Laurinburg (N.C.) 6-11, 210-pound forward/center Bienvenu Songondo, who tore a ligament in his right knee last September, was slated to return this weekend – but was held out of action.
Songondo, 19, played about 10 games last season for Towson Catholic (Md.) and has played with Baltimore Select in the past.
``He's an unbelievable athlete who runs the court well and is very versatile," said Laurinburg coach Chris Chaney, who has watched Songondo practice over the past few weeks. "He's active on the boards and is very long, but he has to get stronger."
``It's going to take some time for him to get to 100 percent, because he's still on the verge of thinking about his knee when he's playing," added Chaney.
Despite Songondo's virtual absence on the summer scene and questions regarding his health, USC has made him its priority – and the Trojans appear to be the leader in Songondo's mind as well.
______ Blair Academy (N.J.) junior guard Eric Price rushed into it the first time around, and he isn't all that far away from doing it again. The 6-1 ½, 160-pound point guard, who finished with 12 points and nine assists in a victory against Notre Dame Academy (Va.), is down to three finalists.
Price, who has attended Montrose Christian and Dunbar, said he got the idea of going to prep school two years ago when speaking to St. Patrick's coach Kevin Boyle. However, he was sold on the idea of going to Blair by Duke freshman and former Blair star Loul Deng.
``If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here," Price said.
Notes: Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) had no trouble with Life Center (N.J.) and Bill Barton's club had 14 players in the scoring column in the 95-60 win. Kojo Mensah led ND Prep with 14 and Jamual Warren, who lists Fordham as his leader, added 11. Life Center got 17 points and seven boards from Aussie 6-11, 255-pound Aleks Maric (Nebraska). …. St. Thomas More (Conn.) 6-7, 180-pound sophomore forward Rob Thomas scored 29 points on 14-of-19 shooting in just 22 minutes in a 85-80 loss to No. 2 Hargrave Military Academy. Thomas played at Wadley High (N.Y.) in Manhattan last season and is a Brooklyn native … Norman Plummer, who led the New England prep ranks in scoring a year ago while with Brewster, paced Hargrave with 27 points and 10 boards. … Fork Union Military Academy (Va.) point guard Brian Smith, the son of Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, was 0-for-7 from the field and was scoreless against South Kent. …. Lithuanian 6-8 junior forward Egidijus Dimsa scored six points in limited action after joining South Kent less than 24 hours earlier.