Food for Thought
For Andre Scott, the best part about attending the select Nike All-America basketball camp in Indianapolis is the competition against some of the elite players from across the nation. The worst part? The food.
"It's stuff I don't like," Scott said. "It's real food. I like fast food."
Scott, a 6-foot-11, 200-pound senior center who attended DeMatha last season before transferring mid-year to Eleanor Roosevelt, was one of 217 elite boys high school basketball players from across the country invited to the Nike camp last week.
"It definitely humbles you," said Scott of his first Nike camp experience. "You can't walk around with a big head because there's other guys just as good as you out there."
The well-traveled Scott has yet to decide on a high school for next season. He is taking summer classes at McNamara and is playing on Newport Prep's summer basketball team. He said he will not be returning to Roosevelt or DeMatha but is considering Newport, Hargrave Military Academy and Washington College, a prep school in Tennessee.
Scott said he has been receiving quite a few phone calls from college coaches interested in recruiting him but has missed most of them because he has been on the road. Before the Nike camp, Scott attended the USA Basketball men's youth development festival in Colorado Springs.
Another player with county connections who made the trip to Indianapolis was Levi Watkins. And like Scott, the former Pallotti center stayed busy at the Nike camp. In fact, he had to be awakened from his nap before he could talk about his experience at the Nike camp.
"It's tiring," he said of his first few days at the camp.
The schedule at the camp is packed with individual drills, scrimmages and courses on leadership and study skills. There is not much time for sleep. For Watkins, a 6-7, 230-pound junior who is transferring to Montrose Christian, this is only the beginning of a grueling summer schedule. He travels from Indianapolis to Georgia for an AAU tournament, then to Orlando for the AAU nationals.
Watkins isn't complaining. He knows that's what he needs to do in order to attract a Division I scholarship offer and become a better player.
"Not only do you get exposure, but you can see where you are against the other players that are up there with you," Watkins said.
McNamara forward Maurice Young, who said earlier this month he would play for the University of Virginia, had a strong showing a the adidas ABCD camp in Hackensack, N.J., with future coach Pete Gillen looking on--and looking pleased with Young's play.
Young averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds over eight games at the five-day camp at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The 6-6 senior ranked No. 32 overall in the 246-player field.
DeMatha had three players attend the camp--seniors Hekima Jackson and Matt Slaninka and junior Jordan Collins. Jackson, a 6-2 guard, had the best week of the trio, averaging 10.3 points and 3.4 rebounds to rank 84th overall. Collins, a 6-11 center, had only one double-digit scoring game and averaged 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per outing. He ranked 96th in the camp.
The 7-3 Slaninka, who committed to University of Maryland as a junior, struggled most of the week, averaging 3.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He started off the camp with a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) but didn't score in two games where he had at least a five-inch height advantage over the opposition's big men. He was ranked 182nd overall.
E. Seton Gets Transfer
Cotelia Bond-Young, a sophomore guard who was a key player last season for the Douglass girls basketball team, has transferred to Elizabeth Seton, Seton Coach Richard Brown said.
"That's a pretty good acquisition," said Brown, who added he plans to start Bond-Young next season. "She is going to step right in and contribute immediately for us."
Brown said he had not seen Bond-Young play until a recent AAU tournament. Unlike most of the county's top players, who play AAU for the Beltway Lady Cougars, Bond-Young plays for the Fairfax Stars.
"She is a great defender, she can score, she can handle; she is an all-around player," Brown said. "What I'm looking forward to the most is that she is going to help us tremendously on defense. We do a lot of pressing and her quickness is really going to help out."
Seton finished 25-3, losing to St. John's in the championship game of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament.
Suitland Passes Test
The Suitland football team defeated Forestville, 6-0, in Saturday's championship game of the Prince George's Summer Passing League. The winning touchdown came on a 30-yard pass from quarterback Ronitto Rogers to wide receiver Kenyon McAfee with about seven minutes remaining, according to Suitland Coach Nick Lynch.
Rogers and McAfee are juniors. They are two of the players the Rams will look to as they try to replace 22 seniors from last season's team that advanced to the Maryland 4A championship game for the second consecutive season.
Suitland has three starters on offense and three on defense returning. Lynch said he thinks playing in the passing league is the first step toward rebuilding.
"It gets the kids running around and has them doing something and building some camaraderie and team unity," Lynch said. "A lot of times, kids go from the end of the season in November and don't pick up a football until August. Especially with our team being so young, I think this is good."
In his first month as Suitland's new athletic director, Bernarr Battle has plenty of work to do. He must find new coaches in boys basketball, baseball and girls soccer.
"I'm just a person that happened to be asked to take this role," Battle said last week. "And I'm going to do the best that I can."
Battle, a 1985 graduate of Oxon Hill, played football at Rutgers. A knee injury ended his playing career and led him to pursue a career in education. He is finishing work toward earning his master's degree in instruction and curriculum.
Battle said although he is eager to fill the vacant positions it was not his decision to seek new coaches, especially in the case of boys basketball coach Eric Jeter. Attempts to reach Suitland's former athletic director, Lamont Williams, were unsuccessful.
"I'm going to keep it simple," Battle said about replacing Jeter. "If [Jeter] wants to explain why, that is up to him. But I am not going to."
Attempts to reach Jeter were also unsuccessful.