Baltimore Catholic League enjoying historic season


Jalen Smith of Mount St. Joseph, left, and Immanuel Quickley of John Carroll, with Baltimore Catholic League commissioner Jack Degele, made the BCL the first league in Maryland history to have two schools represented on the McDonald’s All-American team. (Paul McMullen/CR Staff)

PIKESVILLE – The basketball talent in the Baltimore Catholic League reached historic proportions this winter.

The 24 boys on the McDonald’s All-American team include two from the BCL. Jalen Smith, a big man from Mount St. Joseph who is headed to the University of Maryland, repeated as the BCL Player of the Year. Immanuel Quickley, a guard from John Carroll who will play for the University of Kentucky, earned that award as a sophomore in 2016.

According to Jack Degele, commissioner of the BCL, it’s the first time in state history that two schools from the same league had players on the McDonald’s team.

Smith, Quickley and Coach of the Year Nick Myles of St. Frances Academy were among those recognized at an awards banquet Feb. 19.

Myles guided the Panthers to a 13-1 record in league play and the top seed in the 47th annual BCL tournament, which begins Feb. 28 at higher seeds and concludes March 4 at Goucher College.

The guest speaker was Pat Skerry, coach of Towson University and a parishioner of Church of the Nativity in Timonium, who talked of the talent, toughness and character he looks for in a prospective player.



All-League Teams

First Team: Jalen Smith, Mount St. Joseph, senior; Immanuel Quickley, John Carroll, senior; Adrian Baldwin, St. Frances Academy, sophomore; Montez Mathis, John Carroll, senior; Elijah Epps, St. Frances Academy, senior

Second Team: Brendan Adams, Calvert Hall, senior; James Bishop, Mount St. Joseph, junior; R.J. Blakney, St. Maria Goretti, junior; JJ Halaby, Loyola Blakefield, senior; Yavuz Gultekin, John Carroll, junior; Jordon Jones, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, senior

Honorable Mention: Logan Curtis, Calvert Hall; Jordan Toles, St. Frances Academy; Cameron Shaw, Loyola Blakefield; Rene Alphonso, Archbishop Spalding; Josh Mack, St. Maria Goretti; Tyree Myers, Mount St. Joseph.

Jerry Savage Player of the Year: Jalen Smith, Mt. St. Joseph, senior.

Mark Amatucci Defensive Player of the Year: Rajeir Jones, St. Frances Academy.

Cokey Robertson Most Improved Player: JJ Halaby, Loyola

O. Ray Mullis Coach of the Year: Nicholas Myles, St. Frances

Dave Kropfelder “Never, Never Quit” awards: Mitch White; Archbishop Spalding; Cameron Watts, Calvert Hall; Brandon Craig, John Carroll; Chid Nnake, Loyola Blakefield; Teon Rushing; Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Kendall McMillian, Mount St. Joseph; Edward Ferguson, St. Frances Academy; Trey Boothe, St. Maria Goretti


47th annual BCL Tournament

Quarterfinals (seeds in parentheses)

Feb. 28

Calvert Hall (5) at John Carroll (4), 7 p.m.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (8) at St. Frances Academy (1), 7:00 p.m.

March 1

Archbishop Spalding (7) at Mount St. Joseph (2), 7 p.m.

Loyola Blakefield (6) at St. Maria Goretti (3), 7 p.m.


Semifinals at Goucher College, March 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Championship at Goucher College, March 4, 3 p.m.

Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen has served as the managing editor of the Catholic Review since 2008.

The author of two books, Paul has been involved in local media since age 12, when he began delivering The News American to 80 homes in his neighborhood. He began his journalism career with the Capital-Gazette Newspapers in Anne Arundel County, and spent more than 25 years as a sports writer for The Sun in Baltimore. His favorite writing assignments have included the Summer Olympics in Australia and Greece, the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and “Feet for Francis,” a 2015 walking pilgrimage from the Baltimore Basilica to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis.