For now, basketball comes first for Dailey Two-sport star: The high-scoring senior leads the Gophers' basketball team but his baseball talents are also in demand.

February 02, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

His love is basketball and baseball is in his blood.

Choosing between the two sports is impossible for Glen Burnie High's gifted senior athlete Desmond Dailey.

When he's raining threes on an opponent and scoring as many as 47 points in a game, basketball comes first for the 6-foot-2 Dailey.

When he's batting .380 and playing left field for the Gophers, baseball is his passion.

"My dad tells me to play the sports I love and he'll support me whichever sport I choose down the road," said Dailey.

"Dad" is Tony Dailey who signed a professional contract with the California Angels in 1978 and played as high as Double-A baseball after being a football, basketball and baseball standout at Glen Burnie.

"My dad taught me a lot about baseball but he isn't pushing me toward baseball," said Dailey, who is being recruited for both sports. "He comes to all my baseball and basketball games and is hard on me sometimes just like my coaches are."

American University, Delaware, Rutgers, Southern Methodist and St. Bonaventure have expressed interest in Dailey for basketball, and Navy, West Virginia, George Mason, George Washington and Virginia are recruiting him for baseball.

"I guess I'll go to the school that offers me a full ride," said Dailey.

But that still doesn't answer the basketball-baseball dilemma.

"Desmond just can't get the thought of playing baseball out of his mind," said Glen Burnie basketball coach Terry Bogle. "He spends more time on the baseball field in the summer than he does on basketball. He played on the 16-18 Bettwyn baseball team that went to the Connie Mack World Series last summer."

Bogle believes Dailey will be forced to make a decision between the two sports if he goes to a high-level Division I school.

"Usually the top schools won't let you play both sports," said Bogle.

Dailey, a swing man on the basketball team, is averaging 20.3 points, two assists and two steals this season after averaging 22.4 points to lead the county last season.

Shooting the threes are his specialty as South River found out last season when he bombarded the Seahawks with seven three-pointers during a 47-point show. The Gopher only missed three shots against South River that day.

But Dailey said that wasn't his best game ever for Glen Burnie.

"It was this season against North County when I scored 26 points and played good defense on their outstanding guard, Cornelius Burley," he said.

Dailey is shooting 40.3 percent on three-pointers.

"He's not bashful about shooting threes," said Bogle. "A lot of teams play junk defenses like a box-and-one on him. But it doesn't work. The only way they have been able to stop him is put big kids on him and have them charge at him. That makes it hard for him to see the basket."

However, Dailey has an ace-in-the-hole if teams gang up on him from the outside.

It's called speed.

A 6.6-second clocking in the 60-yard -- to be exact.

"We get a lot of mileage out of getting the ball downcourt to him for layups or high-percentage shots," said Bogle.

Dailey said the Gophers (12-3 overall, 8-2 in the county) are capable of winning the county title and beating Annapolis and Arundel in the 4A East Region tournament.

Bogle agrees.

"A lot of people believe we are a one-man team with Desmond Dailey," said Bogle. "But we have some other kids who can play."

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