Garcia Takes his Time

Jose Garcia always seems to know what's going on. <P> The Lynchburg Holy Cross (Va.) guard speaks seven languages and plays with a similar intelligence on the court.

He has been known to wink to reporters while at the foul line and also notices exactly where people are seated in the stands.

The 6-5, 190-pound junior was born in Angola – the son of a father who was in the military. Both of his parents were murdered in the war-torn country when Garcia was just an infant, so he fled to Belgium with his older sister. He wasn't even told that his parents weren't alive until he was 11, when his sister informed him that his aunt and uncle were not his parents – as he was led to believe.

"She is married and moved in 1990 and then I came in 1993 when I was 8," Garcia said. "I grew up in Belgium and came to the United States on Aug. 21 last year."

Garcia picks thing up quickly both on the court and off it. He has already added English to his stable of languages, which already includes French, Portugese, Spanish, Dutch, an African language called Lingala and he also knows German fairly well.

"This has been a dream of mine to go to ABCD Camp and play against the best basketball players," he said. "Not only are the best players here, but the best coaches are here also. I really enjoyed it."

Garcia ran track and played soccer when he was younger, so it's no surprise that he's catching up to his American counterparts on the hardwood. He lives with and plays for Buddy Martin, the AAU coach for the Lynchburg Hoops.

Garcia put up gaudy numbers last season in high school – 26.8 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. At the ABCD Camp, his unselfish play was evident as he kept looking to get his teammates the ball, especially Brazilian big man Joao Garcia (no relation).

Garcia is a terrific passer who can also shoot from the perimeter. He still needs to improve his ballhandling skills.

N.C. State is a major player in his recruitment, but Garcia said no offer is on the table yet – and that means he's exploring other options. He also lists Wake Forest, Florida State, Richmond, Penn State, UCLA and UNC. Both the Seminoles and Richmond have already extended an offer, according to Garcia.

"I like N.C. State a lot," Garcia said. "They have great guys and a terrific coaching staff."

"My game fits in the ACC," he added. "I still have time to improve and I'm really open to any opportunity at this point. I just don't know enough about American basketball yet."


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