LANHAM -- Stacy Robinson and Duane Simpkins have always been able to turn to each other at the important moments of their lives.
So, when Robinson, a 6-foot-5 senior at DuVal High, was in the midst of the most important moment of his life yesterday -- namely announcing where he would be attending college and playing basketball -- where was his best buddy, Simpkins?
Caught in traffic. And Robinson read Simpkins the riot act when he finally arrived, albeit in jest.
"I was there when you signed, man," said Robinson. "You're late. I'm turning my back on you."
Simpkins, a 6-1 senior point guard at DeMatha, should be forgiven for being a bit blase about getting to the DuVal library for the announcement, since he already knew that Robinson would be joining him at Maryland.
Robinson, a 180-pound swingman who averaged 23.4 points and 12.3 rebounds last season in leading DuVal to the 3A state championship, picked the day before his 17th birthday to make formal what has been on his mind for at least a year.
"I felt this was the best college for me and that Coach [Gary] Williams would be the best coach for me," said Robinson.
Robinson said he had been considering Villanova, Providence and Miami (Fla.), but that Maryland had been his prime choice since the school started contacting him as a freshman.
Robinson, considered by most high school scouts to be one of the top 50 overall players in the country, said his mother had wanted him to delay his decision to explore all of his options.
But he said he wanted to announce his choice now and to sign a national letter of intent on Nov. 13 to be able to concentrate on high school, and to end the pursuit from colleges, which Robinson said had mailed letters that filled two large boxes and a 30-gallon trash bag.
Robinson said he expects eventually to grow to about 6-7 or 6-8 and hopes to be able to play either shooting guard or small forward at Maryland.
He said he will take the Scholastic Aptitude Test for the first time next month and expects to exceed the combined 850 score that is needed to be admitted to Maryland.
Once Simpkins, a fourth-team Parade All-America, announced last week that he would attend Maryland, it seemed obvious that Robinson would follow, especially since they had been talking about going to school together since the summer.
"I've known him since he was 10," said Robinson. "We've been playing against each other on youth league teams. They used to beat our butt."