As the Maryland men’s basketball team trudged into the offseason, a first-game ACC tournament exit and altogether playoff absence at its backs, a pair of future Terrapins continue to stock high school honors. Local guards Melo Trimble (Bishop O’Connell) and Dion Wiley (Potomac) have been selected to the prestigious Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, and will play for the Green Team on April 18 at 7 p.m., at Freedom Hall in Louisville.
Last weekend, Wiley helped lead the Wolverines to the Maryland 2A state title, scoring 13 points to help his team avenge a loss in last season’s 3A championship game. Trimble, meanwhile, carried the Knights for much of the season — including a record 47 points in February — and they wrapped up their season with a third-place win over St. John’s in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament at Frostburg State University, on the same day Potomac received its hardware.
The Kentucky Derby Festival Classic dates back to 1973 and bills itself as “the oldest high school all-star game in the nation … known for showcasing players who’ve moved on to stardom at the collegiate and professional levels. Former players include Jamal Mashburn, Moses Malone, Rex Chapman, Pervis Ellison, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Darrell Griffith, Derek Anderson, Anfernee Hardaway and Michael Beasley.”
Trimble and Wiley’s squad includes two future Big Ten opponents in Max Hoetzel and Robert Johnson, both Indiana commitments, and will be coached by Chris Sparks of Wilbraham & Monson Academy. Three other former Terps targets — center Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville), center Goodluck Okonoboh (UNLV) and forward Dwayne Morgan (UNLV) — are also participating in the event.
Together, Trimble and Wiley comprise one-half of Maryland’s class of 2014, which ranks 14th nationally according to ESPN.com. Swingman Jared Nickens and center Trayvon Reed are also scheduled to arrive for summer school in June.