Players Of The Year

High School Sports

Boys Basketball

March 22, 2004

Rudy Gay

Archbishop Spalding, senior

Few players have burst onto the national stage in just one summer as the 6-foot-9 Gay did. Gay's showing at national camps resulted in his stock rising from a top-100 player to a top-10 player. He also received the prestige of being named a McDonald's All-American.

An All-Metro pick as a junior, Gay grew two inches and put on 15 pounds in the offseason. He also fined-tuned his high flying act and signed with Connecticut before the start of the season.

The result was a senior season in which the multi-talented forward with long arms and an exceptional wing span averaged 21.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocks. Gay played above the rim, but he also can launch three-pointers from NBA distance or hit short jumpers off his variety of spin moves.

Fans turned out in big numbers to see Gay put on a show and they rarely were disappointed. Gay won the Jerry Savage Player of the Year award for the Baltimore Catholic League regular season and led the No. 2 Cavaliers (29-8) to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference tournament title over then-No. 1 Cardinal Gibbons, 64-45.

In the MIAA final, Gay, who was named to the Alhambra all-tournament team, scored 29 points, 14 coming on seven spectacular dunks, grabbed 10 rebounds and had three steals in front of a record crowd at Gilman.

Gay finished his two years at Spalding with 1,181 points, the third-highest total in school history. Including his first two years at Eastern Tech, Gay had 1,588 career points.

His ability to block shots or make opponents alter them, coupled with having the quickness of a guard, led a Cavaliers defense that was 22-1 when holding teams under 60 points.

Gay will play in the McDonald's All-American game March 31 in Oklahoma City, Okla., as well as the Jordan Capital Classic April 17 at Comcast Center.

Will Thomas

Mount St. Joseph, senior

Gaels coach Pat Clatchey says the 6-foot-7 Thomas "has to go down as the best player in St. Joe history.

"He's accomplished things nobody else has. He led us to six championships in two years and that's pretty phenomenal."

Thomas, who has accepted a scholarship to George Mason University, led the Gaels to back-to-back regular season and tournament championships, an 82-17 overall record in three varsity seasons and the program's first No. 1 ranking.

Thomas led the Gaels to Baltimore Catholic League tournament final wins over Spalding the past two seasons and was named BCL tournament Most Valuable Player both times. Overall, the Gaels were 6-0 against Spalding the past two years.

Thomas joined standouts such as St. Frances' Mark Karcher, Derrick Snowden of Spalding and Rodney Monroe of St. Maria Goretti as players earning multiple tournament MVP awards.

After leading Mount St. Joseph (29-6) to its first-ever BCL title as a junior, Thomas held Spalding All-American Rudy Gay to 10 points while scoring 12, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking four shots in a 36-33 victory in this season's championship game.

Averaging 18.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, three blocks and three steals, Thomas was a repeat selection to the All-Metro, MIAA A Conference and BCL regular-season and tournament teams.

Thomas finished his high school career with a school-record 1,631 points. He will play in the Charm City Challenge on April 4 at Towson University.


Pat Clatchey

Mount St. Joseph

Clatchey led the Gaels to repeat championships in both the Baltimore Catholic League and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. They also finished as The Sun's No. 1 team for the first time in school history.

Under Clatchey, a Mount St. Joseph graduate in his 12th season as coach, the Gaels (29-6) lost only three games locally, two in the regular season to No. 6 St. Frances and No. 16 McDonogh, and to No. 7 Cardinal Gibbons in the MIAA A Conference semifinals.

The Gaels, who won their first-ever BCL regular-season and tournament titles last season, faced a major challenge from Archbishop Spalding and McDonald's All-American Rudy Gay this season.

Clatchey, who was named the BCL O. Ray Mullis Coach of the Year by his peers for a third straight season, and his Gaels were more than up to it, sweeping the powerful Cavaliers in three games. The Gaels outlasted No. 2 Spalding, 63-58, in double overtime; 76-75 in overtime; and 36-33 in the BCL final.

"There were no egos on this team," said Clatchey, 41, who is a physical education teacher at Our Lady of Victory.

"They checked their egos at the door and were committed to winning and being the best they could be. They had no hidden agenda. They just wanted to win."


Jermaine Bolden

Douglass, senior

Bolden led the Ducks to their second Class 3A state title in three years.

The 5-foot-8 Bolden, who is quick and athletic, was the team's floor general and most consistent player. A repeat first-team pick, he averaged 17.6 points, four assists, three steals and three rebounds.

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