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Dunston to Michigan, Walker to Kentucky and more

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Published on: Thursday, May 16, 2013

By Brandy L. Simms

Jillian Dunston, a junior guard-forward at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, has verbally committed to play college basketball at the University of Michigan.

“Very excited about the future,” tweeted Jillian’s father, Joe Dunston. “She is going to a great school with a great education and great tradition. Go Blue!”

Dunston is expected to join a Michigan women’s basketball program that finished the 2012-2013 campaign with a 22-11 overall record and a 9-7 record in the Big Ten Conference.

The 6-foot Dunston becomes the Holy Cross basketball program’s first student-athlete in the Class of 2014 to pledge to college as well as Michigan’s first commit for that class. However, Rhamat Alhassan, a 6-foot-4 junior who also plays basketball, has verbally committed to play volleyball at the University of Florida.

Last season, Dunston helped lead Holy Cross to a 12-14 overall record including a 9-9 mark in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. She averaged nearly eight points per game and earned honorable mention all-league honors.

Dunston scored a season-high 15 points in the Tartans’ 71-64 victory over Archbishop Carroll on Jan. 2 and scored 13 points in victories last season over both Good Counsel and Bishop Ireton.

“She hasn’t tapped into her full potential yet,” said Lisa Bodine, a national evaluator for Blue Star Media. “She’s got a college body.”

Bodine, who described Dunston as “smart” and a “good utility player,” said she also maintains good size for a potential college student-athlete who is “just scratching the surface.”

“Her outside shooting has improved,” said Bodine. “She does a lot of the little things on the court.”

Walker Pledges to Kentucky

The University of Kentucky football program has received a verbal commitment from Good Counsel junior Kobie Walker.

“Proud to announce my commitment to the University of Kentucky,” Walker tweeted on Monday.

He became the second Good Counsel player in the 2014 recruiting class to pledge to college, joining offensive lineman Sam Mustipher who last month verbally committed to Notre Dame.

Jessie Aniebonam, another heavily-recruited Good Counsel junior, holds offers from a variety of schools including Alabama, Auburn, Maryland, Ohio State and South Carolina among others.

Walker, who holds more than a dozen offers, said he chose Kentucky over Miami and West Virginia. He took an unofficial visit to Lexington during the Wildcats’ spring football game in April.

“I loved it as soon as I stepped on campus,” he said.

Walker, who played safety last season, is projected to play outside linebacker at the next level.

“They don’t have any depth at linebacker,” said Walker. “To play in the SEC as a freshman, that’s big.”

Walker, a Baltimore area native, becomes the third Good Counsel student-athlete since 2001 to pledge to a school in the highly-regarded Southeastern Conference, joining Akeem Hebron (Georgia) and Jelani Jenkins (Florida).

In the past decade, four different SEC football programs have won national titles, LSU, Florida, Alabama and Auburn.

In fact, the conference boasts the last seven national championship teams. Walker said he looks forward to playing in the nation’s top collegiate league.

“I feel great about it,” he said. “There’s no other conference better to play in.”

Bullis Coach Lands at Carroll

Former Bullis assistant Tim Fudd has been named the new head coach at Archbishop Carroll.

Fudd, a former standout at American University, replaces Reggie Williams who resigned in February after three seasons at the helm.

Fudd comes to the Washington, D.C. private school after an assistant coaching stint at Division I Longwood University in Farmville, Va.

“Carroll has always had tough kids and I know he’ll continue to make them play hard,” said Bullis head coach Bruce Kelley.

Fudd was an assistant at Bullis during Kelley’s first two seasons at the Potomac private school. He was described by Kelley as “intense.”

“He will hold his players accountable,” said Kelley. “There have been some great players come through that place.”

Carroll has produced the likes of John Thompson, Jr. (former Georgetown basketball coach), Eddie Jordan (Rutgers head coach), Lawrence Moten (former NBA player), Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (former NBA player) and Kris Joseph of the Brooklyn Nets.

Fudd joins a tradition-rich Carroll program that has fallen on hard times in recent years. The Lions finished 3-24 overall last season and went 1-17 in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

During the 2006-2007 campaign, Fudd was the head coach at Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Va. where he guided the program to a 33-1 record and the Virginia Independent Schools Division II state championship.

Fudd, who earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from American in 1996, played professionally overseas in Holland, Finland, Spain and Venezuela.

Metz Heads to Terps

Bullis senior two-sport athlete AJ Metz has landed an opportunity to suit up on campus at the University of Maryland next season.

Metz, a 6-foot-8 forward, accepted an offer last week to join the Maryland men’s basketball program as a preferred walk-on. The Northern Virginia native spent the past two seasons at Bullis playing in relative obscurity but drew interest from college scouts playing on an AAU team coached by his father Steve, a Maryland alum.

“He was looking at Division III schools, a couple Division II schools,” said Bullis head coach Bruce Kelley, who noted that Maryland scouts discovered Metz at a showcase event in Washington, D.C. called the Big Shots Tournament.

Playing AAU basketball for Loudoun Triple Threat, Metz had an opportunity to showcase his skills against national competition and received various MVP and All-Tournament team honors. He was also nominated to participate in the 2013 Round Ball Classic amongst the area’s top senior student-athletes.

Metz, who also played baseball at the Potomac private school, was a senior leader on a Bullis team that finished 23-4 last season and posted a perfect 12-0 mark in the Interstate Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs also captured consecutive league championships.

As a senior, Metz scored in double figures three times including a season-high 13 point performance in a 60-52 January win over Episcopal.

At Bullis, Metz was overshadowed by teammates Anthony Thompson, Jamaal Greenwood, Russell Sangster, Winton Lyle and Andre Walker but the Maryland coaches still thought enough about him to extend an offer to walk-on.

“A lot of these big time schools are looking for quality kids,” said Kelley. “He’s thrilled and he knows that playing time is going to be tough.”

Simpson Steps Down at AHC

Eddie Simpson, a longtime staple on the area girls basketball scene, has resigned as the head coach at the Academy of the Holy Cross.

“Things changed over there,” said Simpson, who noted that the Kensington private school’s administration was not willing to make available the financial resources needed to run a successful sports program.

“The new principal came in and decided to go in a different direction with the sports program,” said Simpson.

Simpson, who graduated from Einstein in 1983, spent three seasons at Holy Cross where he guided the Tartans to a 12-14 overall record including a 9-9 mark in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

“I’m going to miss it,” he said. “More so during playoff time.”

In 2010, Simpson replaced Russell Davis who compiled a 111-43 record during a five-year stint. Davis guided Holy Cross to the WCAC and City Title championships in 2007. The Tartans also made an appearance in the WCAC championship game in 2009.

Simpson, a Germantown resident, had a successful reign at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. where he compiled a 213-51 record during a seven-year stint at the helm.

Although his coaching future is unclear at the moment, Simpson said he might help out coaching his teenage son’s team at Seneca Valley.

“I’m just going to keep my options open and see what comes up,” he said.

Adams Leaves Hood College

After an eight-year stint, Montgomery County native Keith Adams has resigned from his position as men’s assistant basketball coach at Hood College in Frederick.

The former Springbrook and Wootton head coach said he wants to focus on getting his doctorate degree and running his non-profit organization, the CKA Save Project.

“CKA has an opportunity to have a positive impact on the community at large, said Adams, a social studies resource teacher at Kennedy. “It’s about impact. You have the ability to influence an entire department which means you influence the entire building.”

During his tenure at Hood, Adams served as the program’s lead recruiter and worked with the Blazers’ post players.

“I’m going to miss that day to day interaction a great deal,” said Adams, a Paint Branch graduate.

He was best known for leading the Springbrook boys basketball program to prominence in the early 2000s. In 2004, Adams guided the Blue Devils to a 24-4 record including an appearance in the Class 4A state championship game.

Adams began his coaching career in Montgomery County at his alma mater where he served as an assistant under the legendary Hank Galotta. He spent a decade coaching at Paint Branch before he was named head coach at Wootton in 2000.

He became the head coach at Springbrook in 2002 and spent three years at the helm of the Silver Spring public school’s basketball program before he joined the coaching staff at Hood.

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