Georgetown's basketball team added another high-school all-America to its roster yesterday when Anthony Jones of Dunbar announced he will attend the university in the fall.
Jones, a 6-foot-6 forward, said he signed a national letter of intent Wednesday night. By signing Jones, The Washington Post's area player of the year, Georgetown Coach John Thompson has successfully recruited three of the nation's best and most highly sought high school players. Jones joins 7-foot center Patrick Ewing of Cambridge, Mass., and 6-7 forward William Martin of McKinley.
Jones' teammate at Dunbar, all-America 608 forward Sylvester Charles, announced at the same press conference that he will attend Wake Forest.
Jones and Charles, the main reasons Interhigh champion Dunbar was 24-1 last year, said they were "relieved" to announce their intentions, ending months of suspense for both universities. Two months ago, Jones had narrowed more than 200 offers to Georgetown and North Carolina. Charles had eliminated just about every school except Wake Forest.
Last week, it was learned Dunbar Coach Joe Dean Davidson had applied for the vacant head job at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Yesterday, Jones and Charles said they would have considered Drake had Davidson been hired. But Davidson was not one of the final seven to be interviewed.
"Yes, it was a possibility we would have gone to Drake," Jones said yesterday at Dunbar. "The coach didn't promise us anything. But since he helped us more than anyone, we felt we owned him at least a visit
"Still, I'm glad things worked out this way, because I really like Georgetown," Jones continued. "I took my time deciding because I wanted to make the right decision. But lately, this wait had been affecting me. I sort of backed off North Carolina because they had good people who already played my position."
Jones, a prolific outside shooter who averaged 25.5 points per game, said he hopes to swing between shooting guard and small forward at Georgetown.
"At Dunbar he played both positions and we plan for him to do the same at Georgetown," said Thompson, adding he was "elated" at Jones' decision. "I've had very pleasant experiences with players from Dunbar (John Duren and ycraig Shelton). And I have no reason to expect anything different at this case.Joe Dean has a good solid, program at Dunbar.
Charles, who came to the U.S. from the Virgin Islands two years ago, said "it had been Wake, all along." He also said he owed Davidson the courtesy of waiting for Drake to make a coaching decision. "I'm very satisfied with Wake Forest," he said. "I feel their program can help me. I didn't mind waiting so long because I didn't want to make a mistake."
A small, curious crowd of students and teachers gathered along the first floor steps and in the hallways at Dunbar as Jones and Charles prepared to make their announcements before a hlaf-dozen reporters and television cameras from three Washington stations.
The highlight of the 20-minute session came when Charles and Jones were asked if they considered attending Maryland after a late effort by Terrapin recruiters. Charles emphatically replied, "No. Maryland showed no interest in us in the beginning. So there was no sense in them trying at the end."
With Jones, Ewing, Martin and 6-9 center/forward Ralph Dalton, Georgetown will easily have the most imposing front court in the Big East Conference. The four recruits will join a squad that returns all but one player and all of its starters.
"I evaluate a recruiting year at the end of the season, not now," Thompson said. "We'll have to work very hard to achieve high expectation. I still haven't given a lot of thought to next year's team."
Charles' decision to attend Wake also will help the Deacons, who finished third in the ACC last year. He scored 18 points and had 14 rebounds a game for Dunbar. "He's well suited to our running style," said Wake Coach Carl Tacy.
"We're relieved we finally got a signature. Even when I found out Joe (Davidson) was considering the Drake job, I told him we would still continue to recruit ysylvester, even though we knew there was a possibility we might not get him then.
"We had put in too much time to just quit right then. I never hoped Joe wouldn't get the job, because he's make a good (college) coach. Sylvester would make anyone a fine player. He has that quickness, hits the boards hard, and gets down the court in a hurry. He'll give a lot of forwards problems in the ACC."