When college recruiters conduct their annual search for basketball players in the D.C. area, they are sure to discover an abundance of talent. This year's crop boasts three players who rank among the top 20 high school performers in the nation.
Heading the list is the incomparable Anthony Jones. According to Street & Smith, the Bible of high school basketball publications, Jones is rated as possibly the best forward on the East Coast and definitely one of the best in the country.
The 6-foot-6 senior from Dunbar possesses the leaping ability and quickness to play small foward, yet he also has the shooting and ballhandling skills to play shooting guard in the college ranks. As a junior last season, he averaged 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists per game in leading Dunbar to a 25-4 mark. Heavily sought after by many major colleges, Jones is reportedly interested in the University of North Carolina and Georgetown, among others.
Sylvester Charles, also of Dunbar, played in the shadow of Jones last year. Jones received all the accolades, but Charles showed steady improvement from game to game. He finished the season averaging 18 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots per contest. He head-to-head battles with All-American Earl Jones last year were classics.
The 6-foot-7 native of the Virgin Islands is noted for his strong rebounding and tough defense, but opponents will find him more assertive offensively, as he has improved his shooting touch over the summer. When scouts come to take a look-see at Jones, Charles will be hard to ignore.
William Martin is known in basketball jargon as an "aircraft carrier" or "nose-bleeder" because of his tremendous leaping ability. The 6-foot-7 senior forward for McKinley Tech is on the most-wanted list of several major colleges.
His imposing physique makes him suited for a power game but his soft preimeter shots and catlike moves around the basket give him another dimension. He averaged 24 points and 17 rebounds a game in leading the Trainers to a 22-6 mark. He has been named to several All-American teams, including the fourth All-American team in Street & Smith.
Besides there three, quite a few other players will attract the scouts. If recruiters are looking for outstanding shooters, then Ron Moses may be who they need to fill the bill. The 6-foot-4 senior guard from Coolidge can fill 'em up with the best of them. His height and jumping ability makes him difficult to stop.
Moses is not the only member of the Coolidge team who has scouts drooling. Robert Pike, a 6-7 senior, is also regarded as a top college prospect. The only problem is that football scouts have convinced the Pike that the gridiron is the place he should be. He is a very strong inside player who averaged 10 points and 13 rebounds a contest last year.
As a 16-year-old sophomore last year, Darryl Webster made a profound impact on the Interhigh. He has a nerve to average 14 points and 10 rebounds a game in a league where even seniors sometimes have problems with consistency. Webster took his 6-5, 230-pound frame and administered punishment to anyone who had the gall to play inside, seniors included. Just to keep everyone honest, he occasionally took them outside and gave them "in your face" jumpers.
In fowards Andre McCloud and Ernest "Fish" Glover, the H.D. Woodson Warriors have one of the top forward combinations anywhere. Neither has ever been accused of being shy offensively.
McCloud is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound range shooter. He has a quick release and his great leg strength gives him a distinct advantage over many of the players he competes against.
Glover is a 6-foot-5 finesse foward who relies on spider-like arms and unorthodox style of play to score on helpless opponents. He averaged 15 points per game last season and showed great promise during summer league play.
Other players who will surely receive attention are forwards Johnny McCoy of Phelps, Demise Williams and Deno Hebron of Eastern, Reginald Eiland and Al Penny of Chamberlain, Clarence Sims of Coolidge, Will Rogers of Dunbar and Lionel Washington of McKinley.
The Interhigh's top guard prospect is Tyrone Scott of Dunbar. The quick and heady 6-foot Ballhandler has developed into a solid performer. Joining him as ones to watch out for are John Battle of McKinley, Kevin Lomax of Coolidge, Von Robinson of Bell, Lamont Wilson of Spingarn and Michael Wright of Dunbar. Wright, brother of former All-Met Rodney Wright, could be the "sleeper" in the area. He has tremendous quickness and is an outstanding defensive player.
Wesley Milam of Spingarn, a sophomore, will make an impact and will be a player to watch. All in all, it should prove to be a banner year for D.C. area baksetball talent.