One lives in the Liberty Road area of Baltimore County and the other miles away in Ellicott City. One is totally dedicated to basketball and the other is a track star competing on the national level. Yet, though both are just 16-year-old juniors, they've played basketball together since the seventh grade.
Consequently, Glenda Major and Erin Graham give No. 7-ranked Woodlawn (5-0) one of the area's most formidable backcourts -- experienced, quick and skilled.
"We know how each other plays," said point guard Major. "I know where she'll be at."
The two met when Graham, then playing for a Howard County youth league team, was invited to join Major's Liberty Road team by the coach, a friend of Graham's father. Last year Graham transferred from Mount Hebron to Woodlawn, where her mother is Vo-Tech coordinator.
"I knew a lot of kids here from track and volleyball camp," Graham said. Now the 5-foot-7 shooting guard is averaging 17 points, 3.2 assists and 3.8 steals for the Warriors. Major, 5-8, is averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 assists and three steals.
"Erin and Glenda seem to have a genuine love for the game," said Woodlawn coach Mary Duckworth. "It's fun for them to go out and work hard."
Graham certainly likes to work hard. Last spring she won the state title in the 300-meter hurdles and also ran the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter -- and two relays for the Warriors. During the summer she ran locally for the Woodlawn Burners and finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in the national 16-and-under age group meet while representing the Ed Waters Track Club.
She and Major also played together this summer for the Maryland Express, a traveling AAU team. And, while working about 15 hours each weekend as a hostess and bussing tables at an Ellicott City restaurant, Graham has found time to keep her grades worthy of induction into the National Honor Society as a junior.
"I couldn't make a decision between the two sports right now," said Graham. "I love 'em both."
Major, a starter since her freshman year, is devoted to basketball and said she likes "everything" about Georgia Tech All-America Kenny Anderson, and especially enjoys making assists. "I like making the pass so they can get their shot," she said.
But Major, an excellent ballhandler according to Duckworth, can do more than pass the ball. In an early-season Woodlawn win, "Randallstown put a box-and-one on Erin," Duckworth said. "So Glenda picked up the pace and scored 22 points."
And in last year's Class 4A regional final against Wootton she sank a halfcourt shot to win the game. "Our goal is to go back to the states," Major said. The Warriors have lost to Broadneck two years in a row in the state semifinals.
Duckworth said her star guards are highly coachable. "They're very good at following directions and listening to the team captain," she said. Senior center Kim Davis (5-10, 12 points, 9.8 rebounds, 5 blocks) is Woodlawn's captain this year.
Tomorrow at 3:30 p.m., the Warriors play host No. 15 Parkville (5-3) minus its star guard, Laurie Bender, out with a knee injury. "Without Bender they're going to be a very different team," Duckworth said. "We're kind of disappointed."
But she's not worried about Graham and Major getting up for the game. "They love the game and want to play. Getting them motivated for a game is not difficult."