Maryland honored former great Ernest Graham in January 2012, hanging his jersey from the rafters in the Comcast Center at College Park, Md. Now his son, Johnathan, will get a chance to play under his father's jersey.
"It's a great honor to know that I will be playing for Maryland," Graham said. "It just feels pretty amazing, it is one of those things you can't really put into words. It is really just a huge honor."
Graham graduated from Calvert Hall, where he was a two-time All-Metro selection, and averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game his senior year. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward red-shirted his freshman season at Penn State, but the distance from Baltimore to Happy Valley proved to be too much.
"The whole thing was I just wanted to come back home and be closer to my family. I wanted be around for stuff with them," Graham said. "So I made the decision to transfer and I just started looking at schools in the area, and I was obviously famailiar with Maryland because of my dad, but I was looking at a few other schools too. "
Graham checked out UMBC and Morgan State, and in late July he made the familiar trip down to College Park to meet with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and assistant Bino Ranson.
"We saw the facilities, the court, it was just kind of a basic meeting," Graham said. "I talked to the coaches about Maryland's style of play, what they do in their offense and what I could do to help."
Graham didn't need much of a tour during his visit; he is already pretty familiar with College Park. The former Cardinal standout has been to campus numerous times over the years, and he grew up coming to games or various other events with his father.
"I remember going to a lot of the Midnight Madness nights, alumini games and of course going to the games," Graham said. "I think my favorite game was probably when Greivis Vasquez led that scoring barrage when Maryland knocked off Carolina at home. I was there, so that was pretty cool."
Graham primarily stays down on the block, and plays with his back to the basket in the post, so it should no surprise he grew up looking up to one of Maryland's best bigs, Lonnie Baxter.
"I loved watching the National Championship team, guys like Lonnie Baxter… [Chris] Wilcox, [Juan] Dixon and [Steve] Blake too. All of those guys," Graham said. "Going to Calvert Hall and all I met Juan Dixon a few times too."
After his visit to campus, Graham sat down with his parents to talk about his decision, and it didn't take long for him to pull the trigger.
"Were a team and everything, especially with these kinds of decisions. My mom too, we all talk about it as a family and we made the best decision and when I came to it," Graham said. "The decision was made about a week and half ago. Everyone was excited and ecstatic. "
Graham wont have to wait long to start his journey as a Terp.
"We are just working to get my class schedule straight and working on moving in right now," Graham said. "I should be moving in, in about a day or so."
Not only will Graham get on campus early, he could also possibly be eligible to play this season.
"I red-shirted my freshman year so I am trying to get a waiver from the NCAA board so hopefully that will happen," Graham said. "If it does, I will be able to play this year, and if not, I will just have to sit out."
Son of Terp Great Coming Home
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