- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 15, 2002

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Maryland basketball team added its fifth recruit yesterday when Ekene Ibekwe made a verbal commitment at his Carson (Calif.) High School. The 6-foot-9, 190-pound power forward is considered a top-25 recruit, and chose the Terrapins over Southern California.
Ibekwe is the second Californian, along with shooting guard Darryl Strawberry Jr., to commit to the Terps for the 2003-04 season. By NCAA rules, high school seniors can not sign binding letters of intent until the early signing period in November. College coaches are not allowed to comment on recruits until they officially sign.
"Coaches have compared him to Joe Smith at this age," said Carson coach Richard Masson, who added Ibekwe has better than a 3.0 GPA. "He may even be a little more developed at this age. He can play inside and also go out and shoot."
Ibekwe averaged 16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for Carson last season. He is Maryland's final recruit for next season, joining 6-10 center Hassan Fofana (Hargrave Military Academy), 7-foot center Will Bowers (Archbishop Spalding High in Severn, Md.), 6-4 shooting guard Mike Jones (Mass.) and Strawberry.
"[Ibekwe] likes the idea of the ACC," Masson said. "And he enjoys the media coverage, which [has more outlets] than out here."
Jon Siegel


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