With good talent, first time's a Charm

Baltimore's best to face a formidable U.S. team

Boys basketball

High Schools

April 26, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The rosters are limited to one center per team.

By doing that, organizers of the first Charm City Challenge figure they will get what they want -- a fast-paced, high-energy game that will allow some of the nation's best talent to have fun, and those in attendance to have a good time watching.

The boys high school basketball all-star game, which will feature some of the Baltimore area's best college-bound players against many of the most highly sought-after recruits across the country, will be held at the Towson Center on Saturday night at 8:15.

Though he did not have the history of many high-school all-star games, Charm City Challenge organizer Charlie Weber said he was pleased with the talent he was able to assemble on the national team. He credits Baltimore's basketball tradition with making this game an attractive site for the players.

"The players are pretty much who we wanted," Weber said. "We only wanted one center on each team because we want this to be an entertaining, run-and-gun, exciting event."

Chris Chaney will coach the U.S. team, which will feature Maryland signees Andre Collins and Mike Grinnon, as well as Jonathan Hargett. Collins, a 5-foot-10 point guard out of Chatham, Va., should back up Steve Blake next season, and Grinnon, a 6-6 swingman, is expected to fill in behind Byron Mouton.

Hargett, who averaged 30 points and nine assists at the National Christian Academy in Fort Washington last season, plans to attend West Virginia in the fall and is considered one of the best guards in the country.

The players are due to arrive today and will practice three times before the game.

"I haven't seen some of these guys but I've heard a lot about them," said Chaney, who coaches Newport in Kensington. "I coached against Hargett, and I'm glad he's on my team. It's going to be a great experience to work with some of these players."

Towson Catholic's Mike Daniel will coach the Baltimore all-star team led by Southern's Melvin Scott, who committed to North Carolina.

"A lot of times, the Baltimore kids don't get to go to the McDonald's All-American game or Cap Classic [held earlier this month in Washington]," Daniel said. "So this event will be good for them."


Players in the Charm City Challenge, followed by height, current school and college choice:

Baltimore All-Stars

Chris Charles, 7-0, Crispus Attucks, Pa. (Seton Hall) Sherrod Ford, 6-9, Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Va. (Clemson) Ivan Griffin, 6-7, Towson Catholic (uncommitted) Jermaine Hancock, 6-2, Edgewood (uncommitted) Marcus Harrison, 6-6, Mervo (uncommitted) Keith Jenifer, 6-3, Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Va. (uncommitted) Jai Lewis, 6-6, Aberdeen (uncommitted) Darshan Luckey, 6-4, Southern-B (uncommitted) Kevin Mickens, 6-7, Mount St. Joseph (uncommitted) Kenny Minor, 5-7, Dunbar (uncommitted) Melvin Scott, 6-3, Southern-B (North Carolina)

U.S. All-Stars

Marcus Austin, 6-9, St. Patrick's, Elizabeth, N.J. (Villanova) Eddie Basden, 6-5, Eleanor Roosevelt, Greenbelt, Md. (Massachusetts) Andre Collins, 5-10, Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Va. (Maryland) Craig Forth, 7-0, Columbia, East Greenbush, N.Y. (Syracuse) Brandon Fuss-Cheatam, 5-11, Blackhawk, Beaver Falls, Pa. (Ohio State) Mike Grinnon, 6-6, St. Dominic, Oyster Bay, N.Y. (Maryland) Jonathan Hargett, 6-1, National Christian Academy, Fort Washington, Md. (West Virginia) Ismail Muhammed, 6-5, Mohammed, Atlanta (Georgia Tech) Josh Powell, 6-9, Riverdale, Riverdale, Ga. (N.C. State) Derek Stribling, 6-5, Richards, Tallahassee, Fla. (Tennessee) Dijon Thompson, 6-6, Redondo Union, Redondo Beach, Calif. (UCLA)

Charm City Challenge

What: First Charm City Challenge

When: Saturday

Where: Towson Center


6:30 p.m.: Baltimore Blue vs. Baltimore Select, two of the area's top boys traveling teams.

8:15 p.m.: U.S. All-Stars vs. Baltimore All-Stars.

Tickets: $9, $12, $15 at the door.

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