Howard County Sports Almanac
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:34 PM
1 Barry Young (MTH '84-87) 6'7 F - Finished as Maryland's all-time public school leading scorer, with 2,153 points, since snapped by Michael Tate, now Michael Venson (Oxon Hill, Georgetown, JMU), and Zach Thomas (Oakdale, Bucknell). Young is the only player in county history to be selected to the All-County 1st team, four times. Young is also the only player in county history to be named to an All-Met team in all four of his seasons.
Young started his career as a freshman, in '83-84, teaming with senior Cliff Rees to help lead the Vikings to a state title, its first (and only), and county's second, following the Hammond Golden Bears magical run in '83. Young would be named ESPN National Freshman of the Year, an award won later by the likes of Kenny Anderson, Chris Webber, LeBron James, and Jabari Parker, among others. He scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds v Oakland Mills, the most points scored by a freshman in county history then, and still. Young averaged 22 points and 9 rebounds per game as a freshman, becoming the first freshman to make the All-County 1st team, and still the only player in county history to do the feat.
Young would also be named as both an All-Met selection, and an All-County 1st team selection in his sophomore and junior seasons on Route 99, averaging 21.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore, leading the county in scoring, and finishing second to summer circuit teammate, Quinton Burton of Hammond, in rebounding.
In his junior season, Young again led the county in scoring, averaging 28 points per game, and finishing second, again, to Burton in rebounding. Young missed 8 games his junior season, or otherwise could still be Maryland's all-time public school leading scorer. Young did set a county mark for most points in a game, with 51 v Howard, a record that still stands 33 years later. Young also scored 44 against Oakland Mills again, and added 43 in the other contest with Howard.
In his senior season, Young again led the Vikes to a state title game, falling just short to Walter Johnson, 55-53, despite scoring 35 of the Vikings 53 points, and adding 17 rebounds, before fouling out. Young put together the best season in county history, averaging 27.8 points, 13.8 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 assists, and 2 steals per game, while shooting 61% from the field, and 78% from the line. Young just missed out on a triple-double in a win over Centennial, recording 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. Young was named to both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st teams, as well as being named as a Street & Smith All-American.
Young is the county's all-time leading scorer, and second all-time leading rebounder, with 2,153 points and 909 rebounds. Young ranks 2nd all-time in blocked shots, 4th in steals, and among the top 30 in assists. Young is the only player in county history to average 20 points in three straight seasons, as well as the only to average at least 11 rebounds per game in three different seasons.
Young would go on to play for the national powerhouse UNLV Runnin'Rebels and Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian, choosing Vegas over Georgetown and Maryland. Young averaged 6.4 points per game as a freshman, finishing 10th in the WAC in three-pointers made, with 67, despite averaging just 12.9 mintes per game in 32 games. Young scored a career-high 28 points versus Long Beach State, hitting seven shots beyond the arc. Tarkanian would say at the time, "(Barry) could be the best shooter we've ever had here. We've always said, Sam Smith is the best shooter (we've ever had), but he's right there."
Young would go on to win a national title with the Rebels in his sophomore season, as UNLV routed Duke, 103-73, in the national championship game. Young played 39 games and ranked 6th on the national champions in minutes played, behind a trio of NBA top 12 picks - Larry Johnson (1st pick '91), Stacy Augmon (9th '91), and Greg Anthony (12th '91), along with a pair of pros that played overseas, Anderson Hunt and David Butler. Young scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 17 minutes in the Runnin' Rebels NCAA tournament first round win over Arkansas- Little Rock. Young played 12 minutes in the national title game, scoring 5 points, going 2-2 from the field, 1-1 from three.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:34 PM
2 Perry Young (MTH '78-81) 6'5 F - Young finished as the county's second all-time leading scorer (1,341 points), and all-time leading rebounder (1040 rebounds) through the first 30 years of whats now Howard County's 67 year basketball history. Barry's older brother did it inside and out, but as much on the block as any player that has ever played in the county.
With the art of the mid-range game all but gone, Young still ranks as one of the best 12-18 foot shooters this county has seen, in addition to ranking among the top scorers in the paint, and arguably the best rebounder in county history, tallying more rebounds in his sophomore, junior, and senior seaaons, than any other player in county history over their final three seasons.
In his sophomore season, Young played a supporting role to senior Bryan Vacca, helping lead the Vikes to a 21-0 regular season, and being named to the All-County 1st team. It would begin a run that led to a 68-6 record with Young in the starting lineup from '79 through '81. Young's 68 wins also ranks as the most in any 3-year span by a starter in county history. It would also begin a three-year run of three straight All-County 1st team selections. Young's Vikings went 41-1 in county play in his three years as a starter.
More than anything, Perry Young gets the nod at #2 here based on leadership, and what he did in that leadership role. Young is the only player in county history to lead his team to two consecutive state title games, as he did in '80 and '81. In his junior campaign. Young was named as Howard County Player of the Year, after averaging 15.2 points and 14.2 rebounds per game. The Vikings would go 24-1 in '80, before losing to Cambridge South Dorchester in the state final.
In his senior season, Young produced one of the best seasons in county history, while again leading the Vikings to the state final, averaging 25.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per game, just one of three players (B Young, Burton) to average 25/12.5 in a season. He, along with his brother Barry and Burton, are the only three players in county history to score 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds, dish out 150 assists, get 100 steals, and block 100 shots - in other words, do everything. Young is just one of four players to score 1,300 points, and grab 800 rebounds.
Young would go on to play in Blacksburg for Coach Charles Muir and the Hokies, and four years later, leave as not only one of the greatest Hokies in school history, but one of the greatest players in Metro Conference history. Young chose the Hokies over Clemson, Syracuse, and UConn, among others. Young led the Hokies in minutes played n each of his sophomore, junior and senior seasons in Blacksburg. and led the Hokies in scoring in his sophomore and senior years, despite playing with future NBA shooter, Dell Curry. Curry led the Hokies in scoring Young's junior campaign, averaging 18.3 to the Hilltop hero's, 18.1.
In his sophomore year, Young averaged 16.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists, per 35.1 minutes per game, while shooting 51% from the field, and leading Tech to 23 wins. In his junior campaign, Young averaged 18.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.4 steals per game, shooting 57% from the floor, leading the Hokies to 22 wins. Young's senior season capped off a 4-year 20-win run (later extended to 5 in "86), the first and only run of its kind to this day in Blacksburg, after averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals per game, shooting 50%, in 35.2 minutes per game.
When Young ended his career in Blacksburg, he finished as the Hokies 2nd (now 5th) all-time leading scorer - 1989 points, 6th all-time leading rebounder (now 10th, and 4th all-time assists leader (now 7th), while shooting 52% from the field, playing 129 games, with 118 starts. Young has had the all-time best college career of any Howard County player that competed at the highest collegiate level. After dueling, and often out-playing Memphis' future lottery picks Keith Lee and William Bedford for years in league play, Young was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Young would also have a stint with the Chicago Bulls, before establishing a career overseas.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:34 PM
Burton and Barry Young, who teamed together on the summer circuit, were the first true Howard County stars of Harold Payne's Columbia Jaguars program that demanded national spotlught. The pair, along with John Gwynn (DeMatha, UConn) led the Jaguars to tournament wins across the Eastern region versus future pros, and stretching out to the University of Notre Dame at the US Junior Nationals.
Burton began his Hammond career as a freshman call-up who was part of the county's first state championship with the '83 Golden Bears. In his sophomore season, he and Young were named to the All-County 1st team as underclassmen. Burton finished fifth in the county in scoring, and third in rebounding. As a junior, Burton was again selected to the All-County 1st team, as well as the Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention team, after averaging 20.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks, 2.4 steals, while shooting 59%.
It was during his junior season where the recruitment of Burton skyrocketed, and continued to soar after he was named Most Outstanding Player at one of the four Art Garfinkle's 5-Star camps in the summer of '85 - joining three other future pro's to win the award that summer - JR Reid (top player in the country, UNC, NBA 12 year vet), Dennis Scott (Georgia Tech, NBA 10 year vet), and Rumeal Robinson (NCAA champion w/ Michigan, NBA 8 year vet).
Burton's senior season saw stratospheric numbers, in which the Golden Bear great become the only player in county history to average 25 (25.5) points and 15 (15.6) rebounds per game in a season. Burton also led the county in blicked shots, with 4.8 per game. Burton was named to the All-County 1st team for a third time, and is just one of nine players in county history to be named to the 1st team three times. Burton is just one of five players in county history to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in two seasons. Burton scored 37 points versus Mt Hebron and Barry Young.
Burton was named as a Street & Smith All-American, as well as to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team, and the Washington Post All-Met 4th team. To add, Burton was.named to the prestigious Capital Classic team. In any other universe, Burton would have named Howard County Player of the Year twice, yet never was, once. In my opinion, Burton probably should have been named POY in '85 and '86. I'm as diehard Scorpion as they come, but despite that, and despite the Scorps winning the county title over the Bears that season, Burton or Young should have won the award over my former schoolmates, Kevin Sykes and Sean McMillian, who shared the award. Same for '86, where Raiders star Steve Key won the award, after the Raiders won the county title. Young missed 7 games with the Vikings.
Burton ranks 9th all-time in county history in scoring, with 1,354 points, and 5th in rebounding, with 868. Burton is just one of four players - Barry Young, Perry Young, and Charlie Thomas, to score 1,300 points, and grab 800 rebounds. Burton ranks 8th all-time in county history in blocked shots, with 248, and 12th all-time in steals, with 203. Burton was also invited to play in the prestigious Derby Classic, in Kentucky.
After a recruiting frenzy, Burton committed to Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino and the Providence Friars, choosing New England over Maryland, Richmond, and Michigan State. Burton watched Pitino, Billy Donovan, and Delray Brooks lead the Friars to the Final Four (beat #1 seed Georgetown, 88-73, in regional final) as a Proposition 48 freshman. Pitino would move on to the NBA and the New York Knicks the following season, stripping Burton of having played for the legendary coach. As a sophomore for the Friars, Burton started the final 19 games for the Friars, averaging nearly 9 points and 6 rebounds per game, finishing 5th on the team in minutes.
As a senior, Burton was second on the Friars in minutes played (31.4), averaging 11.1 points per game, and finished second on the team in rebounds, and fourth on the team in assists, as he teamed with future pro's Eric Murdock and Marty Conlan to lead the Friars to a second NCAA tournament berth for a second consecutive year. Burton led the Friars in minutes played in their heartbreaking 84-83 overtime loss in the opening round to Ohio State. Burton scored 12 points (5-9 FG), grabbed 3 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists. Burton would go on to a prolific professional career in Switzerland.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:35 PM
Rees began his career in the '80-81 season, as a freshman, part of a Perry Young-led Vikings team that went to the state title game. After that, beginning his sophomore season, the Vikings were Rees' team through his junior campaign, before sharing a co-starring role (but arguably still leading man) with freshman sensation Barry Young, and leading the Vikings to their first state title (and only), after three trips to the title game.
After averaging better than 17 points per game as a sophomore, Rees was named to the Sun's All-Met 2nd team. Rees scored 38 points as a sophomore v Centennial, hitting 16 of 16 from the charity stripe. Rees registered his his first of two 20-point seasons in '83, as a junior, averaging 21.7 points per game, better than 8 rebounds, and better than 4 assists, and shattering the 1,000 milestone before his senior year . His senior year, he shared the HoCo POY award with his young cohort, Young, averaging 22.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game.
Not only did Rees rank 2nd all-time in county history in scoring, but also 7th all-time in assists (314), 5th in steals (237), and 22nd in rebounds (561). Rees is the only player in county history to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200 steals in a career. Rees is just one of nine players to be named to the All-County 1st team three times. Rees' was selected to the Baltimore Sun All-Met 2nd team and Washington Post All-Met 4th team in his senior season.
Rees won more games as a starter than any other player in county history, with 78 wins, and waa a part of two county titles, 2 regional titles, and a state championship. Rèes winning ways would continue at the Naval Academy, where he won 94 of his 126 games as a Midshipmen, making the NCAA tournament as a freshman, starting in the Sweet 16 as a sophomore, playing best supporting role to David Robinson as a junior, and finishing as the Midshipmen's MVP as a senior. Rees was a part of three 26-win teams, three NCAA tournament teams, two CAA championship teams, and one ECACS championship team. Rees won 171 games over 8 years with Mt Hebron and Navy collectively, from '80-81 through '88.
As a freshman starter, Rees helped the Midshipmen, a 13 seed, score a NCAA tournament opening round upset of 4 seed LSU, a team that featured Jerry 'Iceman' Reynolds and John Williams, 78-55. The Midshipmen met Maryland in the second round, and held a second half lead, before Len Bias and the Terrapins came back to win, 64-59. Bias scored 20 points, on 7-11 shooting, adding 8 rebounds, and Keith Gatlin supplied 12 assists. It would be the next year, in '86, when the Midshipmen survived and advanced through the first weekend, and on to the Sweet 16.
The Midshipmen, a 7 seed, beat Tulsa in the first round, then upset 2 seed Syracuse in the second round, effectively ending Pearl Washington's Orangemen career. They would face 14 seed Cleveland State in the Sweet 16, after the Vikings beat 3 seed Indiana and 6 seed St Joseph's to advance. The Vikings, led by Mouse McFadden, and coached by Kevin Mackey, gave David Robinson and Navy all the could handle before the Midshipmen pulled it out, 71-70, to advance to the Elite 8. Duke, the 1 seed, took out Navy easily in the quarterfinals, 71-50.
[There we are, in East Rutherford, to see the regionals and the hometown kid (Rees), and also getting to see 'The Admiral, this Cinderella Cleveland State squad, then the Duke-DePaul matchup, Johnny Dawkins v Rod Strickland. So, we're all sitting there, at halftime of the Duke-DePaul game, pulling for Rod Strickland and my Dad's alma mater, the Blue Demons. Me, Rich, Mike, Joe, Bates' uncle, 'Uncle Joe', and my Dad. Chillin'. I'm sitting in the middle of the six seats when I reach over left to grab some of Mike's fries, when 'Uncle Joe' calls over from the far right to pass some fries down his way, when, low and behold, as I begin to glance at 'Uncle Joe' I notice three tall uniformed dudes walking down from the concessions level 20 rows up. It was three of the Cleveland State players, coming down after buying food at the concession stand, in full lay-up line sweatsuits, walking down 50 steps to their floor seats, with trays in hand. Wild shit. All of us looked at each other like, "you ever seen any shit like this before?". The answer was a unanimous no. Cleveland State was Last Chance U 30 years before Last Chance U was Last Chance U.]
Rees was the second leading scorer to Robinson in '87, his junior season, while also finishing second in assists and third in steals, and leading the team in free throw percentage. His senior season, Rees not only led the Midshipmen in scoring, but assists, steals, three-pointers made, and free throw percentage, as well. Rees finished his career as the Midshipmen's 11th (still top 20) all-time leading scorer (1,189), 5th (now 6th) all-time in assists (389), and 3rd (now 6th) in free throw percentage (.818), while shooting 48% from the floor for his career, and added 262 rebounds.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:35 PM
Conwell began his career as a Hammond Bear, playing as a freshman, then averaged 16.8 points per game as a sophomore. In his first season on Kilimanjaro, Conwell shared the Howard County Player of the Year award with Hill in '95, his junior season, after averaging 20.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals per game, the only player in county history to average 20/7/5/4 per game. Conwell added 45 threes.
Conwell scored 36 points versus Loyola, shot 13 of 18, and scored 32 points versus Thomas Johnson, scored 32 versus Hammond, against many of his former teammates, and scored 27 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists versus Cambridge South Dorchester in the state semifinal. The Scorpions lost to nationally ranked Dunbar in the state final.
The following year, Conwell would win the Howard County Player of the Year award again, leading the Scorpions to a regional title, after averaging 25.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 4 steals per game. Conwell's 25.8 scoring average ranks 6th all-time in county history, and the second best mark over the last 30 years. Conwell is just one of five players in county history to average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game in a season. He again scored 32 points versus Thomas Johnson, grabbing 10 rebounds, and scored 27 in the regional final loss to South Hagerstown.
Conwell was named to the Washington Post All-Met 2nd team, and the Baltimore Sun All-Met 1st team, one of just seven players to make either one of the Post's first two All-Met teams, and make the Sun's 1st team in the same season. Conwell is just one of five players in county history to win two Howard County Player of the Year awards - Perry Young, Barry Young, Coleman Scott, and Damien Biggs. Conwell is just one of ten players in county history to average 20 points per game in two seasons, and the only player in county history to average 4 steals per game in two seasons.
Conwell ranks 4th all-time in county history in scoring (1,628), 9th in rebounding (682), 17th in assists (275), 2nd in steals (269), and 15th in three-pointers made (110). Conwell is the only player in county history to score 1,500 points, grab 500 rebounds, and add 250 assists and 250 steals.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:36 PM
Instead, Thomas still ranks among the all-time top 3 in both scoring and rebounding, ranking 3rd in scoring, with 1,717 points, and 3rd in rebounding, with 887 rebounds. Thomas is one of three players (B Young, Burton) to average at least 20 points and 11 rebounds in two different seasons, and one of 5 players to average at least 17 points in three different seasons. Thomas, Barry Young and Glenelg's Greg Smith are the only players in county history to average at least 12.5 points per game in four seasons.
Thomas is, in my opinion, the best player this county has seen over the last 30 years. Thomas has scored more points and grabbed more rebounds than any other player in the county over the last 30 years.
After averaging 12.7 points as a freshman, Thomas became the first sophomore in 11 years in 2013 to be named to the All-County 1st team, after averaging 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, shooting 60% from the floor, and help the Hawks, who went 4-18 the year before, to 17 wins in '13, a 13 game improvement. In his junior season, Thomas set the Hawks all-time scoring mark, just one of two players in county history to set his program's scoring mark during his junior season. Thomas averaged 20.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game in '14, leading the county in rebounding, and finishing second in scoring.
In his senior season, Thomas was named Howard County Player of the Year Award, ahead of the Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, Oakland Mills' Will Robinson. Thomas became just the fourth player in county history to be named to both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun prestgious All-Met 1st teams. Thomas, who averaged 23.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 61% from the floor, is just one of three players to average 23 and 11 a game over the last 30 years, and just one of seven to average 23 points alone, over the last 30 years.
Thomas set a Hawks single-game scoring record, and approached Barry Young's all-time county mark, when he scored 46 points versus Hammond, 37 in the second half. After winning his first two post-season games in his fourth season, Thomas and the Hawks lost a heartbreaker to Centennial in the regional final, with a buzzer-beating 17 footer from Connor Clemons, and while the Eagles would go on to win the state championship, the Hawks talented 6'7 senior's career came to an end.
Thomas, Bo Ryan, and Wisconsin, kept their courtship underground for the most part, before the All-Met forward committed to the Badgers. Unlike his dad, 'Big Charlie', the former Seneca Valley All-Met forward in the 80's, who was highly recruited, before committing to Wake Forest. ['Big Charlie' would play two seasons for the Demon Decons, before teaming with Luc Longley in New Mexico, and becoming a Lobo favorite. Thomas averaged 17.5 points per game as a junior, shooting 57%, and 16.5 points per game, shooting 62% his senior season. Thomas and the Lobos beat then #1 Arizona, and UCLA, both wins at 'The Pit', one of the more legendary arenas in the country.]
Young Charlie IV committed to the Badgers just before they won the national championship. Thomas Badgers career would transform early in his freshman year, when Ryan abruptly retired 18 games in. Thomas went from a rotation player with Ryan, to a very limited role player over his last 3+ years. Thomas did get to experience a pair of Sweet 16's, a player's dream, no matter the role. In the spirit of one of two to do this, one of two to that, it must be noted, Thomas is just one of two to do just that, make the Sweet 16, joining Barry Young, who did it 26 years earlier, with the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV. Good company.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:36 PM
Scott was the first player to integrate the Mount Hebron basketball program in 1971, in its second varsity season, following 4 junior high teams. Mt Hebron opened as a junior high school in 1965, then converted to a high school in 1969. With its induction as a high school, re-districting shifted many black students from Hilltop in Ellicott City, from Howard High to Mt. Hebron.
Young's impact was felt in his very first season, as he started as a freshman. As a sophomore, Scott averaged 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, before being recognized on the All-County 1st and the Evening Sun All-Met Honorable Mention teams. Young's two free throws with 2 seconds to go in the regular season finale versus Howard, gave the Vikings their first county championship (a share w/ Atholton).
As a junior, Vikings coach Bill Davis moved Scott inside, out of necessity, after suffereing attrition, due to losing four starters from the '72 county title team to graduation. Scott would set a Howard County mark in 1973 for rebounding average in a season, with an amazing 18.0 boards per clip, to go with 19.6 points and 5.6 assists per game.
In his senior season, Scott led the Vikings to an undefeated county record, at 8-0, the Vikings second county championship in three years, and the second of seven county titles he and his brothers would win in Vikings uniforms. Scott averaged 19.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists; and 3.3 steals per game, leading to an Evening Sun All-Met 3rd team selection, as well as his third All-County 1st team selection.
Scott finished his career with 1,435 points, 796 rebounds, and 320 assists, which ranks 6th best all-time in county history in all three categories. Scott is just one of seven players in county history to average at least 5 assists per game in two seasons. Scott is the only player to score 1,400 points, grab 700 rebounds, and register 300 assists. He and Cliff Rees are the only players to hit the 1200/500/300 mark.
Coach Bill Davis, who had previously coached at City College in the city league, called Scott "the best player I ever coached". Scott guarded the toughest opponent, no matter the position. Scott showed his scoring prowess, as one of just six players (B Young, C Thomas, Rees, Conwell, Mike Hill) in county history to average at least 17 points in three different seasons, his rebounding talent by holding the county's single-season average at 18 per game, and his passing acumen by his top 10 assist total. Scott went on to play at Allegany Community College, before moving on to Frostburg State, then Western Maryland.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:37 PM
Whittington's senior season, ranks up there with the best in county history, and he remains the only player in county history to win the prestigious Washington Post Player of the Year award, encompassing both public and private league players, from Northern Virginia, DC, and the DC area Maryland suburbs.
As a sophomore, the still progressing offensive talent led the Scorpions in rebounding (7.8) and blocked shots (4.2). By Whittington's junior year, his offensive game began to come together, translating into the junior leading an Oakland Mills resurrection that has led to the best 10 year run by any school in county history, beginning the '09-10 season, Whittington's junior year, going through the 2018-19 season.
Things began to gel around the new year of 2010, where the Scorpions went 16-1 down the stretch with the talented forward in the lineup, before the first of two heart-breaking regional final losses to Gwynn Park. Prior to the regional final, Whittington led the Scorpions to a 64-61 overtime win over county champion Hammond in the regional semifinal, after hitting a 3-pointer to put the game in overtime, scoring 7 points in the extra session, and finishing with 25 points, setting up a showdown with the Yellowjackets in the regional final at Wise High School. The Scorpions squandered an 8 point lead before the Jackets forced overtime, and before Whittington fouled out within the first 20 seconds of overtime, spelling doom for the Scorps. Whittington scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots before picking up his fifth, before several thousand in the vast Pumas den, almost identical to his average over his final 16 games.
Over the summer following his junior year, Whittington helped lead Howard County Elite to a Final 4 finish at the AAU Nationals in Orlando. That's when a national buzz surrounded the 3-and-D, 6'8 swing. Georgetown, Maryland, Texas and Clemson clamored for his talents, among others, including DePaul.
Whittington took his game to another level his senior season, all the while leading the Scorpions to the best overall win streak in county history, winning their first 25 games of the season. Whottington gave it to everyone - 25p, 16r v Woodlawn, 30p, 13r, 4b, 3s v Atholton, 30p (14-20), 14r, 4b v Marriotts Ridge, 29p (10-14), 12r v Reservoir, 28p, 11r, 7b v Hammond, 31p, 12r v Western Tech, 31p, 10r, 6b v Howard, 30p (14-21), 14r v Reservoir, 29p, 13r, 7b v Hammond, 30 and 13 v Glenelg, and 34 (9-9 FT) and 8 v Mt Hebron.
With Big John Thompson sitting courtside for three nights on Kilimanjaro, Whittington began by scoring 15 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking 8 shots in a blowout win over Central on Monday, then scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked 6 shots a double-digit win over Douglass in the regional semifinal on Wednesday, and scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 6 shots in the second Yellowjackets heart-breaker on Friday. Whittington finished his season averaging 23.5 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.4 blocks, 3 steals, and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 60.3% from the field, 40.3% from beyond the arc, before being named the Washington Post's top player.
Whittington is one of just four players in county history to be named to the Washington Post All-Met 1st team and the Baltimore Sun 1st team. Whittington went 40-3 in his final 43 games he played in a Scorpions uniform, 0-2 v Gwynn Park, 40-1 v everyone else. That's the best 43 game stretch for any player in county history. Whittington is just one of three players to average four blocked shots per game in three different seasons.
Whittington chose Georgetown, who had sent the 'Godfather of Georgetown Basketball to pay his respects, five times that season. As a freshman for the Hoyas, Whittington averaged 12.1 points per game (4th on team), was second in rebounding, second in steals, fourth in three-pointers made, and led the Hoyas in blocked shots. An injury derailed his sophomore season, and his brief but productive career with the Hoyas would come to an abrupt end shortly thereafter. Whittington would play in the NBA Summer League with the Miami Heat, before winning the D-League championship with Sioux City, as a main ingredient. Whittington played professionally in Austrailia, before playing in China, where he currently plays.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:37 PM
Steenberge became just the sixth player in county history to average 15 rebounds per game in his junior season, while setting the county single-season blocked shot record, at 6.9 per game. Steenberge averaged 15.2 points and 15.1 rebounds per game. Steenberge scored 21 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and recorded 8 blocked shots v county co-champ Long Reach and '01 HoCo POY Josh Gross, and scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds v Mt Hebron and '00 HoCo POY Eric Toback. Steenberge was named to the Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention team, as well as to the All-County 1st team.
Steenberge led River Hill to its first county championship in '02, his senior season, as he recorded 21 double-doubles in 23 games, with 5 triple-doubles, a county single-season record. Versus Long Reach, Steenberge produced one of the greatest games in county history, scoring 36 points, registering 27 rebounds, and swatting 15 shots. Versus Oakland Mills, Steenberge scored 21 points, grabbed 28 rebounds, and recorded a second 15 blocked shots game.
Steenberge set a Hawks single-season scoring record, averaging 24.8 points per game, which ranks as the seventh best mark in county history. Steenberge averaged 17.2 rebounds per game, second to only "Bunky' Scotts average of 18.0 for Mt Hebron in 1973. Steenberge also broke his own block shots record, registering 7.5 per game (since broken by Chris Moore HOW '06 7.8). Steenberge shot 62% from the floor. Only Steenberge, Barry Young, Greg Whittington, and Charlie Thomas, were named to both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun All-Met
Steenberge ranks fourth all-time in county history in career rebounds (880), and 22nd all-time in scoring (1,084), and as mentioned, is the county's all-time leading shot blocker (394). Only Steenberge and Barry Young have registered 1,000+ points, pulled down 800+ rebounds, and blocked 300+ shots. Steenberge holds the county record with 7 career triple-doubles.
Steenberge matriculated on to the University of Richmond following his River Hill career, playing 120 games for the Spiders, over four years. In his sophomore year, he and the Spiders earned a NCAA tournament berth. In '05, his junior season, Steenberge led the Spiders in scoring, rebounding, block shots, and field goal percentage. In his senior season, Steenberge again led the Spiders in rebounding and block shots, and was second in scoring. Steenberge finished his Spiders career scoring more than 900 points, grabbing more than 500 rebounds, and second in school history in block shots (154).
Steenberge would begin a professional career in Spain, then back in the states in the CBA with Butte, Montana, before going to Japan to play with Ryukyu Golden Kings, then on to Holland, then on to Poland, before returning to Japan, and finishing with the Golden Kings, leading the team in rebounding (8.2) and field goal percentage (58.1%).
Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:37 PM
Smith teamed with his brother Robbie in his first two seasons, and it was clear that he was ahead of his years, capable of running an offense, with one of the best shooting strokes in county history. Of the top 10 scoring games among freshman in county history, Barry Young had eight of those games, Greg Smith has the other two, scoring 30 v Centennial, and 28 v Brooklyn Park, on 13-20 shooting.
As a sophomore, Smith averaged 19.3 points per game, the second highest total in county history for a sophomore, behind only Barry Young. Smith, his brother Robbie, and John King, both seniors, helped lead the Gladiators to their second best season (16-8) in 20 years, finishing third in the county, behind state champion Hammond, and Oakland Mills. Smith and Barry Young are the only players in county history to score more than 700 points by their sophomore years. This would be the first of three All-County 1st team selections.
With his brother Robbie and John King graduating, Smith was counted on to do it all for the Gladiators, and that he did, averaging 20.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game, and is just one of five players to join the 1,000 point club as a junior. Smith is just one of six players to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in a season. Smith earned his second All-County 1st team selection, as well as a All-Met Honorable Mention nod. Smith averaged 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3.6 steals per game as a senior, earning his third All-County 1st team selection. Smith shot 86% from the line.
Smith is just one of five players to surpass 1,500 points in county history, and just one of two players to eclipse 1,500 points (1,504), 400 rebounds (411), and 300 assists (376), along with Cliff Rees. Smith ranks 5th all-time in county history in scoring, fourth all-time in assists, 3rd all-time in steals, and unofficially, one of the two best free throw shooters of all-time, along with Rees, shooting well over 80%.
Smith, like Barry Young and Cliff Rees, didn't have the benefit of the three-point line. Had he, Smith could be the county's all-time leading shooter beyond the arc, and consequently, would have surpassed 1,700 points. He was that good of shooter, while being adept at running an offense.
Smith was selected in the 1985 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs in the 2nd round, directly out of high school. In his first season in Class A ball, Smith hit .270, with 56 RBI, 23 doubles, 5 triples, and 26 stolen bases. The next season, in Winston Salem, Smith batted .280, and stole 52 bases and had 101 hits in 95 games. The following season, in '89, Smith was brought up briefly with the big leaguers, the division champ Cubs, coached by Hall of Famer Don Zimmer. Smith spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues, with the Cubs and Dodgers, playing for two Hall of Famers, Zimmer and Tommy Lasorda, and with five Hall of Famers - Ryne Sandburg, Andre Dawson, Greg Maddox, Gary Carter, and one of his childhood favorites, Eddie Murray.
Smith also played with Darryl Strawberry, Mitch 'Wild Thing' Williams, and Rick Sutcliffe. There are probably a few stories stuck in there somewhere. When it was all said and done, Smith totaled over 1,000 hits, scored 567 runs, knocked in 419 runs, and stole 278 bases in an 11 year minor league career.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users