Reggie (Russ) Williams, a 6-foot-7 all-America basketball player from Dunbar High School in Baltimore, announced yesterday he will attend Georgetown University this fall.
Yesterday was the official date colleges again could begin signing high school seniors to a national letter of intent. Other highly recruited players who signed included 6-2 point guard Kenny Smith of New York City, with North Carolina, and 6-5 guard Kenny Hutchinson, also of New York City, with NCAA champion N.C. State.
Area all-Met players who committed during the early signing period in November include W.T. Woodson's Tommy Amaker (Duke) and Flint Hill's Gerald Jackson (Minnesota).
For the third consecutive year, Georgetown landed one of the three most highly recruited seniors in the nation. Two years ago, Coach John Thompson signed Patrick Ewing, and last season he signed David Wingate, a teammate of Williams at Dunbar. Williams had visited UCLA and Nevada-Las Vegas in recent weeks, but coaches around the country have said for the past month that Williams would choose Georgetown. He made it official yesterday.
Williams averaged 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in leading the Poets to a 31-0 record and the several national high school No. 1 rankings. He said he selected Georgetown because of its business administration curriculum and because he would feel comfortable with.
"Coach Thompson's philosophy is similar to my high school coach (Bob Wade)," Williams said at a press conference at Baltimore's City Hall yesterday. "Both stress academics and discipline."
"If Russ is consistent with the other two (Wingate, Ed Hopkins) we've had taught by Coach Wade, he'll be an outstanding player," Thompson said. "Russ comes from a program where they've been taught. That makes your job easier.
"Russ is clever around the basket and has that ability to score. He can play either the off guard or small forward and for his size is an excellent ball handler. He'll give us a lot of flexibility, and with added strength will be a fine player. We feel he can contribute to our program."
Williams listed Georgetown, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Louisville and Nevada-Las Vegas as his final five schools. A smooth, lithe player, he led Dunbar to an 86-2 record in three years. Both losses were in overtime.
Wingate started at guard and averaged 12 points per game last season for the Hoyas.
"I coached some great players--Wingate, Ernest Graham (Maryland)--and they all possessed great skills," Wade said. "But Reggie's skills are more polished. What sets him above the rest is his court awareness."
Williams' teammate, 5-3 Tyrone Bogues, signed with Wake Forest last fall.
Bernard Woodside, a versatile 6-5 senior from St. Agnes in Hempstead, N.Y., signed with George Washington last night. Woodside averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game for the top-ranked team in the state of New York. Brian Butler, a 6-4 shooting guard from Wicomico, Md., signed with GW in the fall.
George Mason signed two 6-8 forwards, Mike DuFrene of Osbourn and Tom Shapiro of Seneca Valley.
American signed all-Met Frank Ross, a 6-2 point guard from Potomac (Md.), 6-9 forward Tom Scherer of Walter Johnson and 6-8 forward Henry Hopkins of Summit, N.J.
Maryland did not sign any players yesterday. In November, the Terrapins signed 6-8 Terry Long of Hermitage High School in Richmond and 6-5 Keith Gatlin of Greensboro, N.C.
Kevin Coyne, a 6-4 guard from Hicksville, N.Y., will attend the Naval Academy, and 6-8 Tom Sheehey of Rochester, N.Y., one of the best power forwards in the country, signed with Virginia. He had announced his decision Monday, choosing the Cavaliers over Boston College.
Howard and the University of the District of Columbia reported no signings yesterday.
Other area players who signed yesterday included Kelvin Scarborough of Eastern (New Mexico) and Leroy Allen and Greg Arnold of De Matha (Hofstra).
Nationally, Curtis Aiken, a 5-11 guard from Buffalo who averaged 39.9 points per game, decided to attend Pittsburgh. Aiken made an oral commitment to attend Kansas last month but reconsidered when coach Ted Owens was fired.
Mike Carpenter, a 7-2 center from Knoxville, Tenn., and 6-7 Kevin Smith of Lansing, Mich., signed with Minnesota. Gerald White, a 6-2 guard from Augusta, Ga., signed with Auburn; 6-1 guard James Ponder of Atlanta signed with Alabama-Birmingham; and 6-9 Cedric Evans of Fort Pierce, Fla., and 6-8 Jerome White of Camden, N.J., signed with Alabama.