Rupert piles up points at Washington

February 04, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

Geoff Rupert remembers his first basket for Washington College three seasons ago. When he made a 15-foot jumper at Roanoke, Rupert's immediate thought was that it could help him.

"I didn't know how much [playing] time I could get," Rupert said. "I was pretty much fighting for time."

The fight did not last long. Rupert, a South Carroll graduate, moved into the starting lineup early that freshman season and remained there. A 6-foot-5 forward, he became a force on offense and has accumulated 988 career points.

He would like to reach 1,000 at home tomorrow, but if it happens at Wesley in Dover, Del., on Thursday, that would be fine, too.

"I'm proud that I've accomplished this," Rupert said. "I really didn't see myself coming close to 1,000."

Rupert said he chose Washington College in Chestertown because he wanted a chance to play fairly quickly. Some bigger schools, specifically Bucknell and Drexel, came after Rupert, but he feared spending too much time on the bench.

OC "I figured when I chose this school it was a place I could come

in and play," he said. "I didn't want to sit on the bench for two or three years."

Rupert averaged six points his first year and nine as a sophomore. Last year, he became more a part of the offense, averaging 15, second on the team. This year, he was moved to power forward and occasionally center and is averaging 13 points and seven rebounds.

Moving to the front line was Rupert's biggest transition.

While at South Carroll, Rupert (then 6-3) often played point guard -- and played it well. He helped the Cavaliers to the state final as a junior and to the region final as a senior.

At Washington, Rupert has spent much of his time near the basket battling bigger men -- especially when the Shoremen play Division I schools.

"They were pretty much trees and you couldn't move them," he said.

But Rupert says he has become accustomed to playing inside and feels comfortable there.

"It's kind of like growing up," he said. "Sometimes you've got to do what you don't want to do, and sometimes it works out for the

best."

Members of Rupert's family have taken pleasure watching Geoff's career progress.

His father, Gary, and mother, Nancy, have gone to all but a handful of their youngest son's games. That means some long drives for the Eldersburg couple.

"I enjoy seeing them in the stands," Geoff said. "When my two brothers went to college, they went to most of their games, too."

Gary Rupert, a former college coach, said his son has played well all four years.

In addition, Gary Rupert said the 1,000-point achievement is nice, but not a definition of success.

"We're very, very happy for him," Gary Rupert said. "He's enjoyed himself every time we've seen him play. He's played hard all of the time."

Rupert has played basketball since the third grade. When the Shoremen conclude their season next month, that most likely will mark the end of his career.

The next step for Rupert is not clear. He will graduate with a degree in business management and hopes eventually to take up coaching.

"I'll miss [playing] a lot, it'll be tough," Rupert said. "I'll look back upon my [career] and can say I accomplished something."

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