Pete Holbert, W. T. Woodson's 6-foot-7 all-Met senior forward, said yesterday he will accept a grant-in-aid to play basketball at the University of Maryland next season.
"I decided that I wanted to play ACC basketball and then I decided that I wanted to stay close to home so my friends and family could see me play," Holbert said at a press conference at Woodson. "I made my decision early so other coaches wouldn't waste their time to come see me. I pretty much knew where I was going."
"There was a lot of pressure on Pete, although he didn't show it," said his coach, Red Jenkins. "Deciding early like this has taken the pressure off Pete and his family.
"I think Pete has NBA potential," added Jenkins, who has a record of 267-103 since 1962 at Woodson. "In order to play in the NBA you first have to play against the best players. That's what the ACC has."
Holbert first narrowed his choices to five schools: Villanova, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion, North Carolina State and Maryland. His final choice was between N.C. State and Maryland.
"Pete is somewhat similar to Ernest Graham because I think he can play three positions once he matures," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell. "He's a small forward now, but when he improves his ball-handling a little and he grows, he can play either big forward or swing guard like Ernest has done for us this year."
"I think there will be less pressure on me at Maryland because I know my role will be to come off the bench," said Holbert, "I'm not going to go there and replace Albert King or Ernest Graham. But hopefully in my second year I can start and be ready to play."
Holbert is averaging 31.6 points for the Fairfax County school. He came into this season as the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer with 1,176 points and was averaging 33.5 prior to his last game. Fairfax defensed him with three players and limited Holbert to two points.
"Pete is the best high school shooter I've ever seen," added Jenkins. "He can shoot like a guard and rebound like a forward. That's why he's so tough."
Holbert will be the second player from Northern Virginia to play at Maryland since Driesell came to the school 11 years ago. Jim O'Brien from Stuart was the first player recruited by Driesell following his appointment in 1969.