Anthony Jones is happy to be coming home.
"It's great," said Jones, the former Dunbar High School all-America who became the Washington Bullets' second pick in the first round of yesterday's NBA draft.
Jones, the 21st player chosen overall, took the long way back. After graduating from Dunbar in 1981, he decided to attend Georgetown with Patrick Ewing, who is now with the New York Knicks, and former McKinley Tech all-America Billy Martin, who is with the Indiana Pacers.
They made up what was touted as possibly the best freshman front line ever. Things went well for Ewing and Martin, but not for Jones, who transferred to Nevada-Las Vegas after his sophomore year.
"It was a little dim at the beginning," said Jones. "There was so much pressure on me at Georgetown . . . and so little playing time for me. I got playing time at UNLV. It couldn't have worked out in a better way."
For Johnny Dawkins, the former Mackin High and Duke University all-America, it's back to Texas. Last month in Dallas, he concluded four outstanding seasons with the Blue Devils in his team's loss to Louisville in the NCAA championship game. Yesterday, he was drafted by San Antonio.
Dawkins, the 10th pick overall in the draft, said he thought he would be taken by Chicago with the ninth choice. When the Bulls went for Brad Sellers of Ohio State, Dawkins said he became worried.
"I was just sitting there wondering what was going to happen," said Dawkins, who watched the proceedings at the Felt Forum in New York's Madison Square Garden.
"I was hoping I wouldn't slide down too far, that I could stay in the top 10. I felt happy. Relieved, for one thing.
"I wasn't thinking about dollars. My main concern was that I thought I'd had a good enough year to go high in the draft. I'm pretty excited."
But Dawkins' excitement was no match for that of George Mason's Ricky Wilson, who was ecstatic when he heard the Bulls had chosen him in the third round with the 52nd pick.
The day was also interesting for Michael Graham, who dropped out of Georgetown after helping lead the Hoyas to the national title in 1984. Although he hasn't played organized basketball in two years, he expected to be drafted today.
Before the draft, Graham, who attended Spingarn High, said: "I'm a little nervous and all. I don't care what round I go in. Let me stop; I do care."
His concern ended when he was taken by the Seattle SuperSonics in the fourth round, the 76th pick overall.
Graham played at Georgetown with Michael Jackson of Reston's South Lakes High and David Wingate of Baltimore's Dunbar High. Jackson and Wingate were taken in the second round of the draft, Wingate by Philadelphia with the 44th pick and Jackson by New York with No. 47.
Getting picked by the Bullets was particularly satisfying for Jones. He left for UNLV uncertain of his ability.
"I can put all that behind me," Jones said. "I've fulfilled my childhood dream.
"Now I can come back. Just to be home with all my family and friends will be great again."
Two other players from the Washington area were drafted. George Washington guard Troy Webster was taken by New Jersey in the sixth round with the 127th pick overall and Cleveland chose Georgetown center Ralph Dalton in the seventh round, the 142nd overall selection.
In addition, Mike Brown of George Washington, a 6-9 center/forward who played in Italy last season, signed with the Chicago Bulls, who drafted him in the third round last year.