Wojciechowski courts attention Big-time coaches in pursuit of Gibbons guard

August 22, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

"It's whoa-joe-house-key," said Cardinal Gibbons basketball coach Ray Mullis, pronouncing the last name of his returning star player, senior Steve Wojciechowski.

The name is familiar to many of the nation's top college coaches.

Five of them -- Mike Krezyzewski (Duke), Dean Smith (North Carolina), Brian Mahoney (St. John's), Jan van Breda Kolff (Vanderbilt) and Dave Odom (Wake Forest) -- will visit Wojciechowski's home in Severna Park this fall, each offering an all-expenses-paid college education.

"He's been offered full scholarships to over 30 schools and he's narrowed it down to those five," said Mullis, adding that the visits are set for between Sept. 13-19.

Mullis says Wojciechowski "may be better in the classroom than he is on the court," with a 3.8 grade-point average and scores of 1050 and 26 on the SAT and ACT tests, respectively.

Ranked third in his class, Wojciechowski's been a member of the National Honor Society for two years.

"He may be the hardest worker we've had in the program or the school," said Mullis. "He's had an amazing summer, starting in June, where he just stepped his game up a couple of levels to where everybody in the country's recruiting him."

A first-team, All-City and second-team All-Metro pick last year, Wojciechowski averaged a team-leading 13.2 points. He also led the team in assists (164), steals (113) and three-point shots (68).

"When they leave him alone and they don't respect him, he buries every open shot," said Gibbons assistant coach Mike Dahlem.

The only junior on last year's first-team All-Catholic League squad, Wojciechowski had career highs of 25 scoring, 15 in assists and nine each in rebounds and steals.

"The thing that has really put him at the next level is his personal development of his skills," Dahlem said. "Any time he's had a deficiency in a game, he's made that his top priority. You've got to be able to produce, and he's broken down his game virtually every time out."

Wojciechowski, 17, set a blazing path across the summer circuit.

The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder began in June as the unanimous choice for the Sportsmanship Award at Five Star's Honesdale I camp, also earning Most Outstanding Player and Mr. Hustle.

The July issue of Hoop Scoop magazine, a scouting report for college coaches, called him "cerebral and classy," and said he "drew all

kinds of comparisons to [former Duke University guard] Bobby Hurley as a number of big-time coaches watched his every move."

"There were a lot of good guards at the first camp, and that gave me a lot of confidence," said Wojciechowski, whose two-year assists total (262) rank ninth on Gibbons' all-time list.

The loftiest accolades came after Five Star's Pitt II camp July 13-19, after which Five Star co-director Howard Garfinkel called Wojciechowski "his sleeper of the summer."

"He got the ball where it had to go offensively, and he hit from the three-point line on," said Mullis. "Defensively, he stepped up his game and kept every guard in front of him all summer -- no one got by him."

Among his honors at Pitt II, Wojciechowski earned the Best Playmaker trophy. He made the All-Star team -- along with Dunbar's two-time All-Metro Norman Nolan -- and became only the sixth inductee into Five Star's 30-for-30 club, whose prior members include the New Jersey Nets' Rumeal Robinson.

Since then, Wojciechowski's been honing his skills on the Gibbons' squad in the Craig Cromwell Summer League.

Wojciechowski and Nolan each began playing basketball with Severna Park's 8-10 Green Hornets, where they earned co-MVP honors during their final seasons. Nolan, a 6-8 center, is being touted as the area's premier player after earning MVP honors at Five Star Pitt III.

"Norman's gotten the most looks from major colleges, but we're both happy for each other," said Wojciechowski. "It's been tough and overwhelming, all this stuff that's been happening, but I think I'm at the point where I'm getting able to handle it maturely.

"I'll probably sign early. And with the help of my coaches and parents, we can decide which choice is right for me."

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