Centennial's Scott Bross has a dream. In it, his Eagles play Dunbar in the boys basketball playoffs.
"I don't know what the outcome would be, but I'd love to play Dunbar and win a state title," Bross said.
Beating perennial powerhouse Dunbar may sound like a farfetched dream, but once upon a time, in the eighth grade, the core of Centennial's current team won the A division of the Baltimore Neighborhood Basketball League, the gathering place for Baltimore City's top basketball talent.
"When we signed up for the BNBL, the guy took one look at us and told us we better sign up for the B division," Bross said. "We were the only team from the suburbs. Every time we showed up for a game, the fans in the stands laughed at us. We tried not to pay any attention to it, and I guess we didn't, because we beat them all."
Bross, All-County in football and lacrosse, and second-team All-County in basketball, plays point guard. He's 5 feet 11 and 190 pounds.
"I don't look like I should be wearing a basketball uniform, so players sometimes play lackadaisically against me and I go by them."
Bross carries a 3.8 grade-point average, scored 1,340 on the Scholastic Assessment Test, is a National Honor Society member and last week orally committed to attend Duke on a partial lacrosse scholarship. He expects to play his freshman season as a faceoff specialist.
But Bross said the sport his father got him started earliest in, at age 6, was basketball. "And I really concentrated on basketball in middle school."
He played on the same Baltimore Bullets Amateur Athletic Union team with St. Frances star Mark Karcher, and the Bullets finished seventh nationally one year.
"Back then I was the same height as now, and at times played center." In Centennial's motion offense, Bross still winds up at center sometimes.
"He comes in and plays the post sometimes in our rotation," Centennial coach Jim Hill said. "Two times this season, he has scored off rebounds, drawn the foul, [and] made the foul shot."
Bross can do a lot of things well and comes up with more than his share of rebounds.
"He truly makes our team go," Hill said. "He sees the whole floor, seldom turns the ball over and is a leader the kids look to. His decision is the one the kids go with. He has a laid-back exterior personality but is a fierce competitor inside."
When Bross earns his lacrosse letter this spring, it will be his 10th varsity letter. And he's done that despite breaking a leg playing football and an ankle in lacrosse, both as a sophomore, and in his junior football season, suffering a concussion.
"I was knocked out cold on a late hit," he said.
The Centennial football program had a lot of success his junior and senior years but couldn't quite come up with a county title. He was a running back and linebacker with 101 tackles and 545 yards rushing this past season.
In the eighth grade, he played fullback on the Columbia Bulldogs 11-13 football team that won the Middle Atlantic Region, and his lacrosse team won a state title.
The Eagles lacrosse team won a county tri-championship and was a state finalist his sophomore year, and he's hoping it finds equal success this spring.
"My favorite sport is whatever season it is," he said.
His mother and father, Audrey and Joe, have never missed one of his high school games.
"My dad coached me in football, basketball and baseball, but he never pushed me. He made it fun."
Pub Date: 12/22/96