George Washington University basketball players Steve Perry and Oscar Wilmington have informed Coach Gerry Gimelstob that they have quit the team and will transfer.
Perry, a 6-foot-5 sophomore and former all-Metropolitan from Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Va., and Wilmington, a 6-3 junior from Ravenna, Ohio, said they quit because of "personal reasons."
The two, who are roommates, played basically the same position--small forward. But each would have to fight for even limited playing time next season because Gimelstob has recruited four talented players for the small forward or shooting guard positions.
"I think this is one of the growing pains of a program," said Gimelstob, in his second year at GW. "It's probably not all that unusual at schools where a new coach comes in. But there was certainly no ill will or bad feelings when they informed me of their decision."
Wilmington was a three-year starter for the Colonials and averaged 14 points and six rebounds as a sophomore. He was averaging seven points and five rebounds after 21 games when he tore cartilage in his left knee and missed the remainder of his junior season. Wilmington reportedly is fully recovered.
Perry started 27 games as a freshman, but saw only spot duty as a sophomore. He averaged six points and three rebounds and started several games after Wilmington got hurt.
"This is not a snap decision," Perry said yesterday. "It was something I started to think about during the season but put in the back of my mind. I'll just say we're leaving for personal reasons and leave it at that. What's past is past. Oscar and I don't have plans to go to school together. But if some school was interested in us both, then maybe we would go. I have no hard feelings.
"My grades were fine," Perry continued. "That's not a problem. People have said I should stay because I'm getting a free education. But I can get a free education somewhere else and be happier. Hopefully, I can find a coach who can make the most of my abilities."
Perry said a couple of schools in this area may be interested in him, but he declined to say which ones. Both players must sit out next season if they transfer to an NCAA Division I or II school.