Belt­way Bombers seek­ing league ti­tle

Team en­joyed plenty of suc­cess last win­ter

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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