They're off to see the Wizards

October 05, 1997


Staff Writer

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Having the National Basketball Association's Washington Wizards on campus for training camp has dazzled some Shepherd College students.

"Everyone's excited. A couple of people skipped class just to try to get a look at them," said Shepherd freshman Alfred Twyman, 18.

"Even people who don't know about basketball get excited about having celebrities on campus," Twyman said.

Sophomore Tom Whitehead, 19, said he's not a big basketball fan.

"I still call them the Washington Bullets," Whitehead said, referring to the team's moniker of last season.

But he said having NBA stars on campus helps put Shepherd on the map and in the minds of some people.


"I think it's good for the college. There's not too much that goes on here. They should steal the Redskins' training camp from Frostburg (Md.)," he said with a laugh.

Last year when the team was in town, one of the students in his dorm sneaked into a practice and sneaked off with a player's sneaker as a souvenir, Whitehead said.

"I think it's really cool," said Shepherd junior Molly Dewees, 20. "I like going to watch them."

Watching the Wizards isn't easy until the team holds a scrimmage against each other for charity.

Twyman said he's not been able to see the Wizards' stars yet like Juwan Howard, Chris Webber or Rod Strickland.

"They have pretty tight security so people don't interfere with their practice," Twyman said.

Twyman attended Washington Bullets' games with his father and he'll continue to cheer for the squad, considered one of the most improved in the NBA last season, now that they've adopted the Wizards moniker.

"It's really nice they'll be in D.C.," Twyman said. The team is moving from Landover, Md., to downtown Washington this season to a new coliseum.

Jason Easley, 20, a sophomore on the college basketball team, said he'd like to be able to shoot around in the gym with the Washington players.

"I've lived in Alexandria (Va.) so I've followed them regardless of whether they are losing or winning," Easley said. "You support the home team."

Easley said he's looking forward to the Wizards' chances this season. Last season they made the playoffs for the first time in years.

His favorite player is Strickland. "He's just too smooth," Easley said.

Easley said students in his dorm have been running around since training camp opened Friday trying to get a glimpse of the Wizards.

Junior Brian Randolph, 22, said he thinks it's cool having the team in town, but he's in no hurry to try to snag an autograph.

"I'm pretty busy with school," Randolph said.

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