The Legacy of DeMatha Athletics


Darin Martin, Editor

DeMatha is known throughout the nation as one of the premier sports schools in the country, having twice been named the number two athletic program in the U.S. From the NBA and NFL to the MLS and NHL, you don’t have to look for very long to find an alumnus of DeMatha. Some of sports’ most famous names have graduated from this school.

DeMatha’s basketball team is nationally recognized as one of the premier basketball programs, having won 41 state championships and six national titles. At least one alum of DeMatha has been in the NBA in 48 out of the last 50 seasons. DeMatha’s success in basketball goes all the way back to the ‘60s, as they were the school that handed Lew Alcindor the only loss of his high school career. DeMatha has sent the second highest number of players to the NBA out of any high school in the nation.

The most successful DeMatha basketball player to date is Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley. After his career at DeMatha, Dantley went on to play at Notre Dame where he played an important role in ending UCLA’s 88-game winning streak. He is most known for his time on the Utah Jazz, where he was a six-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA 2nd team selection. Other notable DeMatha basketball players include Danny Ferry, Kenny Carr, and more recently Victor Oladipo, Jerami and Jerian Grant, Quinn Cook, and Markelle Fultz. DeMatha’s influence in basketball doesn’t just stop at players, as veteran NBA reporter David Aldridge and Hall of Fame coach Morgan Wootten have also made an impact on the game.

Football is another sport that DeMatha is known for. DeMatha has produced a total of 28 NFL players to date, the ninth most in the country and twice as many as any other school in Maryland. One of those players is recently-retired defensive end Cameron Wake. In his time in the NFL, Wake recorded more than 100 sacks, was selected to the Pro Bowl five times, and was named an NFL All-Pro first team selection in 2012. Another notable player is running back Brian Westbrook, a two-time Pro Bowler, a Walter Payton Award winner in college, and part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 75th anniversary team. He racked up more than 10,000 all-purpose yards in his NFL career. Recently, Anthony McFarland Jr., Rodney McLeod, and Chase Young have made the league, and DeMatha also boasts the host of The NFL Today on CBS, James Brown.  

Other successful athletes who have walked the halls of DeMatha include current MLS goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Hamid made his professional debut in 2010 and became the youngest keeper to win an MLS game. He was also the MLS goalkeeper of the year in 2014.

Paul Rabil, founder of the Premier Lacrosse League is considered to be one of the greatest lacrosse players of this era. He is a two-time Major League Lacrosse winner, a two-time MLL MVP, and a 10-time All-Star.

Derek Mills, another successful DeMatha athlete, was an olympic gold medalist in track and field during the ‘96 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Brett Cecil and Steve Farr have represented DeMatha’s baseball program on the professional level. Cecil is an MLB veteran and was selected as an All-Star in the year 2013. Farr was an MLB World Series champion in 1985 and spent 11 years in the majors. 

The list of successful DeMatha athletes goes on, and with several other talented players currently making their mark in high school and in college that list is sure to grow in the coming years.