Yugoslav forward commits orally to Maryland

April 14, 1992|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

Nemanja Petrovic, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, has committed orally to the University of Maryland and will sign a letter of intent during the monthlong signing period that begins tomorrow.

Juan Baughn, principal at North Penn High School in suburban Philadelphia, said that Petrovic gave the commitment to Terrapins coach Gary Williams on Sunday. Petrovic has been a foreign exchange student at the school since last fall.

Petrovic was on vacation with his host family and couldn't be reached for comment, but Baughn said Petrovic will sign when he returns to school on Monday. Williams was also out of town yesterday but, by NCAA rules, can't comment on any recruit until he officially signs.

"Maryland had everything he wanted," said Baughn, a former high school basketball coach who oversaw the recruiting. "Close proximity to a city, but a non-city campus. A big international business program. It was the right-size school and it happens to be in the ACC."

Baughn said that Petrovic's final choices were Maryland and Temple.

Petrovic, who isn't related to New Jersey Nets guard Drazen Petrovic, had an injury-plagued season at North Penn. He broke his wrist and elbow during a pickup game last fall. After missing the first four games of the season, Petrovic averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds over 11 games before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Even before the injury, which could take up to eight months to rehabilitate and could keep him off the court until practice starts Nov. 1, the biggest question concerning Petrovic was his mobility. A good shooter with three-point range, Petrovic will be playing in a much different system from those he was accustomed to.

Petrovic will become the fifth player to sign a national letter of intent with Maryland for next season. Along with Petrovic, three who signed last November -- DeMatha point guard Duane Simpkins, Harker Prep swingman Exree Hipp and Mario Lucas, a 6-9 forward from Memphis, Tenn., -- have qualified academically. The fifth player, DuVal forward Stacey Robinson, has not qualified under guidelines of Proposition 48.

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