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HS Then & Now: Area's Best Roster Keeps On Growing

By Keith Mills  

As area teams dive into state tournaments and conference playoffs, what better time for more of Baltimore's best basketball players? Last month, we brought you our top 27 local high school players from 1975 to the present. The list has led to much debate, and in a city with such a storied hoops history, there was a need to list more of the best players. 

PLATINUM TEAM

Kurk Lee -- Calvert Hall/Dunbar, 1985: Lee began his high school career at Calvert Hall and transferred to Dunbar in the summer of 1984. Along with Terry and Perry Dozier, Lee led Bob Wade's Poets to an unbeaten season in 1985 and a national championship. Lee started his college career at Western Kentucky but transferred to Towson State in 1987. In just two years at Towson, he scored 1,720 points and led the Tigers to their first NCAA bid ever. 

Tim Coles -- Cardinal Gibbons, 1982: Coles captained Ray Mullis' Crusaders his junior and senior years and in 1982, averaged 24 points and 18 rebounds as Gibbons joined Calvert Hall in the Alhambra tournament. Coles was the first area player to attend the University of Connecticut, where he scored more than 1,000 points and grabbed more than 800 rebounds. 

Shanta Rogers/Kevin Norris -- Lake Clifton: Norris graduated from Lake in 1994, Rogers in '95, and both enjoyed tremendous success for Charlie Moore's Lakers. Norris went on to Miami, where he played for Leonard Hamilton. Rogers led the Lakers to the '95 Class 4A state championship, the school's first ever. At George Washington the 5-foot-4 Rogers was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year in 1999. 

Dale Solomon -- Annapolis, 1977: Solomon was a 6-foot-8 powerhouse freshman forward for coach Al Laramore’s 1974 state champion Panthers. He went on to Virginia Tech and in 1981 played on the United States' gold medal-winning team at the World University Games. Solomon played professionally for 12 years in Italy.

Rodney "Pop" Wright -- Lake Clifton, 1977: Wright was a junior on coach Woody Williams' tremendous 1976 Lakers team, which won the MSA Championship. A tremendous shooter, Wright went on to Drake, where he scored 1,283 points.

Devin Boyd -- Walbrook, 1988: Boyd was the general of Gus Harrington's Warriors and clearly one of the best overall players of the 1980s. He engineered an upset of Dunbar in February 1988 which ended the Poets’ long home winning streak. Boyd scored 2,000 points at Towson State and was the Tigers' all-time leading scorer until Gary Neal broke his record earlier this year.   

GOLD TEAM

Kevin Simpson -- Southern, 1994: A scoring machine at Southern, Simpson was an explosive 6-foot-5 swingman who led Meredith Smith's Bulldogs to the school's first state title, a 70-57 win over Potomac in the 1993 Class 3A state championship. He began his college career at Dixie Junior College in Utah, where he averaged 25 points a game before spending a year at Providence. 

Reggie Lewis -- Dunbar, 1982: Lewis grew up in East Baltimore, played at Lafayette Courts and is the famous sixth man on Dunbar's vaunted 1982 unbeaten team. Lewis went to Northeastern University in Boston and matured into the one of the best players in the country. He was a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics in 1987. Lewis made the NBA All-Star team in 1993 but died of a heart attack on July 27, 1993. 

Herman Harried -- Dunbar, 1984: Another member of Dunbar's 1983 national championship team, Harried was overshadowed by Muggsy Bogues, Reggie Williams and Mike Brown. In 1984 he emerged as a dominant player. He went on to Syracuse, where he played in the 1987 national championship game against Indiana. Harried has been the coach at Lake Clifton since 1997.

Devin Gray -- St. Frances, 1991: Gray dominated inside for coach Will Wells' Panthers. He was a strong and quick jump-shooter who led St. Frances to its first Catholic League title. He went to Clemson, where he averaged double figures his entire four-year career. 

Rudy Gay -- Eastern Tech/Archbishop Spalding, 2004: Gay is an enormously gifted 6-foot-9 swingman who transferred from Eastern Tech and led Mike Glick's Cavaliers to a pair of Catholic League championship games. Gay scored 1,588 points in his high school career and was named the 2004 Jerry Savage Award winner, which designates the Catholic League regular season player of the year. He played two years at Connecticut and was the eighth player selected in last year's NBA draft. He's now playing for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Levi Stukes -- Randallstown, 2003: In Stukes' four years at Randallstown, the Rams were an incredible 85-5. As a sophomore in 2001, he helped Kim Rivers' club win the second of four Class 3A state titles. He was a two-time All-Metro selection and two-time Baltimore County Player of the Year who averaged 17 points a game as a sophomore, 27 as a junior and 24 as a senior. Stukes is a senior guard at Georgia, where he's averaging 12 points a game for the Bulldogs.   

Zeke Marshall -- St. Paul 's, 1990:  Marshall led Rick Collins' Crusaders to a 29-3 record aand the MSA B Conference championship in 1990. He went to Cornell, where he was a second team All-Ivy League pick in 1994.

SILVER TEAM

Rudy Archer -- Southwestern, 1985: One of the most underrated players in Baltimore City during the mid-'80s, Archer earned the respect of everyone that played against him. He went on to play two years at Allegany College in Cumberland and then joined Bob Wade at the University of Maryland. Archer averaged 12 points and six assists a game in 1987-88 but was ruled ineligible because Wade gave him improper rides. 

Darryle Edwards -- Calvert Hall, 1981: Like his brother Paul, Darryle Edwards was an underrated 6-foot-7 forward who locked up opposing big men and pounded the boards. He was a four-year starter at Mount St. Mary’s for coach Jim Phelan. In 1985, he and his brother led the Mount to the Division II Final Four.

Mike Zagardo -- Dulaney, 1976: Zagardo is director of neuroradiology at St. Francis Medical Center and an associate professor of radiology and neuroradiology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, Ill. Long before that, he was a marvelous 6-foot-9 center for coach Paul Miles at Dulaney. Zagardo led the Lions to their first state tournament semifinal and went on to play at George Washington. 

Rodney Walker -- Cardinal Gibbons, 1985: Walker was a 1985 McDonald's All-American, leading Mullis' Crusaders to back-to-back Catholic League championships. He teamed with Bernard Royster and David Brown to form a wicked front line, one of the best ever in area basketball. Walker originally went to Syracuse but transferred to Maryland after '87 and closed out his college career playing for Wade in College Park.

Steve Wojciechowski -- Gibbons, 1994/Norman Nolan -- Dunbar, 1994: "Wojo" and Nolan are mentioned together because they both played for Ed Wilson's Green Hornets rec team in Severna Park and both were McDonald's All-Americans. Wojciechowski went to Duke, where he was the national Defensive Player of the Year in 1998. He has been an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski for the last six years. 

Nolan was overshadowed by Keith Booth, Tommy Polley and Rodney Elliott at Dunbar but emerged as one of the country's premier power forwards. He went to Virginia, where he made second team All-ACC in 1998 and averaged 21 points a game.

Tyler Smith, Joey Dorsey, Gerald Brown -- Frederick Douglass, 2002: Rodney Cofield's three-headed monster led the Ducks to a 28-0 season and the 2002 Class 3A state championship. All three were named first team All-Metro and all three are in the midst of outstanding college seasons. Smith is the second-leading scorer now at Colorado State, Dorsey is a ferocious rebounder for John Calipari's nationally-ranked Memphis Tigers and Brown is the leading scorer for coach Jim Patsos’ Loyola Greyhounds.  

BRONZE TEAM

James "Pop" Tubman -- Calvert Hall, 1982: The floor general of Mark Amatucci's 1982 national champs, Tubman was unselfish with the ball and relentless on defense. He followed Amatucci to Loyola, where he teamed with David Gately of Mount St. Joseph and Kevin Carter of St. Mary's in Annapolis to be part of a near-upset of Notre Dame in 1985 and three straight winning seasons. 

Bernard Hopkins -- Overlea, 1992: An underrated but ferocious inside force for the Falcons, Hopkins led Overlea to its only trip to the state championship, where it lost to Forestville in the Class 2A Final. Hopkins went to Hagerstown Junior College and then Virginia Commonwealth, where he led the Rams to their first NCAA tournament.

Johnny Hemsley -- Southern, 1997: Hemsley was a multi-talented, 6-foot-5 swingman who, along with Damon Cason, led the Bulldogs to the 1996 Class 4A state championship, the second in school history. Hemsley went to Miami and averaged 18 points a game in 2000, earning second team All-Big East honors.

Derrick Snowden -- Archbishop Spalding, 2000/Melvin Scott --  Southern, 2001: The turn of the century produced two of the best lead guards to ever come out of Baltimore. Snowden was a brilliant point guard who teamed with Tremaine Robinson to lead the Cavaliers to the 2000 Catholic League championship. He went to Villanova, where he was a three-year starter. 

Scott led the Bulldogs to the state Class 4A semifinals as a junior and was a three-time All-Metro scoring machine. He turned down Maryland for North Carolina and played on the Tar Heels' 2005 national championship team. 

DaJuan Summers -- McDonogh, 2006: Last year's Gatorade state player of the year, Summers played on the United States under-18 national team with current Towson Catholic senior Donte Green. He also played for Anthony Lewis' Cecil Kirk national championship AAU team of two years ago and is averaging nearly 10 points a game for the 14th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas.

The Neiberleins -- Mount St. Joseph: Gene Nieberlein Sr. coached basketball and football at Mount St. Joe and his 1976 squad was one of the best teams in Baltimore. Delmar Herrod, Jeff Stone, Jeff Cross and Gene Nieberlein Jr. lost to Loyola in the Catholic League final and finished third in the Alhambra tournament.

Nieberlein Jr. was one of five Nieberlein boys to play at Mount St. Joe and all five went to on to play in college. Nieberlein Jr. graduated in 1976 and eventually joined his brother Chris ('79) at Rutgers. Rob graduated in 1982 and played at George Mason while Kirk ('81) played football at Towson State. Karl ('89) also played football at Towson, where he was a Division I-AA All-American offensive tackle. 

BEST OF THE REST

Terry and Perry Dozier -- Dunbar, 1985: The Dozier twins transferred from Hammond High School to Dunbar and teamed with Lee to help Wade's Poets win the 1985 national championship. Terry was a McDonald's All-American in '85. Both went to South Carolina. Terry scored more than 1,400 points in four years and played briefly in the NBA with the NBA Charlotte Hornets. Perry's career ended after three years because of injury.

Al Leslie -- McDonogh, 1977: Leslie was a vastly underrated scorer who teamed with Jim Meil and Gary Benninghoff to form a powerhouse club in the old MSA B Conference. Leslie’s No. 22 jersey was retired last February as Bucknell's all-time leading scorer. The Indiana Pacers made him the 37th pick of the 1981 NBA draft. Chet

Chet Brightful -- Baltimore Polytechnic, 1980: Brightful was an outstanding 6-foot-5 forward for coach Bucky Kimmett's Engineers who went on to score more than 1,200 points at Lafayette.

Dwayne Wood and Kevin Bush -- Dunbar, 1979: Wood was a 5-foot-6 point guard extraordinaire for Wade while Bush was a cunning 6-2 scorer. Together, they helped the Poets continue their dominance of city-wide basketball. 

Tyrone Shoulders -- Aberdeen, 1976: A smooth and talented 6-foot-5 post player, Shoulders led Terry Colaw's Eagles to a 66-55 win over Andover for the 1976 Class A state championship.

Charles "Tub" Bradley -- Edgewood, 1977: The younger brother of Dudley Bradley, "Tub" helped Paul Metzger's Rams win the Class B state championship in 1975 as a sophomore. He went to the University of Wyoming, where he was a three-time, first team All-WAC selection and an Academic All-American in 1981. Bradley finished his career with 1,744 points and is a member of the school's Hall of Fame.

Ronald Lucas -- Lake Clifton, 1991: "Luke" was an inside force for Moore's Lakers, a dominant rebounder and scorer who led Lake to the 1991 City championship.

Tommy Breaux -- Randallstown, 2002: Breaux was a phenomenal three-sport athlete who along with brother Terrence helped the Rams win the 2001 state title. He also was an All-Metro football player and a state champ in track and field. He is now a starting forward for Pat Kennedy's Towson Tigers.

Issue 2.8: February 22, 2007