Fitzgerald's prowess on the glass may lead to rebound of Villa Julie

Tucker couple set to enter US Lacrosse Hall of Fame


State notebook

January 23, 2003|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Villa Julie freshman forward Anthony Fitzgerald seems destined to grab wider basketball attention.

Even if he is tucked away at the tiny Division III school in Greenspring Valley.

For starters, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Fitzgerald looks a lot like former NBA star Charles Barkley.

Even better, he genuinely loves the unsung work of rebounding. So much so, that he leads the nation in rebounding at the Division III level with a 13.4 average. He's also averaging a team-leading 17.8 points a game.

Fitzgerald could even go down as the one player who finally helped turn around Villa Julie's long-struggling program.

The Mustangs are a dismal 3-15 this season.

So just why is a talented athlete such as Fitzgerald willing to give up the limelight of slam dunks, three-pointers and fancy passes for the rather mundane task of rebounding?

"Because I've grown to love it," said Fitzgerald, who played at Poly. "I figure that if I keep rebounding like this, someone will take notice of me. Every time I step on the floor, I give it everything I have."

Fitzgerald loves playing close to home, where his mother (Lois), father (Emmanuel), and brother (E.J.) can see every home game.

"I had other D-III schools in the picture but I figured why go away to play if I can stay home and play in front of my family," he said. "My family and teammate Kenny Wood (sophomore small forward from Poly) are the ones who strongly encourage me to keep improving my game."

And what about the Barkley comparisons?

"I like it because I love the way he played," said Fitzgerald. "I'm a little quieter than he is, but there are a lot of similarities in our game and our looks."

The 3-15 record?

"We have two major problems," he said. "We have trouble closing teams out and start slowly in some games."

Lacrosse inductions

John and Janine Tucker will become the first husband-wife team to be inducted into the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame Saturday night at Martin's West.

Janine Tucker is women's lacrosse coach at Johns Hopkins while her husband, John, is the former lacrosse coach at Loyola High and Gilman. John Tucker is now the athletic director at Loyola High, where he will be an assistant lacrosse coach this spring.

UMBC men's coach Don Zimmerman and former UMBC standout Gary Clipp will also being inducted into the Baltimore chapter Saturday evening from 5 to 10 p.m.. Anyone interested in attending the dinner should contact Heather Kormanik at 410-456-5417 or 410-569-3242.

Trotter on spree

Maryland-Eastern Shore junior guard Tee Trotter has built an imposing scoring lead in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, averaging 21.9 points a game for nearly a four-point advantage.

Trotter is the son of UMES head coach Thomas Trotter and recently recorded the 1,000th point of his career.

Tee Trotter had 62 points, 12 rebounds and four steals last week in the Hawks' first two wins of the season, over Bethune-Cookman and North Carolina A&T. UMES is 2-12 overall and 2-4 in the MEAC.

Trotter was chosen the MEAC Player of the Week for his scoring spree.

"Tee is our best player and probably the conference's best player," said his dad. "He dominates and has just been scoring at will lately."

While Tee Trotter seems to have pumped some life into the men's team, the UMES women (6-9, 3-3) have been coming on strong lately behind the scoring of Tiffany Winkfield.

Winkfield scored a career-high 26 points and had 13 rebounds Monday night in a 74-70 overtime victory over South Carolina State in Princess Anne.

Not just a lacrosse school

How does a combined 21-7 record for the Johns Hopkins men's and women's basketball teams sound?

The women have a 10-4 record behind the play of senior center Kathy Darling, who is averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting 63.8 percent from the field.

The men have an 11-3 record and the No. 22 Division III ranking in the country as senior forward Steve Adams and senior center Mike Blaine continue to dominate.

Adams scored 25 points and had 15 rebounds last week in an 82-69 win over Washington College and Blaine scored a career-high 18 points Saturday night in an 80-62 romp over Villa Julie.

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