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Home not all so bad for Morris

June 18, 1998|By MIKE WOLFF

by JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

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Terence Morris

One of most important things to many college and professional athletes is the chance to give back to the community they lived in while growing up.

Even if you've just finished your freshman year at Maryland.

--cont from sports--

Frederick native and Thomas Johnson High graduate Terence Morris was the special guest Wednesday at the Potomac Basketball Camp at St. James School.

"It's important for me to come back and tell the kids what college life is like, tell them what goes on and what they have to do to get to the college level," Morris said. "When I was in high school, seeing college players who came back to visit had an influence on me."

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Morris and Maryland assistant coach Jim Patsos demonstrated various drills and techniques used by the Maryland basketball team. The campers all watched in amazement as Morris consistently hit 3-pointers, 10-foot jump shots and, most of all, slam dunked.

Patsos incorporated the campers into the drills by allowing volunteers come up and try to defend the 6-foot, 9-inch Morris.

"The most important things kids should learn at this level is the technique involved in the game of basketball," Morris said. "They also need to learn how to practice and work out on their own (without a coach leading them)."

Having high-profile athletes such as Morris come to these camps provides kids with a different perspective. They get to see basketball players they have watched on television up close and in person.

"The players who come to our camp are heroes to these kids," said camp director Kevin Murphy. "They discuss what made them so successful in high school and into college. The kids can take that first hand knowledge home with them."

Morris is coming off his first year at the University of Maryland. During his freshman season, he averaged 7.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He said he did well compared to his expectations.

"There were a lot of high expectations of me coming to Maryland and filling Keith Booth's spot," said Morris, "The seniors on the team played well, which took a lot of the pressure off myself."

Last season, Morris showed flashes of the brilliance that made him one of the top high school players in the country. And even though that brilliance wasn't there all the time, Morris knew things were going to be easy.

"The level of competition and intensity is greater in college," said Morris, "You have to work a lot harder to succeed."

The Potomac Basketball Camp currently has 85 campers enrolled. The organizers try to have players, usually from University of Maryland, come each week. Matt Kovarik visited the camp last year, and next week they are expecting Laron Profit.

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