The St. Frances Academy (SFA) basketball team is considered one of the top teams in the Baltimore area and is looking like the team to beat in the traditionally tough Baltimore Catholic League (BCL).
Head coach Mark Karcher's roster features names like Terrell Vinson, Ronald Williams and Wayne Sparrow, but one of the Panther's key players is 6-foot-3 junior Dante Holmes, who is averaging 16 points, five assists, six rebounds and four steals per game.
"Dante is a natural shooting guard, and that will be his college position, but he can play either wing guard or small forward for us," assistant coach Carlos Green told ESPNRISE.com. "He is kind of interchangeable with Wayne Sparrow on the wing. But Dante can also play the point guard and back up Ronald Williams at the point. He is a very versatile player. He is athletic, but he also has a high basketball IQ and understands the game real well."
Holmes had a solid sophomore year for the Panthers, averaging 11.5 points, three steals, four assists and four rebounds as a varsity starter in 2007-08. But Green said Holmes has taken his game to a whole new level this year.
"He's a little more consistent with his outside shot and has improved his handle. He's still a little streaky out to the 3-point arc, but he is shooting it better outside now," Green said. "He's always been athletic and able to score and create for himself, but the biggest improvement is how much better he understands the game. He really has a real good understanding of the game and of what we expect of him and what we are doing as a team.
"Dante is real good kid. He is a personable young man. Dante is a good student, a B student," Green added. "He is a good teammate and a real positive person for the SFA [basketball] program."
Holmes is already drawing recruiting interest from a range of colleges.
"Dante is getting interest from some high D-I colleges like Providence, Temple, Virginia Tech. West Virginia was on him pretty hard until they got a commitment from another guard," Green said. "There are some other high and mid D-I schools looking at him, as well as all the local colleges like Morgan State and Towson University."
James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com