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"Crime Stopper" Measuring Up
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February 23, 2012
It’s approaching game time at Hill Field on the campus of Morgan State University, as Dunbar and Patterson High Schools get ready to play for the Baltimore City boys basketball championship. As the fans settle in to grab a seat, there’s no question who they’ve come to see.
“Aquille Carr, the Crime Stopper.”
“Why you come to see the ‘Crime Stopper?’”
“Because he the best that ever did it. He the best to come out of the city.”
The guy considered the best high school basketball player in Baltimore – Patterson High School junior guard Aquille Carr — stands just 5-feet-6 inches tall, and indeed goes by the nickname “The Crime Stopper.” How did Carr get dubbed the ‘Crime Stopper? Let’s let Patterson high school assistant coach Ed Lewis explain.
“When he’s playing basketball in Baltimore on the East Side and the West Side of Baltimore, the majority of the crime that used to go on in that time frame was down a huge percent.”
There’s no statistical proof that proves that those responsible for a large percentage of crime in Baltimore are in high school gyms watching Carr and Patterson High School play on game day. But this is a fact: in three high school seasons Carr has emerged as one of Baltimore’s most electrifying high school basketball talents.
This is long-time Baltimore sports writer Derek Toney, sitting courtside at Tuesday’s city championship game, describing the aura of Aquille Carr.
“He is the first Baltimore Star of the youtube generation. He’s a phenomenon. Just like Lebron I am a witness…That’s Aquille. I’m a witness, everyone’s a witness to this 5 foot-6 freak of nature.”
To watch Carr battle with his teammates during a recent practice at Patterson High School brings back memories of Muggsy Bogues, the 5-3 point guard from Dunbar High School who later starred in the NBA. Like Bogues, growing up with toughness for Carr was mandatory—it was his way to stand tall on the court despite being picked on for being so short.
“I was never scared of anything. Like I really don’t fear nothing. You put me out there with wolves, and I can play basketball around them. I felt as though I belonged on the court.”
A lot of schools with established basketball programs tried to get Carr to play on their courts, especially after he averaged over 30 points a game last season. Despite all the attention Carr – who has committed to play at Seton Hall – decided to stay at Patterson.
“My coach told me if you a great talent, your talent will be broadcast anywhere. We had a national schedule this year, and I don’t think anyone in Baltimore city for a long time had a national schedule. So, it don’t make a difference what school you at to show off your talent. If you good, if you great, they will come find you.”
Carr did all he could for Patterson against on Tuesday night, scoring a team-high 24 points.
“Basket by Number Three, Aquille Carr.”
But the Dunbar won the championship, 65-61. There’s no time to sulk for Carr and his teammates. The state tournament begins on Friday, when Patterson travels to Hereford for an opening round game. The loss in last year’s state 3A title game still leaves a bitter taste for Carr.
“One of my biggest goals, since I’m a junior, is to get a state championship. I was there last year, and I know how it feels to lose it. The state means more than a city or a regional championship.”
So, Carr hopes that on March 10th – the date of the 3A state championship game – he’ll be in a position to fight crime for one more day.
I’m Ali Danois, reporting from Hill Field House on the campus of Morgan State University, for 88-1, WYPR.
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