WOODSON
Mike Johnson, BOWIE
Scott “Helicopter” Thomas, BLADENSBURG
Nap Napolitano, DUVAL
Freddie Thomas, PHELPS
Roger Truehart, McKINLEY TECH
Al Baker, ST. ANTHONY’s
James Brunson, LARGO
Former Bowie High player is judged by standards not even some adult athletes live up to:
Thanks to all who shared in our opening event at WOW Wingery and Cafe in Landover Town Center. During this gathering, and the annual function at Watts Branch Playground, and the Father’s Day cookout hosted each year by former McKinley Tech playmaker Kevin Tatum (’69), our leadership was able to meet or re-connect with Coach Butch McAdams, Bowie’s Herb Gray. Jr., Parkdale “Chick” Lyles, legendary Tech stars “Apple” Milam and Jeffrey Harrison, Lawrence Moten of Archbishop Carroll, DeMatha’s Carroll Holmes and Daryl Greene (who owns WOW- thanks Daryl), “Chink” Gray of Parkdale, Duval’s Dickie Brown, and many others who did their thing in the area. We also appreciate the support and kind words of those who had previous or out-of-town engagements, such as DeMatha alum James Brown. When “JB” was told we’d hang his warmup top over a chair for inspiration (an inside joke about a historic McKinley Tech-DeMatha clash in the Knights of Columbus Tournament), he responsed, “Now that’s dusting off an old memory”.
A good time (and great reminiscing) was had by all. We hope to make our get together an annual thing that ties in with not only the weekend of the cookout and the Watts Branch piece, but the annual scholarship benefit Hoop Dreams 3-on-3 tournament hosted by the Hoop Dreams foundation to assist college-bound students at H.D. Woodson High. Susie Kay does a wonderful job with that organization, as many of you know. We hope to see all of our readers, contributors and supporters next June.
What does that have to do with basketball? Jonathan played AAU ball for the D.C. Blue Devils. The 6’9″ Pro Bowler attended St. Albans School.
DC Blue Devils:
Bobby Kinzer, former Wilson High School (and Penn State) player, shared this memory w/ the DC Basketball Blog:
My greatest playground memory is:
The day Moses Malone and Chris Patton came down Upshur St. playground. All the rivals that nornmally existed on the playground, all join together to beat the then currently signed University of Maryland players. They were in the area because they were playing in the Urban Coalitian up on the hill at Roosevelt High School. Upshur’s team consisted of Harry Brokenberry (DC Teachers – one of the greatest shooters to ever to come out of D.C.),Wesley Boussard (Bell Vocational – one of the best all around sports player in D.C.- drafted by Dallas Cowboys), Bobby Kinzer (Wilson High/Penn State/European Professional League – one of the 1st big point guards out of D.C.), Carl Patterson (Roosevelt), Mike “Dick Barnett” Dodson (Upshur St.),and Gator Brown (Dunbar/Wilson). This was a day to remember because the word got out that Moses was playing down Upshur. People were coming out the wood work. The playground all of a sudden got packed. Standing room only. People were looking through the fence. The game started off with 5’9″ Gator Brown dunking on Moses’ homeboy who was 6’5″. The playground went off! The atmosphere was electric. Upshur playground went on to win the game and that day became frozen in time. It is the one time that Upshur Street playground united and celebrated like it was the NBA Finals. The next day, the rivalries were back at it, if you didn’t have game or know somebody you weren’t getting on the court and you might get jacked up and your wallet taken.
Chris Patton, for those who may not know, was a 6’9″ Maryland University forward out of Buffalo. Thanks Bobby.
Toomay was a player-coach for Andrews AFB here in Prince George’s County. His Air Force team won 52 straight games in the mid-1950’s, and played in the All-Service Tournament and All-Air Force Championships in 1954-55. Kentucky stars Lou Tsiropolous and Cliff Hagan played on the team with Toomay. In 1954 Andrews beat Sampson AFB for the branch championship. His son Pat was an All-Met high school basketball player at Alexandria’s Edison High in the late 1960’s, and later a Dallas Cowboy defensive end:
He was quickly promoted to the officer corps, but because he was too tall – 6 feet 7 inches – to be a pilot, he served as a communications officer. For 14 months during World War II, he commanded an isolated outpost in Greenland.
From 1947 to 1950, General Toomay played professional basketball with the Chicago Stags, Providence Steamrollers, Baltimore Bullets, Washington Capitols and Denver Nuggets. When he played with Washington in 1948-49, his coach was Red Auerbach, who later led the Boston Celtics to nine NBA titles.
General Toomay holds the NBA record for most personal fouls in a playoff game – eight. Today, a player is disqualified with six fouls. When General Toomay played, he remained in the game, accumulating fouls, because his team had no substitute players on the bench.
In 1950, General Toomay was recalled to serve in the Air Force in the Korean War.
During the 1950s, he received a second bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, from the University of Southern California. He received an MBA from George Washington University in the 1960s.
In the early 1970s, he was commander of the Rome Air Development Center, now the Rome Laboratory, in Rome, N.Y., where he supervised two radar programs.
From 1972 to 1979, he was stationed at the Pentagon, where he worked in strategic and space system planning and helped formulate nuclear missile projects and other defense systems.
He retired from the Air Force in 1979.
His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit, and two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal.
He settled in California after retiring from the Air Force and in 1984 cowrote “Radar Principles for the Non-Specialist,” which is in its third edition and widely used as a textbook.
General Toomay enjoyed golf and watching sports. One of his sons, Pat, was a defensive end in the National Football League for 10 years, primarily with the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders.
General Toomay’s wife of 60 years, Virginia, died in 2005.
All are welcome to our inaugural event on Sat., June 14 (see below). Should you arrive, and not be a native, or be a spouse, date, child, or friend of a former player, the following definitions will help you navigate the sea of names you’re likely to hear thrown about like no-look passes:
(the event takes place 2-7 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at WOW Cafe & Wingery, 800 E. Shoppers Way (next to the Magic Johnson Theatres), Largo, Md. The founders of DC Basketball will also be on hand. Call 301-680-1979, or 301-520-2292 for more info)
RABBIT: Elgin Baylor
DUCK: Former Mackin star Donald “Duck” Williams
COON: Eastern High product Jerry Chambers
STACY: Former Crossland and Dunbar star Stacy Robinson
LENNY: Late Northwestern star Len Bias
THE URBO: The Urban Coalition summer league, also referred to as “The Coalition”
JELLEFF: The Jelleff Summer League
TURKEY THICKET: The playground at 12th St. and Michigan Ave., N.E.
JO JO: Former Mackin star Jo Jo Hunter
CRICKET: Former McKinley Tech star Anthony “Cricket” Williams
BAY BAY: Former Dunbar star John “Bay Bay” Duren
TURK: Former Eastern star James “Turkey” Tillman
CURT: Former Coolidge star Curt Smith
CHICKEN BREAST: William “Chicken Breast” Lee from Fairmont Heights
A.D: Former DeMatha star Adrian Dantley
TECH: McKinley High School
AUBREY: Former DeMatha star Aubrey Nash
ALL-MET: Named to the all-D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia scholastic team by The Washington Post
APPLE: Former McKinley Tech star Randolph “Apple” Milam
CANDY CANE, SLIGO, LUZON, GUY MASON, KELLY MILLER, RIDGE ROAD are all playgrounds
That should help a little. Bring your memories and your business cards.