St. Frances junior Sean Mosley enjoys being compared to Mark Karcher, especially since the former Panthers star is his mentor

Generation next

Basketball

December 06, 2006|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

When Sean Mosley walked onto the court at St. Frances his freshman year, the comparisons to Mark Karcher, one of the most honored players in Panthers history, were inevitable.

The two players are similar in size (Mosley is 6 feet 4, Karcher 6-5) and in their style of play, combining strength and flair.

Although some players might downplay a comparison to someone as accomplished as Karcher, Mosley embraces it. In part, that's because Mosley has been working with Karcher to improve his game.

"My basketball IQ just keeps getting higher because I can just follow what Mark does," said Mosley, a junior. "When I am doing something wrong, he tells me what to do to make it right. That has helped me come a long way since I was a freshman."

Karcher's four varsity teams in the mid-1990s had a 97-32 record, and he led the Panthers to three straight Baltimore Catholic League titles. Mosley's team won the BCL tournament in his freshman year. He was a first-team All-Metro selection as a freshman and sophomore, averaging 18.5 points last season.

"I just love the atmosphere and intensity of the game," said Mosley, a forward. "When I came in as a freshman, people did not think I was going to do as well as I did, but I had already played against most of the guys in the BCL [in recreation leagues]. The big difference was the size of the crowd and the coaching, which stresses playing as a team in the BCL."

Mosley's father, Rick, said his son's first loves were soccer and baseball. The younger Mosley didn't pick up a basketball until he was 10, when a friend persuaded him to try out for a recreation team.

The natural ability was there, and so was a strong work ethic.

"He has always been a humble kid," Rick Mosley said. "He doesn't take anything for granted and or feel like anyone owes him anything. He works for what he gets and appreciates it more.

"He has become wiser in the company he keeps, which is a blessing because I don't have to be overly concerned about him, especially as a young boy in Baltimore City."

In addition to working with Karcher, who went on to star at Temple, Mosley has worked with Melvin Scott, a first-team All-Metro pick at Southern-Baltimore who went on to play at North Carolina. Scott has further taught Mosley what it takes to be a great player, which includes playing more than 100 games in the offseason, lifting weights and taking about 300 to 400 shots per day.

St. Frances coach William Wells said Mosley has developed significantly since his freshman year to the point where he is now "one of the top ballplayers in the area, as well as the country." Wells said the challenge for Mosley this season is to become even more of a leader.

"He is a nice guy and wants to be everybody's friend," Wells said. "Sometimes, in order to be a leader, you have to step out of bounds and let everyone know you have come to play and win."

While Mosley is considered a gym rat by his peers, he has not neglected his academics. He is on the honor roll at St. Frances and earned a 3.49 grade point average this semester.

Mosley's commitment to academics partly comes from a mantra developed by his father. "Academics go first and basketball goes second," Rick Mosley said. "The analogy I always use with him is that even if you break your leg, they can never take your brain from you. You write your own ticket.

"St. Frances has done a tremendous job bringing him where he needs to be academically, in addition to the ability to perform on the floor. They promote academics, and they have pushed him beyond what he thought was his limit."

St. Frances provides a study hall for its players before practice so they are not too tired to finish their homework. Mosley wants to major in business administration in college and understands that athletics and academics have to go hand-in-hand.

"I focus on basketball, but without the books, you really can't go anywhere," Mosley said. "So, you have to work hard in the classroom. I realized that when I was a sophomore. I am even doing better this year."

This season, St. Frances, along with the rest of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and BCL, will be chasing top-ranked Mount St. Joseph for league titles. The Gaels are coming off a season in which they set state records for wins (38) and consecutive wins (38).

No. 2 Towson Catholic also is expected to be a force in both conferences with its powerful tandem of Malcolm Delaney and Donte' Greene. St. Frances meets Mount St. Joseph on Dec. 22 and plays Towson Catholic on Jan. 26.

"I just want to win the MIAA and the BCL, and we'll see how things go from there," Mosley said. "We have a pretty solid team. I think we are better than last year because we are going to push the ball more, but we will still be able to rebound."

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