Patrick Ewing, Georgetown's 7-foot all-America, will not participate in the Pan American Games in August because the practice schedule conflicts with his summer school schedule.
In a prepared statement, Ewing said, "I wanted very much to represent my country in the games. That is why we all tried so hard to work out these conflicts. But if I am to remain ahead of the graduation schedule I set for myself when I arrived at Georgetown, I must take this course." Ewing will be taking a Spanish course that will help fulfill a language requirement. He was unavailable for further comment.
Georgetown said it made several class schedule accommodations, but still was not able to end the course before Aug. 4 without inconveniencing other members of the class. The practice schedule, which was decided yesterday, will begin the last week of July and the games in Caracas, Venezuela, will run Aug. 14-28.
Georgetown Coach John Thompson said last night, "I know Patrick is dying to play, but he's doing very well academically and he wants to stay ahead. I'm proud of him for that. I'd like him to play, but he knows not to sacrifice academic goals to play basketball. We sat down and set specific goals when he got to Georgetown and he doesn't want to deviate from that course."
Ewing, who almost certainly would have been the starting center for the U.S., will be replaced by Ed Pinckney of Villanova. Pinckney, a 6-10 all-Big East selection as a sophomore, will also play in the World University Games in Edmonton next month.
Jack Hartman, coach of the Pan Am team, said Sam Perkins of North Carolina, Greg Stokes of Iowa, Michael Cage of San Diego State or Pinckney could play center and still give the team an "effective" front line.