Basketball signees, hopefuls shoot for exposure in Challenge

Charm City events open tonight

games on Sunday

April 08, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The Charm City Challenge begins tonight at Dunbar High School with the dunk and three-point contests and then, on Sunday, a doubleheader at Towson University's Towson Center.

Organized by Corrigan Sports Enterprises, the event showcases top boys basketball talent from the Baltimore metropolitan area and from all over the country.

The dunk and three-point contests will start at 6:30 tonight with players from the four teams that will compete on Sunday.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, the City All-Stars, coached by Walbrook's Kelvin Bridgers, The Sun's Coach of the Year after leading the Warriors to their first state title, will play the Suburban Stars, coached by Woodlawn's Eddie Green.

The main event at 5 p.m. will feature the Baltimore Stars and the U.S. All-Stars, which has 10 players who have signed with Division I colleges, including 6-foot-6 Shane Clark, of Hargrave Military Academy (Va.), who has committed to Maryland.

With 6-10 Georgia Tech-bound Alade Aminu, and a pair of 6-9 players - Chad Millard, who is headed to Louisville, and Vernon Goodridge, who is Mississippi State-bound - plus 6-8 Dante' Cunningham, from Potomac High in Oxon Hill, who will play at Villanova, the U.S. squad has what would appear to be a decided advantage inside.

"Our kids won't be intimidated by the U.S. team," said Baltimore Stars coach Pat Clatchey (Mount St. Joseph), who has three 6-8 players. "I told the kids that they've all had good careers and this might be the last time they get to play in the Baltimore area. I think we can definitely play with them."

The series is tied at two wins apiece.

Six of the 12 Baltimore players have committed to colleges. They are former Lake Clifton and Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) guard Chester Frazier (Illinois); Archbishop Spalding's Lawrence Dixon (Holy Cross); Walbrook's Velmar Coleman (Towson); Northwestern (Baltimore) and Notre Dame Prep's Demetrius Phillips (Fordham); Jimmy Conyers (Akron) and Robert Diggs (George Washington). Conyers attended Walbrook and finished at National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, and Diggs is from Gwynn Park in Prince George's County.

"Diggs has really impressed me, " said Clatchey. "He's very talented and versatile and one of our 6-8 players who we will be counting on inside."

The games are not certified by the NCAA, which means Division I coaches cannot attend, but Division II and Division III coaches can, and reports get back to the Division I schools.

For players who haven't committed, such as Towson Catholic's Lawrence Nwevo and Kyle Cannon, Mount St. Joseph's Brian Johnson, Mervo's Antwann Lawrence and Paris Carter of Lake Clifton and Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), it's a chance for exposure. The remaining Baltimore player, Dunbar's Nathan Irby, hopes to play football in college.

Charm City Challenge

What: Dunk and three-point contest

Where: Dunbar High School

When: Tonight, 6.30

Tickets: $5

Games

Where: Towson Center

When: Sunday, 3 p.m.: City Stars vs. Suburban Stars; 5 p.m.: Baltimore Stars vs. U.S. Stars

Tickets for doubleheader: $10 students (at door, with school ID); $15 general admission; $25 reserved seating; $50 courtside, including food, drink, program.

Information: 410-605-9381

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