Beltway Bombers seeking league title
Team enjoyed plenty of success last winter
With the season al- ready underway, Beltway Bombers head coach and owner Chaz Dudley is again eager to see how well his semi-pro basket- ball team will fare this winter and he remains confident the team can reach its goals and attain a third league crown.
The Beltway Bombers (1-0 overall), who play their home games at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata, opened the season with a 151-106 victory over the Atlantic Coast Crusaders, led by Aquille Carr’s 32 points and 11 assists. But Dudley approaches every season with a two-fold task, parts of which are as conflicting and they are complimentary.
“Our goal is the same ev- ery season,” said Dudley, a former star basketball player at Bernard Baruch University in New York who later played briefly in the NBA. “We want to win our third American Professional Basketball League title, but we also want to see these guys have a chance to play at the next level. We’ve had guys every year go overseas to play in Europe and ultimately the goal is to see them get to the National Basketball Association. But it’s tough to see them leave.”
Dudley watched his team suffer through a similar fate last winter when the Bombers emerged as the top seed heading into the postseason and reached the APBL Final Four where they arrived with a depleted roster. A blend of injuries and promotions eventually felled the Bombers, so Dudley would like to avoid seeing that same scenario unfold this season.
“As a coach and former player, I want to see these guys have the chance to play at the next level,” Dudley said. “When they leave me, I’m proud that they get the chance to move up. But I’m also saddened because now I have a major void to fill on the roster. It’s not like we lose role players at the end of the season — we usually major contributors.”
This year’s squad returned Danny Sumner, Donald Vaughn, Brandon Simms and DeVaughn Jones and also added Carr and former Kansas University standout Josh Selby.
Carr played briefly with the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Developmen- tal League and later with the Saint John Mill Rats of the Canadian National Basketball League before spending time last sea- son with the Baltimore Hawks of the American Basketball Association. Selby was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies but has spent the last three seasons playing overseas in Israel and Turkey.
“Adding both Aquille Carr and Josh Selby to our roster was huge,” Dudley said. “Aquille Carr is one of those dynamic players that could make his way back into playing profes- sionally somewhere. Josh Selby has not joined our team yet, but we’re ex- pecting to have him for our first home game [on Dec. 3]. Ten of our 12 games this season are at home, so we’re looking forward to our continued fan support and we want to put on a good show for them.”
In addition to fielding a talented squad with hopes of an APBL title this winter, Dudley and his players often reflect on the bigger picture facing many residents in the area. Each year, in conjunction with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, the Bombers host a twoday basketball camp for underprivileged children and this year it will take place Dec. 28 and 29 at St. Charles High School.
“It’s something that we always enjoy doing and it’s something that the Charles County officers always like being a part of,” Dudley said. “It brings us closer to the community and it helps the sheriff’s department interact with a lot of the local residents. But most of all its great for the kids to meet our players and have a chance to learn about the game from guys that play at such a high level.”
Beltway Bombers guard Aquille Carr heads toward the basket in the team’s season-opening 151-106 win over the Atlantic Coast Crusaders earlier this month. Carr scored 32 points and added 11 assists on that night and should be one of the major contributors for the Bombers all season.