(Patuxent photo by Kitty…)
Ahmaad Wilson "didn't really know anything" about Central Connecticut State when coaches from the Northeast Conference program began recruiting him. The Randallstown senior wasn't familiar with the Blue Devils' roster or any particulars about the university.
But after a good bit of research into the school, almost daily conversations with his recruiter, and the realization that CCSU has become a popular place for Baltimore and D.C.-area basketball players, Wilson was sold on spending the next four years of his life in New Britain, Conn.
“It feels good,” said Wilson, who committed to Central Connecticut on Monday afternoon. “[I’m looking forward to] just the whole college experience, just to finally get out of Baltimore and be on my own and try to make a name for myself in college.”
Wilson, a 6-foot, 175-pound combo guard, picked the Blue Devils over an offer from Liberty and interest from Delaware State and South Carolina State, among others.
The recruiting process for Wilson developed slowly. He spent two years at Owings Mills, averaging 17 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Class 1A semifinalists as a junior. A summer spent with first-year AAU program Baltimore Supreme on the circuit, however, elevated his profile with colleges.
“I love his game,” said Baltimore Supreme coach Jamel Williams. “He’s a pure shooter. He’s a kid that works hard, is always in the gym, always on the shooting machine. He was diligent in getting better. … He can run the show, get other people involved. But his main thing is shooting. He can open up a game with his outside shot.”
Central Connecticut became sold on Wilson’s potential after seeing him play in an open gym at Randallstown earlier this fall. The Blue Devils already have a commitment from Mount Carmel forward Rashard Todd. They also return Malcolm McMillan (John Carroll) as their starting point guard this season.
“Coach [Howie Dickenman] said he loves the Baltimore area,” Wilson said. “It makes me feel good that somebody is looking at Baltimore guards. They say that Baltimore schools don’t recruit Baltimore kids like that. So it’s good that a college is actually coming down to see what talent we have here.”
At Central Connecticut – which also features players from D.C. and Forestville – Wilson is expected to learn from McMillan, the 2011 Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year.
“They envision him playing the combo and playing the point guard and shooting guard,” Williams said. “He’s going to back up Malcolm, get minutes but probably going to back him up. Once Malcolm graduates, he [should] start for two years.”
Said Wilson: “Coach was saying I’m more of the opposite player from Malcolm. Malcolm is more of a defender and I’m more of a scoring guard. We’ll probably go in for each other depending on how it’s going in the game.”
Wilson said McMillan had positive reviews for the school and the coaching staff. The Randallstown guard got a similar feeling during his official visit there last week.
“Everything was nice,” Wilson said. “It was a real nice, laidback campus. When I was with the team, it felt like I already knew the whole team already. Everybody was just so cool. I felt like I was at home up there.”
Wilson said he’s thankful to Baltimore Supreme, his parents and high school coaches for helping him grow into a Division I player. Making a commitment before his senior season relieves a ton of stress, and allows him to focus on what he’ll add to the Blue Devils one year from now.
“I just hope to bring toughness, good defense and scoring,” Wilson said. “Whatever they need me to do at that particular time, I’ll do it.”