BL Spotlight

Boys’ Latin Revisits a Baltimore Legend

The Boys of Dunbar

The historic Dunbar team in their heyday. Image courtesy of The Enoch Pratt Free Library

Boys’ Latin hosted “The Boys of Dunbar” book talk for the “One School, One Book” event.

Annually, Boys’ Latin holds it’s “One School, One Book” event, and the entire school reads and discusses a book. This year, the book chosen was “The Boys of Dunbar,” a story of Dunbar’s 1981-1982 basketball team. On this team, four starters—Muggsy Bogues, Reggie Williams, David Wingate, and Reggie Lewis— eventually played in the NBA.

While the story is remarkable, the story’s proximity makes it even more remarkable.

One of the primary reasons that Mrs. Ricci, the Upper School Librarian, chose the book was because of its proximity. She claimed, “I chose the story because it’s a Baltimore story.” But, aside from its physical and emotional closeness, the book’s subject matter is powerful.

David Wingate, former NBA player and member of the historic Dunbar team, exclaimed that “the sense of the community is what made the story special,” echoing Mrs. Ricci’s sentiments.

Wingate also felt that Boys’ Latin would truly benefit from hearing this story. He hoped that students learn that “one can prevail no matter the circumstance, and overcoming adversity is truly the benefit of the story.”

Mrs. Ricci believed that the story struck her because of the positive influence of the team’s coach, and, similarly, she felt the book was right for BL. She uttered that it’s hard to find books that everyone enjoys, yet “The Boys of Dunbar” was a perfect fit.

While choosing a book proved difficult, the talk’s establishment encompassed much organization. The first step in planning was to align suitable dates.

This year, author Alejandro Danois came to Boys’ Latin to partake in the group discussion. Mrs. Ricci worked to find overlapping availability between participating students and the author. She also planned his entire day here on campus.

For Mrs. Ricci, organizing Danois’ day encapsulated the brunt of the work. While here, he had lunch with students and engaged a Launch class. Mrs. Ricci was especially excited for his role in the book talk.

Alexandro Danois

Author Alexandro Danois alongside his book, “The Boys of Dunbar.” Image courtesy of Sports Insider.

In the book talk, Danois read excerpts from the book that he felt most compelling. He sought to read the portions of the book that entail the period before the players’ athletic success. He claimed that these moments are why the story is “much bigger than basketball.”

Moments like these are why, in his eyes, “the story about the greatest high school basketball team is actually one of Baltimore’s sociology, history, community, and, brotherhood.”

Danois also expressed that brotherhood is a stronger focal point of his book than the mere cultural dominance of sports. He felt that “great sports stories often represent our responsibility to one another,” and that “The Boys of Dunbar” is no different. He stated that he sees a similar commitment to brotherhood in the BL community as he does in the historic Dunbar team.


Categories: BL Spotlight

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