Greg Dreiling keeps track of Perry Ellis.
“There’s a new thing called the Internet,’’ Dreiling wisecracked when asked his source of information.
But it wasn’t until recently that Dreiling, a scout for the Dallas Mavericks who has a daughter nearly as old as his now former City League basketball scoring record, knew Heights’ Ellis had broken his 31-year-old mark.
“I want a re-count,’’ he said.
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If you know Dreiling at all, you know he’s far too laid back to stew over a scoring record. He enjoyed being the City League’s career scoring leader while it lasted, but he also knew it wouldn’t last. He’s surprised it made it this long.
Now Dreiling, who scored 1,888 career points during four years at Kapaun Mount Carmel from 1977-81, is No. 2. It doesn’t have quite the same ring.
“To tell you the truth, I think I’ve thought about it just in the last month and that’s about it,’’ said Dreiling, reached in Portland where he’s scouting for the defending NBA-champion Mavericks. “With the advent of the three-point shot years back and the public schools going to four years, I would have thought this record would have been broken many, many years ago.’’
Dreiling was front and center — and at 7-foot-1 he was impossible to miss — in one of the greatest eras of City League basketball. From 1977-81, the league produced five McDonald’s All-Americans: Dreiling, Heights’ Aubrey Sherrod, Darnell Valentine and Antoine Carr; and Ricky Ross from South. All are still considered among the finest players in the league’s history.
Dreiling led Kapaun to three Class 3A championships and was almost unstoppable down low. The league hadn’t seen a dominant giant like him since Randy Canfield played at Southeast in the late-1960s. But Canfield was 6-9, four inches shorter than Dreiling.
When Dreiling arrived at Kapaun as a freshman in 1977 his reputation, nearly as tall as his stature, preceded him. And he didn’t disappoint, becoming an immediate impact player. When he got the ball in the paint, who was going to stop him?
“I was shooting around 80 percent in there, so that’s mostly where I stayed,’’ said Dreiling, who said he wasn’t affected by the lack of a three-point line at the time because his coach, Bill Carter, would never have let him wander that far from the basket. “I do have a couple of three-pointers on record in the NBA. But nothing for Ray Allen to worry about.’’
Dreiling made three three-pointers, in fact, during a 10-year NBA career, the first seven of which were spent with the Indiana Pacers. He also played for Dallas and Cleveland, finishing his career with the Mavericks in 1997.
Now 48, he and his wife, Kelly, whom he met when they were students at Kapaun, have a 28-year-old daughter (Jill) and a 23-year-old son (Scott).
“And we have a granddaughter, Elizabeth, who will be three on the 22nd of this month,’’ Dreiling said. “Hard to believe.’’
“During my time in the City League, I played a couple of years against Antoine at Heights,’’ Dreiling said. “I still run into him every once in a while and we have a good time talking about those days. And Aubrey and I had those three years against each other, although we played such different positions that there wasn’t much of a matchup. But we had a lot of good games in those days that drew a lot of big crowds.’’
Dreiling is aware, too, of North junior guard Conner Frankamp, who last season broke Ricky Ross’ single-game scoring record of 47 points by scoring 52 against Northwest. Frankamp has had a 48-point game and two 47-point games this season and looks like a good bet to pass Dreiling on the career leaderboard next season.
“Obviously, that kid can really shoot,’’ Dreiling said. “And I know Perry’s teams have done very well. I also know both of those guys are going to KU.’’
That’s where Dreiling played his final three seasons of college basketball after transferring from Wichita State. He played in the 1986 Final Four with the Jayhawks.
“People have asked me throughout my life about what was my greatest basketball moment,’’ Dreiling said. “And they expect me to mention the Final Four or the NBA. But when I look back, for me it’s winning those three state championships at Kapaun in high school. You’re the guy on those teams that everybody was expecting to carry the big load.’’
Ellis, like Dreiling, has won three state high school championships. He might have a chance to make it four in March. Makes you wonder what he’ll say about them in 30 years.