James Graham, a four-star recruit who signed up for Maryland Basketball earlier this month, will graduate from high school and join the program early. He is expected to join the team after Christmas and is eligible immediately.
Early dropping out of high school is quite common among high-level soccer recruits who join their college programs in the off-season to acclimate. The movement is more unique for basketball.
But Graham is taking advantage of the NCAA’s decision to offer Division I athletes competing during the 2020-21 winter season an additional season for eligibility. Joining Maryland early for a part season doesn’t affect its usual four years.
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« We’re excited to see James join our program early and gain a head start in our system and in the weight room, » coach Mark Turgeon said in a press release. “James is determined to finish his high school education this semester and will come to us at a later date to be announced. We can’t wait to have him in College Park. ”
Graham average 20. 3 points and 6. 6 rebounds per game last season for Nicolet High School near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Along with Julian Reese and Ike Cornish, he is one of three four-star candidates who signed in Maryland in the 2021 class.
Graham said during an Instagram Live interview Monday that he and Turgeon spoke seriously about Graham’s ability to enroll early about two weeks ago. Since then, the 6-foot-8 forward has worked to meet all the requirements for an early graduation.
« This year doesn’t count at all [for one year of eligibility] because of the corona, » said Graham. « So I’m not going to use it as a red shirt year or anything. I’ll go there, I’ll try to produce. I feel like I’m a few minutes early which is good for me. Nothing important yet, but I have the feeling that with a little more work in the weight room and things like that, I’ll be where I can produce at a very high level. ”
Graham believes this college park season will help prepare for the campaign to follow.
« Until next season, I’ll be one of those guys. I try to be real, but at the same time I have very high expectations of myself, « said Graham. « Until next season I have the feeling that there is absolutely no way I can help our team to fight for a national championship. Do you know what i’m saying
« I have a feeling that with my skills, especially once I’ve improved them and become more basic, there is no way I can play at an extremely high level and try to be a first choice. « . ”
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Maryland Terrapins Men’s Basketball, Mark Turgeon, University of Maryland, Maryland, College Basketball
World News – USA – Terrapins are recruiting James Graham to enroll early and be eligible immediately