Philadelphia. Chicago. New York. Cleveland. Boston.
Over 113 seasons, the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team has developed a national a reach that has moved through the aforementioned metropolises, across the country and internationally to Canada, Lithuania and Croatia.
There is one particular urban center that has stood above the rest, however. The Washington, D.C., metropolitan complex has sent 15 players to Notre Dame who have compiled over 17,800 points, 6,800 rebounds and 2,200 assists since a certain 6-7 center out of DeMatha High School strode onto campus in 1965.
On Jan. 12, 2019, the University of Notre Dame inducted that 6-7 trailblazer, Bob Whitmore, into the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor.
Austin Carr, Adrian Dantley, Collis Jones, Sid Catlett and Don Williams — all of whom are Notre Dame legends and dominate the Irish record books — possibly would not have even donned a blue and gold uniform without the trail that Whitmore blazed over three seasons from 1966 through 1969.
Whitmore already was a prep school legend when he came to Notre Dame. He led the 1965 DeMatha Stags to a 46-43 win over Power Memorial (N.Y.) in one of the greatest high school games ever played. Memorial was led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. DeMatha boasted senior Whitmore, junior Catlett and sophomore Jones. The victory ended a 71-game win streak for Power Memorial. Whitmore left DeMatha for Notre Dame having posted a 55-3 record in his final two years with legendary Stag head coach Morgan Wootten.
While blazing trails, Whitmore also set fire to opposing defenses at Notre Dame. He finished with 1,508 career points in three full seasons (freshmen were ineligible under NCAA rules at that time) which ranked third all-time at Notre Dame when he graduated. His rebounding prowess was even more notable, as he hauled in over 1,043 missed shots to rank second at Notre Dame upon graduation. He is still one of only six players to collect over 1,000 rebounds in a career at Notre Dame.
His statistical superlatives include a 43-point outburst against Butler in 1967, six 20-point, 20-rebound performances (still the most ever for an Irish player) and a still-standing school-record 30 rebounds against St. Norbert’s on Dec. 14, 1967. Whitmore also compiled 47 career double-doubles which stands third historically at Notre Dame.
Whitmore helped the Irish win 54 games over three seasons, advance to the semifinals of the National Invitational Tournament in 1968 and earn an NCAA tournament berth in 1969. He was drafted by both the NBA and ABA and eventually returned to Notre Dame as a graduate assistant in 1973-74 to serve as a mentor for future Hall of Famer and fellow Notre Dame Ring of Honor inductee Dantley.
It cannot be overstated what the Washington, D.C., pipeline has meant to the Notre Dame basketball program. Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey is a DeMatha graduate. All-American Jerian Grant (2011-15) was a DeMatha Stag, as is current sophomore D.J. Harvey. First-year Irish guard Prentiss Hubb calls D.C. home, as did former University president and Notre Dame forward Edward ‘Monk’ Malloy (1960-63), Tracy Jackson (1977-81) and Monty Williams (1989-94). Associate head coach Rod Balanis also played at DeMatha, while video coordinator and former Irish team captain Eric Atkins (2010-14) hailed from the D.C. area as well.
BOB WHITMORE CAREER STATISTICS