HAMPTON — Three players, three positions, three countries. Three ACC schools?
That's the short story of the outside prospects Boo Williams has enlisted for his 2011 basketball road show.
Hampton Roads, Williams didn't need much help to assure his program's continued national prominence. But if this weekend's opening session of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League at the Sportsplex is any indicator, Williams chose wisely.
The most familiar and renowned "import" is Justin Anderson, a junior wing from Montrose Christian in Rockville, Md., and a staple of Williams' program for three years. He's a natural passer and shooter and plays with an unbridled joy rarely seen on the spring/summer circuit.
Anderson committed to Maryland on St. Patrick's Day, choosing the Terps over Virginia and North Carolina and giving coach Gary Williams a rare recruiting coup. Two weeks later, Anderson helped Montrose win the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational.
"It's been a great couple of weeks," he said. "Banners are coming soon (to Montrose). Rings and jackets, too."
Montrose (25-1) defeated Oak Hill Academy in double-overtime to win the ESPN Rise as the left-handed Anderson forced the second OT with a left-wing 3-pointer in the waning seconds.
"A lot of people were saying that was the biggest shot of my life," the ever-affable Anderson said. "I hope not."
Despite the winter's frantic pace, the 6-foot-6 Anderson showed no signs of fatigue here Friday and Saturday. He ran the floor, blocked shots and made 3s.
When Boo's team sealed a Saturday morning victory over All Ohio Red, Anderson howled in celebration. Clearly he enjoys, and is accustomed to, winning.
"I think as a freshman I can make an impact (at Maryland)," Anderson. "Not to say I'll be a superstar and start, but I think I can contribute and help Maryland win the ACC championship."
While Anderson likely will emerge as an emotional leader this summer, Boo's floor leader figures to be point guard Teddy Okereafor, a 6-3 junior at Christchurch, an Episcopal school along the Rappahannock River.
Okereafor scored two clutch buckets on slashes to the basket against Ohio Red and drew Boo's praise for "understanding the position." Funny thing is, the two are virtual strangers, and until recently knew nothing of one another.
Okereafor arrived at Christchurch in September from England, fresh off playing for his homeland in the Under 18 European championships in Israel.
"I'm one of the best in England," Okereafor said. "So I wanted to come here and play with the main competition. I didn't even know about Boo. But this is one of the best clubs, and I think I'm a good addition."
And about those two late scores that clinched victory?
"I'm good at reading the pick-and-roll," Okereafor said. "I love the pick-and-roll. That's what we do in England."
Indeed, while Americans too often obsess over 3-pointers and dunks, Europeans, in general, are more fundamentally sound. It's a reflection of coaching and culture.
Okereafor hopes to continue his basketball odyssey in college and recently earned a scholarship offer from Final Four surprise VCU. ACC programs would do wise to take notice.