It's dizzying to consider the travel schedule of Dunbar High's undefeated and No. 1 nationally ranked basketball team, which has already won tournaments in Hawaii, Myrtle Beach, Erie, Pa., and Johnstown, Pa.
Tomorrow and Saturday nights Dunbar, as well as Baltimore's Southern High, will be able to play two of the nation's top teams without leaving home. They're in the Charm City Classic at the Towson Center and will meet New York area teams, St. Raymond's, of The Bronx, and St. Anthony's, of Jersey City, N.J.
The old pro among the coaches in the tournament, even at age 44, is Bob Hurley. He's been at St. Anthony's 20 years. Hurley is known nationally as the father of Duke's Bobby Hurley Jr., and Seton Hall's Danny Hurley.
"High school basketball has changed so much in my time," says Hurley, who coaches part-time and is a full-time probation officer.
"In 1973 we went to a tournament in Patterson, N.J., 14 miles from home. They had a hospitality room with beer and sandwiches and I thought I was in heaven.
"Now we come to a first-class tournament like this one and we're treated like kings.
"We don't want to overdo travel. We usually make one trip a year at Christmas. This year we went to North Carolina. We practiced at Duke one day. We went to Raleigh and visited North Carolina State and practiced at Reynolds Coliseum. It's good for kids from Jersey City to see another world."
What does Hurley know about Dunbar?
"I'm not worried about them yet," he says. "We play Southern Friday night so we're trying to learn something about them. We'll see Dunbar play St. Raymond's the first night."
* Those who wondered if Gilman School's strong athletic tradition might suffer with the retirement in June of longtime headmaster Redmond C.S. Finney, who was first team All-America in football and lacrosse at Princeton, can relax.
Finney's successor will be Arch Montgomery, a former football and lacrosse player at Penn. Montgomery, son of a one-time Garrison Forest School headmaster, has been teaching and coaching at St. George's School in Newport, R.I. Montgomery will bring his St. George's lacrosse team here to play Gilman on March 28.
* Don't expect sentiment to play a part as the NFL chooses two cities for expansion. The owners are going to choose the markets where they can make the most money -- and in that regard Baltimore measures up better than you might think. Says Herb Belgrad, point man in the city's effort to get back in the NFL:
"Among the cities competing for a franchise, Baltimore ranks No. 1 in NFL television market audience ratings, No. 1 in total population within a 25-mile radius, No. 1 in households earning over $35,000 a year and No. 1 in entertainment spending."
* The Colt band, which will perform at Memorial Stadium on Super Bowl Saturday as Baltimore attempts to sell out the Aug. 28 Miami-New Orleans exhibition game here, continues to gain in popularity.
Says the band's John Ziemann: "We're already booked to play at a game in Buffalo next year." More than a few people are going to get the old lump in the throat when the band, which sounds better than ever, plays the Colt Fight Song at the stadium.
* If I were a betting man I know who the money would be on when Loyola College plays Canisius in basketball tomorrow night. Loyola's record on the road in the 2 1/2 seasons it has been in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is 0-18. Canisius is a MAAC game for Loyola. And it's at Canisius.
* With Loyola and Princeton having failed to sell out Reitz Arena this month -- although coming within a few hundred of the 3,000 capacity -- many local basketball fans are amazed that two girls high school basketball teams, Mercy and the Institute of Notre Dame, drew an overflow crowd at Reitz Arena last weekend.
Loyola women's lacrosse coach Diane Aikens, who keeps a close eye on such things, can explain the annual Mercy-IND sellouts. Says Aikens, who has developed a nationally ranked team at Loyola:
"It's the old rivalry thing. Mercy and IND have a great rivalry going and their game will sell out every year, no matter what the records are. Our Loyola men haven't sold out since La Salle came here with Lionel Simmons. Loyola used to have that intense kind of rivalry with Mount St. Mary's but we're not even in the same league anymore. We need to develop a men's rivalry like Mercy and IND have."