There was supposed to be an Urban Coalition League basketball game yesterday between Metromedia 5 -- a team made up of Georgetown University players past, present and future -- and the Washington Bullets.
But Metromedia 5 never showed. There was a Metromedia 5 team there, but it was composed of a cameraman, a man carrying a boom microphone and a sports reporter. They were not adequate replacements for the likes of a Pat Ewing of an Anthony Jones.
"I don't know why they never showed up. I never got a call from (Georgetown Coach) John Thompson or anyone else. This has never happened before in the 10 years of this league," said Jim Wiggins, director since the league's birth in 1971.
An estimated 3,500 people in the 2,500-seat gym at Dunbar High had to settle for a substitute game. The Bullets beat the Jets, 146-118, depite a 34-point effort by Gus Williams of the Seattle Supersonics.
"All of the players in this league are spectators, so we never have any problems getting players," Wiggins explained. The Jets were alerted to yesterday's schedule change after Metromedia 5 failed to show against Smith Lithograph Friday night.
There were all sorts of speculation as to why the Georgetown players didn't play. But the only reliable source -- Hoya Coach Thompson -- was not available for comment last night.
Friday, Thompson was quoted as saying, "Our freshmen are not playing. We've got them involved in some things here at summer school."
The fans were not the only unhappy people over the absence of the Georgetown players.
"I was expecting to play them," said Bullet center Rick Mahorn. "I had heard a lot about those guys and I was looking forward to playing against them. I was kind of disappointed. But I came down to get some running in and I got to do that."
Jeff Ruland and Claude Gregory led the Bullets with 26 and 23 points, respectively. Earl Jones, who will be a sophomore this fall at the University of the District of Columbia and who normally plays on the Metromedia 5 team, scored 23 points for the Jets. Merlin Wilson, a former Georgetown player on the Metromedia 5 roster, also played for the Jets.