Terps signees show off at Classic

April 14, 1995|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- With Maryland sophomore All-American Joe Smith expected to announce his decision to leave for the NBA today, Terp fans got a first-hand look at some players who could be playing major roles in the basketball program's future last night at the 22nd Capital Classic at Cole Field House.

Obinna Ekezie and Laron Profit, Maryland's early signees, played for the first time at Cole Field House, playing for the U.S. All-Stars, which defeated the Capital All-Stars, 124-121 in overtime, before a crowd of 11,828.

Profit, a 6-foot-6 swing guard from Cesar Rodney High in Camden, Del., had 12 points, while Ekezie from Worcester Academy in Massachusetts scored four points and had six rebounds.

Ekezie, a 6-9, 265-pound center, is expected to make an impact immediately, especially if Smith, the consensus National Player of the Year, doesn't return to Maryland.

Ekezie, who outweighs every current Maryland player by at least pounds, should help the Terps in rebounding. But he has been playing basketball for only two years after moving from Nigeria.

"I felt pretty nervous because a lot of things will be expected of me," said Ekezie, who averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds this past season. "I'm not really sure if I can meet those expectations, but I'm planning on working hard over the summer and working on my game."

Profit added eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in 26 minutes of play.

"Playing in all-star games, you're not going to get into a rhythm," said Profit. "But I thought I played pretty well, giving the fans something to look forward to."

Maryland, which has at least two scholarships available, had three potential recruits on display last night in 6-10 center Lari Ketner, 6-9 forward Antric Klaiber and 6-foot guard Terrell Stokes.

Ketner, who averaged 16 points and 14.5 rebounds in his senior season at Roman Catholic in Philadelphia, had four points in 12 minutes.

Klaiber, a 6-9 swing forward from Episcopal in Alexandria, Va., who has narrowed his choices to Connecticut and Maryland, scored four points. Stokes of Simon Gratz in Philadelphia, considered by many to be the nation's top defensive guard, had 11 points and six assists.

Stokes, who reportedly favors the Terrapins over Syracuse, has yet to meet the SAT requirements for freshman eligibility.

Laurel Baptist's Louis Bullock, who's heading to Michigan, scored 40 points for the Capital All-Stars, breaking the single-game record of 33 set by Michael Smith in 1990.

Bullock missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that could have sent the game into a second overtime.

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