Morgan State may play host to city basketball, football games

January 30, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

City basketball fans won't have to worry about being turned away at the door when the No. 1 Douglass and No. 2 Dunbar boys tip off next month. That game and several others, including the Baltimore City boys and girls championships, are on the verge of moving to Morgan State's Hill Field House.

"It's a done deal on our end," said Joseph McIver, Morgan State sports information director. "It's just a matter of whether they're going to give it to us or not, but it looks like it's going to happen."

Bob Wade, coordinator of athletics for the city public schools, said it's just a matter of signing the contract.

"We're just about there," said Wade.

The plan calls for two nights of doubleheaders at the 4,000-seat capacity Hill Field House. On Feb. 11, the Western and Walbrook girls would play for a berth in the city title game at 5 p.m. followed by the Douglass-Dunbar boys showdown at 7:30.

On Feb. 25, the girls city title game would tip off at 5 p.m. with the boys to follow at 7:30.

The joint venture, initiated by Morgan football coach Donald Hill-Eley, likely would expand during the 2003-04 school year to include more big-draw basketball games as well as some high-profile Friday night football games at the 9,000-seat Hughes Stadium.

For basketball, the larger facility should prevent fans from being turned away at the door, which happens several times each season. A handful of boys games have been sellouts this season, including Mervo's 66-48 upset of Dunbar on Tuesday.

Morgan State has played host to city high school games in the past, but not for about a decade. McIver said the biggest crowd ever at Hill Field House came to watch Dunbar's 1982-83 national champion team, which included Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Reggie Williams and Reggie Lewis, beat Lake Clifton.

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