Oxon Hill's Michael Sweetney can relax this month, confident his basketball career will extend past high school.
But Bishop Ireton's Seldon Lindsey isn't having a summer as stress-free as Sweetney. Lindsey has yet to secure a college basketball scholarship and hopes to do so before the summer ends.
For these two rising seniors, the next 24 days will be vastly different. Sweetney is among only a handful in his class to have already made their college choices known. Most, like Lindsey, hope to play some of their best basketball this month to draw interest from their favorite schools.
Thursday begins what might be the most significant period for boys high school basketball players seeking college scholarships. From then until July 31, college coaches will be out in force at a multitude of tournaments and camps evaluating players.
Sweetney, a 6-foot-7 center, made a verbal commitment to play for Georgetown during the 2000-01 season nearly a year ago. So unlike many of the elite players, he will not have to deal with constant phone calls from college coaches or worries that a bad game might cost him a scholarship offer.
He also won't have to travel as much this summer to play basketball. Although he did travel to France recently to play in the Nike World tournament and chose to attend the select Nike All-America Camp that began yesterday in Indianapolis and runs through Saturday, Sweetney is playing mainly with his high school team in local summer leagues. He said he chose to attend the Nike camp for the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the country. In his case, college can't come too soon.
"The summer is going by too slow," Sweetney said. "I want it to go by fast. I want to get my senior year over with. I want to get to another level [of basketball]."
Lindsey, a 6-3 guard, has received interest from college coaches, but no scholarship offers. Partly because he plays for a school that doesn't have a big-time basketball reputation, Lindsey wasn't "discovered" until he went with Team Reebok, his AAU team, to the Bob Gibbons-Charlie Weber Invitational at Villanova University on April 2-4. He played well enough there to attract the attention of George Mason, Lehigh, North Carolina Asheville and Radford.
"That's why I play for Team Reebok," Lindsey said. "I want to get some recognition. . . . I have always had small schools looking at me. I know I have to step it up if I want to get bigger schools."
Going to Camp
Two of the most prestigious summer camps for boys basketball players kick off the July recruiting period. The Nike All-America camp invited top players from across the country to Indianapolis this week, while the adidas ABCD camp brought even more elite players to Teaneck, N.J.
Those attending the Nike camp include Sweetney, Bullis's Mohamed Fofana and Levi Watkins, who plans to transfer to Montrose Christian next season. Local players invited to the adidas camp include Carroll's David Hawkins, Coolidge's David Holmes, Dunbar's Bernard Robinson, Paint Branch's Mauriceo Branwell and McNamara's Maurice Young.
Teammates Jordan Collins, Billy Edelin, Matt Slaninka, Hakima Jackson and Robin Wentt from DeMatha, as well as Tamir Goodman, who played at Tamudical Academy last season, and Newport Prep's James White and Mohammed Diakite, who plans to transfer to St. John's next season, will also attend the adidas camp. . . .
The Heights lost all five starters from last season, but this summer the Cavaliers may have found their go-to player for next season. In a recent 43-42 win against Atholton in the Montgomery County summer league, rising senior guard Michael Dausch scored 31 of his team's 43 points. He went 12 of 22 from the field and 7 of 7 from the free throw line. . . .
The Carroll boys team and the Good Counsel girls team are the only two remaining undefeated teams in the Reebok summer league. Marcus West of Thomas Johnson has overtaken Carroll's David Hawkins for the scoring lead. West is averaging 22.1 points per game. Bladensburg's Candice Howard reclaimed the scoring lead from Arundel's Jill Marano. Howard is averaging 18.7 points per game.
CAPTION: Because Oxon Hill center Michael Sweetney made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Georgetown in 2000-01, he doesn't have to spend all summer trying to impress recruiters.