Far more than basketball was offered at the 18th Annual Baltimore City Public Schools Basketball Academy, held at Morgan State University from Jan. 23 to Jan. 25.

Nearly 600 middle and high school students who participated also learned about SAT preparation, financial literacy, college admissions, gang awareness and more.

Attendees completed community service projects by volunteering at either Delta Head Start or the Baer School for Special Needs Students. Also included were cultural enrichment trips to the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

Among the participating high schools from the Baltimore and Washington areas were Baltimore City College, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Dunbar, Edmondson-Westside, Lake Clifton, Patterson, Milford Mill Academy, Potomac, Randallstown, New Town, Riverdale Baptist, Aberdeen, Eleanor Roosevelt and Largo. Also in attendance were girls from Eastside High School in Paterson, N.J. and boys from John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx.

The middle school students participated in academic workshops and watched the various basketball games.

Scholarships remain a major component of the Basketball Academy; through various sponsors and partners, approximately $8,000 in scholarships has been awarded each year to students.

The games at Morgan State’s Hill Field House featured tough competition as the top teams in the Baltimore and Washington areas, Baltimore City College and Riverdale Baptist, squared off. City won the Friday night game, 60-57.

The City College Lady Knights avenged their 3A North Regional final loss by defeating the Aberdeen Lady Eagles, 56-49, on Thursday afternoon. The Poly Lady Engineers crushed the New Town Lady Titans, 67-40, on Thursday evening.

Two of Maryland’s best girls’ basketball teams were brushed aside by the Eastside (N.J.) Lady Ghosts, the fourth-ranked team in the Newark, N.J. area. Eastside routed the Dunbar Lady Poets on Friday afternoon, 70-45. Aberdeen tried their luck on Saturday afternoon, but was blown out, 67-34.

John F. Kennedy (N.Y.) took on a pair of the Baltimore boys’ teams. First, the Lake Clifton Lakers smashed Kennedy on Friday evening, 80-41. Then the Poly Engineers came back to defeat Kennedy in a 54-49 thriller on Saturday evening.


Keith Henry

Special to the AFRO