DuVal forward Edward Polite committed to Radford Friday, and in so doing became the first player from Prince George’s County 4A’s class of 2015 to commit to play Division I basketball.
That league is loaded with college-quality players, but Polite leaped ahead of all of them — much like he leaped over them all season — by choosing the Highlanders over schools like Monmouth, Quinnipiac, Towson, Wagner and others.
Polite committed Friday after touring the campus, but said he knew before he headed to Radford for that visit that he would be committing.
“The coaching staff were all genuine people, they seemed like they knew what they were talking about,” Polite said. “They showed genuine concern about me helping their program out.”
In the 6-5. 180-pound Polite, the Highlanders get an explosive athlete who led the Tigers in scoring as a junior last season with 14 points per game. He averaged nearly a double-double, also reeling in nine rebounds while playing at power forward for the Tigers.
At Radford, he’ll slot as a two-guard or small forward, a move he’s not concerned about making as he’s played there in AAU for D.C. Premier.
“I think I mainly have to work on my ball-handling and my jump shot,” Polite said. “But I’m not really worried about the move because I’ve played in AAU and am kind of used to it.”
Polite helped the Tigers to a 15-10 record last season, assuming that leading scorer’s role unexpectedly vacated when star guard Mike Cunningham was ruled ineligible. He emerged as the most productive of four scorers who averaged double-digits for the season, but believes he could have done more.
“I think I have to score more,” he said. “I need to be a bit more offensively minded. Last year I felt like I could’ve scored more, and if I scored more, it probably would have helped.”
Polite will have to shoulder more of the scoring and rebounding load for the Tigers this season: rising junior forward A.J. Wilson — who averaged 10 points, three rebounds, and one absurd high-flying play per game last year — transferred to Montrose Christian before this school year. That leaves most of the frontcourt responsibilities to Polite, who doesn’t mind the grunt work that comes with them.
“I just like to do everything other players may not like,” Polite said. “Just work hard.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 1
DuVal is one of 12 schools that play football and basketball in the Prince George’s County 4A league. One of them — Eleanor Roosevelt — won on Maryland’s opening football weekend, a surprisingly poor showing from a typically formidable league.
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Two of the best boys’ soccer teams in the area, No. 1 DeMatha and No. 3 Gonzaga, played to a scoreless tie Monday. Here’s what it looked like: