In advance of the Bulls second visit to DC this coming Monday, I've gone a bit basketball mad. Monday night: DeMatha vs. St. John's; Wednesday night: Georgetown vs. Cinci; Tonight: (sitting on the couch) Chicago vs. Miami. More high school hoops (hopefully) tomorrow and Sunday.
Sitting at Verizon last night and absorbing a tough loss made far worse by the injury to Chris Wright, I spent a lot of time contemplating how blessed folks are in this area in terms of basketball. The Wizards are a long way from making DC relevant in the NBA, but Georgetown and Maryland boast decent college programs with occasional flourishes from George Mason and George Washington. And then, sounding the same repetitive theme, basketball at the prep level is stunningly good.
I went to the Georgetown game with a Duke alum. As we watched Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Julian Vaughn, Jason Clark, Henry Sims, and Markel Starks represent the DC-Baltimore metro area as six of the ten man rotation on the number eleven team in the country, I realized that local kids also make up one third of the rotation of the number one college team in the country (Nolan Smith, Tyler Thorton, and Josh Hairston). And there will be more local products (Mikael Hopkins and Quinn Cook) joining these two programs next year.
Two years ago, I marveled at the number of D-I basketball players that hailed form PG County. Broadening that out to the DC-Baltimore metro area further underscores the depth of the talent pool in the region.
I may be late to this realization, but I'm certainly enjoying taking advantage of it -- as a passive fan of the sport -- now.