So many times during his standout high school career at Dunbar during the early '80s, Herman "Tree" Harried would come up with a key basket, a big rebound or a monster block for coach Bob Wade. On Wednesday night, Wade, now the coordinator of athletics for Baltimore City Public Schools, called on his big man once again.
After it became official that the 16th Annual Basketball Academy -- set for Thursday through Saturday -- wasn't allowed to be played at Morgan State due to a newly-adopted NCAA rule, Wade had to do some heavy-duty, last-minute shuffling on Wednesday to salvage the 20-game event.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Wade reached out to Harried to see if the event could be held at Lake Clifton, where Harried has been coach for 15 years. Harried, also the school's athletic director, said "No problem," and provided Wade with reassurance that it could be pulled off.
After reaching Lake Clifton's building facilitator Wednesday night, Harried stayed long hours to get the school's two gyms and locker rooms ready. On Thursday, he was back at the school before 7 a.m. and well past 10 p.m.
After one of the area's finest games was completed -- No. 2 Milford Mill's 55-53 win over No. 1 Dunbar -- Harried stayed around to let a reporter finish writing his story in his office to make a tight deadline. Friday and Saturday brought many of the same long hours for Harried. The Academy was a big success despite even bigger obstacles.
"It's for the kids," he said more than once in the three days. His kids gave back as the Lakers came up with two quality wins, including an impressive win over Milford Mill on Saturday afternoon.