HAGERSTOWN — Cokey Robertson coached many, many players during his 34 years as boys basketball coach at St. Maria Goretti.
When asked about the all-time greats he had, Rodney Monroe obviously heads the list. But it doesn’t take long for him to mention Phil Lane, a three-year starter at point guard.
The 5-foot-11 Lane was the glue that kept everything together during his time, which ended with graduation in 1996.
He was the catalyst behind three seasons of 20-plus wins, averaging 18 points a game in his junior year and 24 points and eight assists as a senior.
Lane’s career wasn’t forgotten by the Baltimore Catholic League, which recently selected him to the BCL Hall of Fame.
“I’m really kind of surprised, but it really is special,” Lane said.
He will be honored at the league’s induction ceremony May 3 in Baltimore.
“He was silky smooth and radiant, the best passer of the basketball I ever had,” said Robertson. “He had court vision, quickness and speed ... the classic point guard.”
Lane had a unique opportunity to play against a number of players who went on to star at major Division I schools, including Steve Wojciechowski (Duke) at Cardinal Gibbons, Nate James (Duke) at St. John’s at Prospect Hall, Mark Karcher (Temple) at St. Frances and Juan Dixon (Maryland) at Calvert Hall.
“I got to play against the top teams,” said Lane. “I lived and breathed it. It was better than public schools. Me and Wojo had some battles.”
Lane played Division I basketball at Manhattan College. He was recruited by Fran Fraschilla, who left the school after Lane’s freshman season.
Growing up in Hagerstown, Lane was introduced to Robertson and the Goretti community coming out of eighth grade by girls coach Todd Rideout.
“Cokey gave me the groundwork to move on and be successful with life skills, learning teamwork, responsibility,” said Lane. “Without him in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Lane lives in Boston, where he works in the insurance business. He has been married for six years and has a 14-month-old child. He also spends time working with kids in after-school programs.
“Basketball is behind me. I’m just in a regular man’s life,” Lane said.