The 1981-1983 Dunbar High School boys basketball team from Baltimore, Md., has often been called the best high school basketball team that ever played. Its 59-0 record over two seasons was so special that the team’s story will be the subject of an ESPN Films documentary “Baltimore Boys” airing tonight on ESPN.
Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues was among the stars of that team, along with fellow eventual NBA standouts David Wingate, Reggie Williams, Reggie Lewis, and of course coach Bob Wade. Front Row caught up with Bogues in advance of the film’s broadcast premiere to get his take.
You have seen “Baltimore Boys.” What are your thoughts on the film?
It’s unbelievable. Special. We’ve been talking about our story forever, and it is just a privilege to know that all of these years later, people still remember us. Honestly, when I found out that ESPN wanted to do this film, I said to myself, “It’s about time!” I speak on behalf of us all in saying, we are all very thankful.
What do you hope viewers take away after watching?
I hope that kids will see and realize the adversity that we went through growing up in Baltimore when we did. Life for us wasn’t easy, but we were able to persevere and stick to our morals. And it all started with coach Bob Wade. He wouldn’t let us slip through the cracks. We saw too many people before us slip through those cracks, and coach made it his job to make sure that wouldn’t happen to us.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time playing at Dunbar?
Definitely how we jelled together on the court. When we played Camden High School, that was special. No one gave us a chance, but we believed in ourselves from the beginning. And, knowing where we come from, we knew that this was our moment, and the world would now know about Baltimore.
What was it like to reunite with your former coach and some of the players for the film?
That was the ultimate feeling right there. So many years later, it just felt good to be around one another. I was able to go off and accomplish some unbelievable things in my career and so were others, but at the end of the day, we always understood where it is that we come from, and to be back with one another, was just beautiful. And an added bonus was the understanding that the world, and not just Baltimore, was going to now get a chance to know our story.
“Baltimore Boys,” is part of ESPN Films’ high school basketball documentary double feature airing tonight on ESPN. Co-directed by Marquis Daisy and Sheldon Candis, the film will premiere at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, followed by “Morningside 5” at 9:30 p.m. ET. Watch the trailer for both here.