Sound off on this 2008 list of DC’s best high school players:
D.C. Area’s Basketball Players of the Century
In no certain order
1) Elgin Baylor 1951 Spingarn, College of Idaho , Seattle Univ. , Minn. Lakers Holds the single game scoring record in Carroll’s gym with 54 points. Considered one of the all-time greats in NBA history. Strong and graceful at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Baylor averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds during his 14-year career with the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers. In 134 playoff games he averaged 27.0 points and 12.9 rebounds. From 1960-61 through 1962-63 he averaged 34.8, 38.3, and 34.0 points, respectively. He led the Lakers to the NBA Finals eight times, was a 10-time All-NBA First Team selection, and played in 11 NBA All-Star Games.
2) Dave Bing 1962 Spingarn, Syracuse, Detroit Pistons Extremely quick on and off the floor, with his ability to jump he “rose” above the competition in more ways than one, one of his patented moves was a turn around, fade away baseline jumper
3) Adrian Dantley DeMatha, Notre Dame, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons One of the greatest scorers the game of basketball has ever known. If he got the ball anywhere around the basket, he was impossible to stop. Won an NBA championship as a member of the Detroit Pistons
4) Grant Hill South Lakes , Duke, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic Without question the greatest player ever to come out of Northern Virginia . A key member of one of the greatest college basketball teams in history- the Duke Blue Devils of the early 90’s. A lottery pick in the NBA Draft and one of the best players in today’s NBA.
5) Austin Carr Mackin, Notre Dame
6) Jack George 1948 St. John’s, Notre Dame, LaSalle, Philadelphia Warriors You may have never heard of him, but according to many he is the greatest athlete to ever come out of the Washington DC area. A 6’3″ point guard, he was all-pro 9 times with the Philadelphia Warriors, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. As a QB at St. John’s , he led an undefeated team, and earned a scholarship to Notre Dame. He ended up transferring to La Salle because the Notre Dame football coach wouldn’t let him play both sports. There he became an all-American college basketball player. His “backup” QB at Notre Dame also became an all-American. He was also and all-American baseball player and excelled at Tennis.
7) John “Sleepy” Austin DeMatha 1961, Boston College
8) George Leftwich Carroll 1957-60, Villanova Nowadays you see him on the sideline at Sidwell Friends where he coaches the boys team, but there was a time when people came in droves to watch him play. Leftwich was a member of the greatest high school basketball team to ever play in Washington . In college he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as part of the country’s greatest guard combo. His career was never the same after a car accident during his sophomore year. He declined the Detroit Pistons invitation after they drafted him. Coached Gwynn Park to a state championship in the 80s.
9) Aubrey Nash DeMatha 1968, Kansas All-American as a football and basketball player at DeMatha. Went to Kansas on scholarship.
10) Danny Ferry DeMatha, Duke, Cleveland Cavaliers Honored as both the National High School and College player of the year. Led Duke the national finals where they were upset by Louisville.
11) Sidney Lowe DeMatha, NC State As a point guard, he teamed with Derrick Whittenberg in the backcourt of both high school and college national championship teams. Went on t o be a head coach in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
12) Kenny Carr DeMatha 1974 Won an Olympic gold medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics 12) Sherman Douglass Spingarn, Syracuse, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks A legendary point guard from the Inter High who followed fellow Spingarn alum Dave Bing to Syracuse. In college, he led Syracuse to the national championship game where they lost to Indiana in a dramatic game. Has had a long NBA career, and played for multiple teams.
13) Bobby Lewis St. John’s, North Carolina He has the distinction of being Dean Smith’s first recruit. He led North Carolina to a Final Four. Very athletic and known for his ability to jump.
14) Johnny Dawkins Mackin, Duke, Ph ila delphia 76ers A deadly shooter and scorer, who combined with fellow DC area legend Tommy Amaker to form one of college basketball’s best backcourts at Duke. They were there in Coach K’s first years and built the foundation for where the Duke program is at today. Injuries ended his pro career prematurely.
15) Walt Williams Crossland 1988, Maryland , Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Portland Walt led Crossland to Cole Field House to play for the state championship multiple times. At 6’8″ he was incredibly versatile as he could play all 5 positions on the floor. Known to wear his socks pulled up high as players around DC did in the 80s and 90s, and still doing it today. At Maryland he had an incredible run of _ straight 30+ points per game in the ACC. As a pro he has become one of the league’s highly reg arde d 6th men.
16) Lawrence Moten Carroll 1989, Syracuse , Toronto Raptors One of the rare athletes to be named first team All-Met as both a football and basketball player. He chose the basketball path, but some say at 6’4 he would’ve also had a dynamite football future. In college he earned the reputation as one of the games best shooters. When Lawrence entered the Carrier Dome, he was in range.
17) Tommy Amaker W.T. Woodson, Duke Tommy Amaker is the pride of legendary area coach Red Jenkins. Amaker teamed with fellow DC area product Johnny Dawkins in Duke’s dynamic backcourt. Amaker was known as the consummate point guard, and was often referred to as a coach on the floor. That shoe fit, because now he’s the head coach on the sideline at Seton Hall.
18) Jack Sullivan St. Anthony’s, Mt. St. Mary’s The leading scorer in the history of Mt. St. Mary’s, and he is naturally in the school’s hall of fame.
19) Charles “Hawkeye” Whitney DeMatha, N.C. State , Kansas City Kings Known as an incredibly gifted player who enjoyed success on every level until injuries ended his career.
20) Ernie Cage DeMatha, St. Mary¹s He was known as an incredibly dangerous shooter who could come off of screens and nail jumpers from all angles. After his playing days, he became one of the area’s more recognizable referees.
21) Derrick Whittenberg DeMatha, N.C. State He and Sydney Lowe formed the backcourt on both high school and college national championship teams. “Whit” was a shooting guard with unlimited range and co nfide nce. He’s now the head coach at Wagner University.
22) Michael Smith Dunbar 1989, Providence, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards His name still evokes memories of the 1989 game winning shot he hit versus Carroll in the city championship. At 6’8″ he single handedly dominated the paint and ate the glass for Dunbar . He still holds the Cap Classic record for most rebounds in a game.
23) Lew Luce Wilson 1957 He was a 3 sport star in basketball, football and baseball.
24) Adrian Branch DeMatha , Maryland , L.A. Lakers Pure and simple, Adrian Branch was a superstar. He was a scoring machine who once threw the ball off the backboard, caught it and dunked it on a fast break. H ad a unique shooting style where his body was cocked almost sideways to the basket when he shot. In 1984, he and Len Bias led Maryland to their first ACC tournament title. Knee injuries limited his pro career, but he got a ring with Magic Johnson’s Lakers.
25) James Brown DeMatha 1969, Harvard You might know him from the NFL on Fox, but way before that James was known as a star basketball player all over Washington. In a move that seems unimaginable today, James turned down offers from some of the nation’s basketball colleges and accepted an offer from Ivy League school Harvard. James also co-hosted a weekly show with Morgan Wootten called Fast Break, where they wrapped up D.C. area high school basketball action.
26) Len Bias Northwestern, Maryland , Boston Celtics This mention of this name cau ses many of us to experience a lot of different emotions. Anybody who saw him from the time he was in high school will tell you that Len Bias got better every year and the sky was the limit. Some thought he was better than Michael Jordan coming out of college. He was an incredibly explosive player who had a rise on his jump shot unlike any other. He also started a trend that still is in effect today when he spread his legs while dunking. He was at his best in the biggest games. People still talk about when Bias led Maryland ‘s upset of North Carolina in Chapel Hill . It was the first loss for the Tar Heels in the Dean Dome. One of the Bias plays I will always remember is when in the NCAA tournament he flashed across the lane with his back to the basket. He elevated to accept the entry pass, and after he caught it he faked a turn to the basket. Upon landing, he took a monster step and th re w down one of the most impressive dunks I’d ever seen. I’ll never forget how sad I was the day I heard he was dead from cocaine. He had just been picked with the 3rd pick in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. Larry Bird was so anxious to play with Bias that he was going to report early to work out with him.
27) John Thompson Carroll 1960, Providence, Boston Celtics At 6’10 John Thompson cast an imposing figure on the sideline as head coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, but long before that he was a member of the greatest high school team to ever play in Washington. In the NBA, he backed up Bill Russell on one of the NBA’s all-time great teams. A Hall of Fame college coach, Thompson won a national championship with Georgetown in 1984.
28) Dennis Scott Flint Hill , Georgia Tech, Orlando Magic At Georgia Tech he was a member of “Lethal Weapon 3″, when he teamed up with Kenny Anderson and Brian Oliver. As a 6’8″ shooting guard, Scott shot from anywhere across half court and never looked like he was out of his range. He played for Stu Vetter at Flint Hill.
29) Fred Hetzel Landon 30) Johnny Jones DeMatha, ???, Boston Celtics
31) Hymie Perlo T.Roosevelt,???,
32) Thurl Bailey Bladensburg, N.C. State, Utah Jazz Coached at Bladensburg by Ernie Welch (High Point), and he was a teammate of James White’s father (James). Had an outstanding career at N.C. State and a very solid career in the NBA.
33) Bernard Williams DeMatha ’65, La Salle
34) Bob Whitmore DeMatha ’65, Notre Dame
35) Keith Bogans DeMatha ’99 , Kentucky A rare 4-year varsity player at DeMatha, and by the time he was a sophomore he played like he was a senior. The 6’5″ guard led DeMatha to a WCAC and City title as a junior. When he had the ball, Bogans could score in a variety of ways. He was equally adept at creating his own shot off the dribble, or spotting up and knocking down a jumper. #10 was someone the Stags could count on to produce every night in a lot of different statistical categories. He and fellow great Joe Forte were a dynamic duo.
36) Joe Forte DeMatha ’99, North Carolina This DeMatha Stag seemed to get better every time you watched him. The 6’5” guard is the best I have ever seen in the area at hitting the mid-range jumper. He could also hit the always toug h pull-up jumper. When the defense extended, Joe could either back up and stroke a 3, or go by them to the basket. Dynamite in transition where he and Keith Bogans made many a highlight type play. Along with Bogans, he led DeMatha to WCAC and City titles as a junior. His ability to play big continued in college where he took the nation by storm as a freshman. He was North Carolina ‘s most outstanding player in their run to the Final 4.
37) Eddie Jordan Carroll ’73, Rutgers , N.J. Nets, L.A. Lakers Was the 2nd leading scorer at Rutgers , and then played 8 years in the NBA.
38) Tom Sluby Gonzaga ’81, Notre Dame
39) Stan “Snookie” Kernan McKinley ’51,
40) Tom Hoover Carroll ’60, St. Bonaventure, NBA
41) Harold Fox Northwes tern ’69, Jacksonville , NBA A tremendous athlete who could run the floor like few others. Described as About 6’2 he was the type of player who got in a zone and couldn’t be stopped. One expert told me that whatever level of competition Fox was facing, he had the ability to rise above it.
42) Billy Bryant Carroll ’82, Univ. of MD, Western Kentucky
43) Tracy Jackson Paint Branch, Notre Dame It is said by many that Tracey Jackson was the best to ever play public school ball in Montgomery County.
44) Will Jones Dunbar ’58, American University He is currently the head coach at Norfolk State, and formerly held the same position at U.D.C.
45) Ed Hummer Washington-Lee 46) John Hummer Washington-Lee
47) Monty Williams Potomac (MD) ’89, Notre Dame, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks This smooth, yet explosive 6’8 swing man could do it all . He led Potomac to a state title his senior year. At Notre Dame, he led the Fighting Irish to an NIT title. He became more famous for his heart condition that made it potentially life threatening to play. While he played in the NBA, he had a solid career.
48) Tom Little Mackin, University of Seattle
49) Jerome Chambers Eastern, Utah, Los Angeles Lakers 50) Sid Catlett DeMatha, Notre Dame, NBA
51) Ollie Johnson Spingarn, Univ. of San Francisco, Boston Celtics
52) George Lynch Flint Hill ’89, North Carolina, Vancouver Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers The solidly built 6’9 forward was a rebounding machine. He teamed with Aaron Bain on a legendary Flint Hill team coached by Stu Vetter. In college he was a starting player for North Carolina on their 1993? National Championship team. His sparkling senior year led to an NBA career, where h e has played for multiple teams.
53) Carlos Yates Flint Hill, George Mason One of the greatest to ever play for Stu Vetter, and he spurned a chance to play at big-time colleges in favor of hometown George Mason.
54) Jo Jo Hunter Mackin, Maryland 55) Lavell “Dopey” Dean Eastern ’30s, 6’4″
56) Bernard Levi Spingarn Most players who followed the legendary Dave Bing wouldn’t have a “shot” at filling his shoes. Levi picked up right where Bing left off, and many say he was darn near as good. An armed robbery charge abruptly ended his basketball career. A legend at Watts Branch Playground.
57) Edward “Monk” Malloy Carroll ’60, Notre Dame Some of you may have seen him on TV when as the President of Notre Dame University he introduced former DeMatha Stag Mike Brey as the new head coach. In his youth, he held office in D.C. as the “Mayor” of Turkey Thickett Playg round . 58) Marty Lentz Lentz was a scoring machine and once had an amazing 74 points versus JEB Stuart.
59) Randolph Childress Gwynn Park, Flint Hill, Wake Forest, Portland Trail Blazers He started out at Gwynn Park and transferred to Flint Hill where he started to earn his name as an amazing shooter. In college he was at his best as a senior when he was the MVP of the 1995 ACC tournament. He led Wake Forest to the title and was unstoppable in the process. 60) Jerome McDaniels Fairmont Heights,
61) Lonnie Perrin McKinley, Illinois He ended up making his name as a professional football player, but was dominant as a high school baske tball star. He put on a show at the old Knights of Columbus Tournament.
62) Puddie Sheehan St. John’s, Georgetown Puddie is a member of Georgetown University ‘s Hall of Fame.
63) Joe Kennedy DeMatha, Duke 64) Larry Wright Western, Grambling , Washington Bullets
65) Earl Lloyd Parker Gray ’46, West Virginia State , NBA Earl Lloyd played before local schools were de-segragated. In spite of that, anyone in the basketball community at the time can tell you that this guy could play. He is the most famous basketball player to come out of Alexandria . The fir st blac k player in the NBA. Played for the Washington Capitols 1950-51, Syracuse Nationals 1952-58, and Detroit Pistons 1958-60. He scored 4,682 points in his NBA career and averaged 8.4 points per game. He coached the Detroit Pistons in the early 70s.
66) Louis Bullock Laurel Baptist, Michigan At 6’1″ Louis Bullock was a scoring machine. An amazingly accurate shooter, Bullock once hit 20-20 free throws in an upset of nationally ranked St. John’s Prospect Hall. That night he gave a performance I will never forget. About the 1 minute mark of seemingly every quarter, Bullock would hold the ball and work the clock down. When it got under :10, he made his move. The first time he beat one defender. The next time the defense decided to double-team him. It made no difference as Bulloc k create d space with a fake, and then hit a 3 over the double team. On that night, he couldn’t miss.
67) DerMarr Johnson Parkdale, Newport Prep, Univ. of Cincinnati, Atlanta Hawks This 6’9″ do-it-all player had a high school career a lot like the ball he handles- he bounced around. Blessed with great size and fluidity, he finally finished at Maine Central Institute, where he continued to develop his amazing potential. As a junior, he was considered the top ranked player in the country in his class. Eventually he spent a year at the University of Cincinnati , and was a lottery pick by the Atlanta Hawks in this past year’s draft. Now his role will be that of a 6’9″ wing player who can shoot from deep, or make a move to the basket.
68) Roger Mason Good Counsel, University of Virginia
Roger is part of perhaps the greatest class of players to ever come through Washington D.C. That season- 1998-99- featured more high-level players than any in recent memory. The WCAC was the best high school league in the country, as at least 3 teams were nationally ranked. Along with teammate Chris Monroe, Roger led Good Counsel to the WCAC tournament finals. The 6’4″ wing guard was equally good off the court where he maintained over a 3.0 GPA and is also an accomplished piano player. Meet him and you’ll instantly understand why he is one of the classiest young men around.
69) Chris Monroe Good Counsel, George Washington The other half of Good Counsel’s dynamic duo, and at a muscular 6’4″ Chris Monroe backed down from nobody. He could play inside and get rough with the big boys, or step outside and play a wing game. Never at a loss for words on th e court, Chris t hrived on competing against the best players. His success continues at George Washington, where along with fellow D.C. area native Val Brown he was named Atlantic 10 co-freshman of the year.
70) Stevie Francis Blair, San Jacinto & Allegany Junior Colleges, Vancouver Grizzlies, Houston Rockets Stevie Francis chose the path less taken. He played virtually no high school basketball for Blair, but his participation in an AAU tournament launched his career. A late growth spurt boosted Stevie to 6’3″ and from there his explosive talent took over. His vertical jump is off the charts, and he blows by defenders with the greatest of ease. He transferred to the University of Maryland for his junior year of college and he took the A.C.C. by storm. From the start there was no doubt that this kid cou ld hang, and that one year was enough to make him the #2 pick in the NBA draft. Unhappy with his selection by the Vancouver Grizzlies, Stevie convinced the team to trade him to the Houston Rockets. For the 1999-2000 season, he was the NBA’s co-rookie of the year.
71) Donald “Duck” Williams Mackin, Notre Dame, Utah Jazz
73) Michael Bassard McKinley
74) Kermit Washington Coolidge, American U., Portland Trail Blazers
75) Rodney White Newport School, UNC-Charlotte, Detroit Pistons
76) Michael Sweetney Oxon Hill, Georgetown This 6’9 big man led Oxon Hill to three consecutive appearances in the Maryland 4A state title game. An incredible presence, “Big Mike” could score, rebound and consistently find the open man. He has wonderful hands for a big man. These days, his skills are on display for the Georgetown Hoyas.
77) Bernard Robinson Dunbar, Michigan Time wise, he just got in under the wire. This lefty hit the game-winning shot to propel Dunbar to victory over Gonzaga in the 1999 city title game at MCI Center . As a freshman he has made a big impact at the University of Michigan and his future looks very bright.
78) Cory Alexander Flint Hill , Virginia , San Antonio One of Stu Vetter’s greats, he was known for his lightning quicks and ability to handle the ball.
79) David Robinson Osbourn Park , Naval Academy , San Antonio Spurs “The Admiral” was born in 1965. He played just one year of high school ball at the Manassas school known as Osbourn Park . An unheralded basketball player coming out of high school, he grew 7 inches while at the Naval Academy . He scored 1320 on his SAT . Back in 1994 he scored 71 points in an NBA game. He’s been in the NBA since 1989 and has averaged over 22 points per game.
80) Who should get this slot???
Respectfully, Danny Morrison (70 3) 671-5623-h (703) 344-3213-c firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan, Good picks! But it¹s ³Hymie² Perlo not ³Jamie² also I would add the following to that list:
Earl Hawkins Gwynn Park, Glenville St. AAU-MVP
Rod Sewell Calvert, Shepherd College
Jay Buckley Bladensburg, Duke
Zeke Zirkle Anacostia, GWU
Dale Adams Gwynn Park, St. Mary¹s College, ABA/NBA
Shorty Simmons – Gwynn Park , St. Mary¹s College
Wilbur ³Ducie² Smith Fairmont Heights, UMES
Orlando ³Tubby² Smith Great Mills, High Point College
Steve Lawrence Bladensburg, Furman
Steve Datcher Lackey, Glenville St., AAU standout