Mount St. Joseph guard finds fit in unusual climate

Mount St. Joseph rising senior guard D’Angelo Stines committed Old Dominion University over the weekend. He helped the Gaels to the MIAA A Conference championship last season. (photo – Charles Hebron)

by Derek Toney

Coming off a breakout campaign last basketball season, Mount St. Joseph High’s D’Angelo Stines was excited about his prospects going into the spring and summer recruiting season.

Then Covid-19 happened.

“When everything got shut down, I was in a dry spell,” Stines said of his recruitment.

For rising seniors like Stines, recruiting is vastly different with AAU tournaments and in-person campus visits shuttered due to the pandemic.

From the comfort of his home, Stines found a school. The guard verbally committed to Old Dominion University.

’Their facilities were the best out of the schools I considered,” said Stines, who did a “virtual visit” to the Virginia campus. “They’re really heavy on player development.”

He selected the Conference USA program over Howard, Loyola and Mount St. Mary’s. Howard offered Stines in late February and Mount St. Mary’s in mid-March, just as major league, collegiate and high school sports were stopped.

Stines’ recruitment was silent until Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones contacted him in July.

“They [Old Dominion] like what he saw in film,” said Stines. “Coach Clatchey stayed in my ear about working to improved my game.”

Longtime Gaels coach Pat Clatchey told Jones Stines would be a perfect fit for the Monarchs.

“He’s a terrific young man, very good student and he can hoop,” Clatchey said. “His development and play last season was instrumental. He’s a complete player.”

Stines went from top reserve to a starter for the Gaels, who won the MIAA A Conference championship and reached the Baltimore Catholic League Tourney final.

“Nobody had high hopes for us and we used that as motivation,” said Stines, whose defeated No. 1 and nationally-ranked St. Frances Academy twice (including MIAA A final) last season. “A lot of people slept on guys like me and Jason [Edokpayi].”

Stines has grown an inch and put on 10 pounds of muscle over the last few months, working out three times a day starting at 5:15 a.m. He said Old Dominion pictured him playing both guard positions (point and shooting guard) which was a huge factor.

Stines, who was born in Virginia and his family moved to Baltimore several years ago, knew of Old Dominion. Monarch coaches gave him an extensive tour of the campus via Face Time last month.

“It wasn’t what I pictured it,” said Stines referring to the new norm of recruiting in a Covid-19 world. “I’m grateful I was able to get offers.”

Stines is hoping to get back on the court with Gaels in the winter. The Irvington school should again be among the area’s best with Stines, Ausar Crawley and Antonio Hamlin returning to the backcourt.

“We definitely have something special,” said Stines. “I’m just excited to get back and get to show the young guys how to get better and help the team, and hopefully win two championships.”