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*Now* I know how DeMatha won: Alcindor (<--- click for the definition of "hopelessness") looked ineffective in this video (you almost have to watch the entire thing to see him make anything resembling a decent play), and even worse appears to be Power Memorial's strategy of simply not getting him the ball.

I'm stunned there's a video of this game.

I'll share my Abdul-Jabbar story. Once, maybe twenty years ago, I was walking into Dulles Airport on the bottom level, up the ramp near the international arrival gate. Coming towards me, in the distance, was a massive human being. "Whoever this is," I thought to myself, "is someone special." As we came about twenty feet away from each other, and were about to cross paths, I recognized him, and decided to just keep walking and let the man have his privacy. Up above, an airport porter was leaning over the railing, saying, "My hero! My hero!" I'm assuming he wasn't talking about me because when I took one fleeting glance at Abdul-Jabbar, just as we passed each other, he looked like all he wanted to do was get the hell out of there.

Abdul-Jabbar is only the second-tallest person I've ever seen in a normal setting. Once, at the Crisp & Juicy in Falls Church (if you can believe it), I was standing behind a gentleman who looked something like Abraham Lincoln, except that I came up to his elbow - at the time, I estimated him to be about 7'5". Whoever this was, was one of the tallest people in the United States - of that I am certain.

A friend of mine (I was best man in his wedding) was once in Las Vegas. He was about to enter an elevator in a resort, and out walked a huge gentleman. "Hey! You're Wilt Chamberlain!" my friend said. Without even looking at him, or changing the expression on his face, Chamberlain (*) said, "No shit," and continued walking.

There is no peace for these people; hopefully Chamberlain has found his. I was at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, not long after he passed, and there was a black ribbon on his plaque.

(*) Or, as Abdul-Jabbar called him in his autobiography, "Wilt Chumperlame." :) One thing that strikes me about the picture I linked to in the first sentence was just how much bigger Alcindor was than Chamberlain in high school - not just in height, but in muscularity as well:

Also, did I once say that Abdul-Jabbar's sky hook was one of three unstoppable shots in NBA history? Oops...

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I saw both games.  DeMatha was national champion in 1962 and almost beat Power the first time they played them at Cole Field House.  Both game sold out and filled the, then, 12,500 seat building.  I've followed DeMatha sports since the early '60's although I haven't been to their new gym since it opened.  In the old Morgan Wootten gym there was a huge, wide glass enclosed case with trophies, balls and newspaper and magazine clippings.  Included in this was the front page of the old Washington Daily News from '65 when DeMatha beat Power and ended Power and Alcindor's 71 game winning streak.

It was the headline.

The '65 DeMatha team had every single starter make first team All Met either that year or the next.  Three of them went into the NBA.  That was the second of DeMatha's five national championships.

By the way, did you know that James Brown of DeMatha, in '69, was the #1 hs baketball prospect in America?  And received criticism for picking Harvard?

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With all due respect to the Redskins, high school basketball was a huge deal in the D. C. area in the late '50's and '60's.  High school football wasn't too shabby either with literal 50,000 (serious, real #) crowds at RFK for the city championship.  The Carrol teams were a legend.  DeMatha and Morgan Wooten ('Blair) picked up where they left off.

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I had a long post that, somehow, I found a way to accidentally erase before posting it.  Bottom line:

Carroll and its 55 game winning streak with John Thompson, George Leftwich and Monk Milloy (the President of Notre Dame):  http://ghostsofdc.org/2013/03/07/hoover-thompson-leftwich-and-malloy/

James Brown and Washingtonian's article about him, the first team high school All America:  http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/james-brown-making-mama-proud/

Everything following should probably have been erased:  for all of the bbq, fried chicken and apple pie that I've eaten around America, on Friday night and a few weekend days when I was out of town I saw a lot of hs ball.  Basketball and football.  I went miles and miles out of my way to Anderson, IN (who once played DM at the MCI center and brought more than 5,000 people with them....and won beating Keith Bogans and Joe Forte), Odessa, TX (the only Yankee in a stadium of 19,000), Massillon, OH, Valdosta, GA (where I bought a scalped ticket to get into the 12,000 seat stadium that was sold out for every home game)-I've seen a lot of ball.  For more than 15 years I've posted on several national boards as "big drop" but, again, all of this should have been erased.  Certainly deleted.

I love high school basketball and high school football.  DC is the best in America for the first and on the rise for the second.

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I moved to Brooklyn in '64 at age 11 and played basketball (or whatever it was that 11 year olds played & called b-ball).  I remember going into a luncheonette on my way to school (5th grade) and standing next to a very tall kid sitting there, eating breakfast.  We started talking (I'm not shy and probably said something pithy like "hey, you're tall") & he introduced himself as Lew Alcindor.  We talked about Power Memorial and I remember wondering whether I could go there when I got older.  Never saw him again.  Never went to Power Memorial either"¦ went to Midwood, when we won the NYC basketball championship (when I say "we", I mean that I was in school there"¦ never was good enough to even sit bench"¦ the beginning of a good tennis/squash player).  Oh well.

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I moved to Brooklyn in '64 at age 11 and played basketball (or whatever it was that 11 year olds played & called b-ball).  I remember going into a luncheonette on my way to school (5th grade) and standing next to a very tall kid sitting there, eating breakfast.  We started talking (I'm not shy and probably said something pithy like "hey, you're tall") & he introduced himself as Lew Alcindor.  We talked about Power Memorial and I remember wondering whether I could go there when I got older.  Never saw him again.  Never went to Power Memorial either"¦ went to Midwood, when we won the NYC basketball championship (when I say "we", I mean that I was in school there"¦ never was good enough to even sit bench"¦ the beginning of a good tennis/squash player).  Oh well.

Great story!!!  Thanks for sharing.

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wow, amazing stuff (see DaveO's article link above):

Catlett told me that he and Abdul-Jabbar kept in touch sporadically through the decades after their on-court matchups, mostly to talk jazz. He recounted a phone call from Abdul-Jabbar that came “out of the blue” 2003, after the old rivals and fellow music buffs had gone a few years without talking. Abdul-Jabbar imparted with excitement that he’d been watching a DVD imported from France called The Small Black Groups that was a compilation of vintage movie clips. Abdul-Jabbar said it had scenes featuring Big Sid that had been taken from 1940s feature films, some of him performing and others with him delivering spoken lines. “Kareem told me my dad talked,” Catlett said. “I had never heard my father speak.”

This was before Youtube and years before transferring large video files digitally was an everyday thing. But Catlett found a Tower Records outside D.C. that had The Small Black Groups in stock, and immediately drove out and picked up a DVD. He told me he watched it alone in his living room in an otherwise empty house, and was overwhelmed.

“So here I was, a guy in his fifties, hearing his dad talk for the first time,” Catlett said. “It was an incredibly private, emotional moment.”

Catlett was convinced that he never would have gotten this gift were it not for the DeMatha-Power Memorial game, nearly four decades earlier.

“Playing in that allowed me to hear my father speak,” he said.

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@Tweaked  I was similarly amazed and touched by that story.  I'm a big sports nut.  That Power Memorial-DeMatha game was before my time and before I moved to this region.  It has legendary status though.  @Joe H was there and wrote it about it.  He seems to have followed HS sports for years.

Up thread Joe referenced a terrific story about James Brown from the DeMatha class of 1969.  Also a very enriching story.  When younger I had friends who were friendly with him and met him through them.  He did have an aura about him in his younger days, supposedly the "best" or at the top of high school basketball recruits for his year.  My friends liked him a lot.  The one brief time I met and spent time with him he was as nice and genuine as the article portrays.

DC legends. 

Joe H also references Carroll High School and its even earlier legendary HS basketball team with John Thompson et al.  In my earliest days as a commercial RE agent I worked with a guy who played on those two Carroll teams.  He was not the star or one of the stars. When I knew him he must have been in his early 40's.  We had a pickup basketball team.  He was the best of the bunch.  EASILY.  We did some RE work together, some knocking on doors, meeting with folks, trying to drum up business together.  Pretty amazing, lots of local people knew him and he had great access to DC old timers of all sorts.    More of that DC legend stuff.

Lets make this food worthy.....

Per the James Brown story he is a conscious healthy diner.  ;)

BTW:   That is a great fun Louis Armstrong piece above.  Dynamite lyrics.

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