Who does Mount St. Joe go to? It's Whye

January 26, 1995|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

In the December edition of the Mount St. Joseph High School newspaper, a big headline topped the boys basketball preview.

It read: "Whye Is The Answer."

Daniel Whye, a 6-foot-8 junior center, may not have all the answers for the Gaels, but they wouldn't want to imagine where they would be without him.

After an 82-50 victory over Gilman on Tuesday, Whye is averaging 15.8 points and 10.9 rebounds for Mount St. Joseph (8-8).

"I really have come a long way since my freshman year," said Whye, who weighs 195 pounds. "Each time I went on the court for practice or a game, I learned something and used it to improve."

Despite the Gaels' record, they have lost to St. Frances, No. 13 Annapolis and Good Counsel, one of the Washington area's top teams. They have beaten five teams that have been ranked in the Baltimore Sun's Top 20.

In Mount St. Joseph's triumph over a Top 20 team last Sunday, Whye scored 24 points in a 69-66 victory over host and then-No. 10 Gibbons.

"He has established himself as one of the better players in the Catholic League," said Mount St. Joseph coach Pat Clatchley. "He has become a go-to guy and I think with him just being in there it just opens things for other players."

Whye, who was a second-team All-Catholic League selection as a sophomore, has worked in his three seasons in the program to become an all-around player.

But his biggest attribute is his unselfishness and the respect his teammates have for him.

For three nights during the summer, the Gaels' gymnasium was opened for the players. Before the floor could be used, it had to be swept. Each time, Whye was there, broom in hand.

"He's very respected by all the kids in the program, not just because he's a very good player, but he's a great person," said Clatchley. "A lot of kids who are good players sometimes have a cocky attitude, but he's not that type of kid."

Whye did more than sweep the floor over the summer. He attended the Five-Star camp where he was an all-star and one of the top rebounders. He also played on the Charm City All-Star team.

"I was a little intimidated at first," said Whye. "Playing with guys like Guy Butler [Lake Clifton], Tommy Polley [Dunbar] and Pat Ngongba [Mount Hebron], that makes you works harder."

Whye, who lives in the Longfellow area of Columbia, first started playing organized basketball at the end of the seventh grade. After the eighth grade, he went to the Gaels' basketball camp and his potential impressed the coaches.

More than 200 colleges have sent him letters. The hard work that Whye has put in to turn himself from a project into a potential Division I prospect has begun to reap dividends.

"It has been very satisfying to see all the hard work I've put forth the past three years," said Whye. "It has been all hard work."

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