Quality basketball players transferring to Dunbar is nothing new. The Poets' national prominence in the 1980s was as much a product of transfers as home-grown talent.
Sean Tyson and Muggsy Bogues (both of Southern), David Wingate (Northern), Reggie Lewis (Patterson), Herman Harried (Patterson), Karl James (Douglass), Kurk Lee (Calvert Hall), Taurance Chisholm (McDonogh), Terry and Perry Dozier (Hammond) and Mike Brown (Cardinal Gibbons) were transfers who starred at Dunbar.
"Dunbar has a high visibility around the nation, but I don't know the circumstances involving Norman's transfer," said Northern's first-year coach Paul Holmes, who served as an assistant to Pompey for the past five years. "I do know that Norman was interested in coming to Dunbar and had been expressing an interest for the past year."
As a sophomore at Milford Mill, Nolan averaged 21.7 points, 15.4 rebounds and 3.9 blocks in 26 games. Despite an injured left wrist, he totaled 54 points, 25 rebounds and eight blocked shots in the state semifinal and championship victories.
Nolan left Milford Mill one block shy of the school career record, 15 short of the rebounding mark and 530 points shy of the scoring record.
City coaches have differing opinions, but most favor Nolan's transfer.
"The papers said it was an academic transfer, so that's how I have to look at it," Southern coach Meredith Smith said. "The system works the way it works, so the position I have to take is that whether it bothers me or not is irrelevant to the situation."
"Recruiting? Kids move all the time for various reasons, so I don't know what's meant by that statement," Carver coach Durce Jackson said. "I don't think anything illegal was done, so I think what has happened is best for [Nolan], and I'm all for it. He's going to get a lot of exposure at Dunbar."
"If I was him, I'd probably do the same thing," Southwestern coach Terry Leverett said. "I know some people are going to get all uptight about it and call it 'recruiting,' but I think his parents did what's best for the kid."