The legend of Eugene Dyson still lingers on in Montgomery County.
To this day, local folks still talk about the Churchill High School product when the debate shifts to the county’s all-time great student-athletes.
Dyson, a Scotland native who was a multi-sport athlete at Churchill in the 1980’s, had the Midas touch. He participated in football, basketball and baseball at the Potomac public school.
“Eugene was a beast,” recalled Todd Lancaster, a 1980 Rockville graduate. “He had a motor on him.”
Lincoln Park native Brian Howard was an All-Met in football, basketball and baseball who became friends with Dyson when the star athletes participated in a men’s league long after their high school days in Montgomery County had ended.
“I think he was the best player that ever came through Montgomery County with his size and his height,” said Howard, a 1981 Rockville graduate who played point guard at Georgia Tech in the early 1980’s.
Howard, a second baseman who was selected in the first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1983, played college basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference against the likes of North Carolina Tar Heel Michael Jordan and competed against in-state rival Dominique Wilkins from the Georgia Bulldogs.
“I loved playing with Eugene Dyson,” said Howard. “I thought he was much better than [Churchill graduate] Eric Smith who went to Georgetown and played for John Thompson.”
Dyson’s nephew Jerome had a short stint at Churchill before leaving the county to play at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. He played college basketball at Connecticut for legendary head coach Jim Calhoun but EGOS Founder Walter Ray said Jerome Dyson “couldn’t hold a candle” to his uncle Eugene.
“Eugene Dyson is the most lethal shooter I’ve ever seen in Montgomery County,” said David McCloud, a 1982 Blair graduate.
The Dyson legacy continues in the form of his grandson – Northwest junior guard Norval Black – who led the Jaguars in nearly every statistical category this season.
The 6-foot-3 dynamo averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game during the 2016-17 campaign. Black also averaged three assists and two steals per contest for the Germantown public school. He scored 34 points in Northwest’s win over Gaithersburg last month and registered 31 points in the Jaguars’ victory over Walter Johnson in December.
During the season, Black also had five tip-ins to either win a game or take the contest into overtime.
Black said he plans to spend time in the weight room getting stronger this summer “so I can come out here and dominate more.”
Black wants to help take the Northwest boys’ basketball program to another level, he said. Black’s mother, Shamika Dyson, has told him stories about his grandfather to inspire her son.
“He’s obviously one of the most athletic kids – I think – in the county and he’s progressing as a player,” said Northwest head coach Rob Smith. “Last year was his first year with us as a sophomore. He didn’t play freshman year and then two years of basketball under his wing you see the potential. I think the sky is the limit for him this offseason and next year.”