One of the keys to the Poets' history of success is that Dunbar, as the only high school in Baltimore to offer a health-careers program, qualifies as a magnet school. That means players who don't live in the Dunbar district can attend the school by enrolling in the health program. Indeed, four of the 12 members of this season's Poets do not reside in the district.
This Dunbar team appears destined to become state champion, but that doesn't mean coach Pete Pompey feels he can relax. "They walk around having fun," says Pompey of his players. "I walk around taking Maalox."
Chip off the Old Block
Kristen Somogyi of St. Peter's High in New Brunswick, N.J., is expected to fill the point guard vacancy at Virginia that will be created by the departure of senior Dawn Staley, the 1990-91 women's Player of the Year. If Kristen follows in Staley's footsteps as successfully as she followed in her father's, the Cavaliers will have nothing to worry about.
A 5'4" senior who was scoring 40.3 points a game as of Sunday, Kristen is rated by many observers as the best girls' point guard in the nation. Last Saturday she had 42 points against Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic to surpass the New Jersey high school career scoring record of 3,310 points set by her father, John. Kristen wears number 24 for St. Peter's, just as her dad did, and weirdly enough, he set the mark 24 years ago.
"It's mind-boggling to think that the person I'm eating breakfast with is not only going to break my record, but at the same high school," said John a few weeks before Kristen accomplished the feat. "What are the chances of that?"
Kristen is part player, part entertainer. She's partial to behind-the-back and no-look passes because, as she puts it, "everybody knows girls' basketball is boring. I try to make everybody enjoy the game."
Kristen has been booed on the road, sometimes by young fans who don't like her scoring so many points against their schools, sometimes by older fans who remember her father putting up big totals against their schools way back when. But Kristen clearly has enough self-confidence to deal with such treatment. When she was 10, she told her father she would break his record. John laughed then. Now he's smiling with pride.
Dare to Be Great
He is a 7-foot, 262-pound center from Nigeria with an Hakeem Olajuwon build and a Dikembe Mutombo reputation as a quick study, and in a few months he'll be playing for one of Patrick Ewing's old coaches. His name is Yinka Dare (pronounced DAH-ray), and those who have seen him play are hard-pressed to avoid the phrase "can't miss."