On The Rise

Although just a junior, this Maryland forward is already attracting attention from numerous major schools. One look at his play on the floor reveals why.

Wally Judge, playing for the prestigious D.C. Assault AAU program, was in Morgantown, W.Va. for the Triple S Harley Davidson Jam Fest over the weekend. Despite playing on a roster loaded with talent, Judge stood out on the WVU Coliseum floor. He showed long range ability by canning a pair of three-pointers, and also took the ball strongly to the basket, scoring in traffic and getting to the line for several free throw chances.

Judge, who stands 6-8 and certainly has the frame to fill out, led the 16 and Under Assault team to a win in the contest, then spoke with BlueGoldNews.com about his recruiting status.

"West Virginia has talked to me a lot, and I am interested in them. They called me on the first day that they could start recruiting me, and talked to me for a while."

WVU is just one of many potential suitors for Judge, who will only see interest increase as he progresses through his career at Bladensburg (Md.) High School. He isn't rushing the process, and is taking a diligent approach to the entire recruiting game.

"I am still young, and I'm only going into 11th grade, so I still have a lot of options open," the polite, well-spoken Judge said. "I'm collecting information right now. I have just been reading a lot about different schools and trying to find out as much as I can about them. I want to find out things I might want to know if I want to go to a specific school."

Judge was able to add some information to his databanks by playing on the West Virginia campus, but he was also the object of attention from a number of schools. Coaches from Georgetown, Michigan and Rutgers, in addition to West Virginia, got looks at the talented junior over the weekend. Does such scrutiny faze the even-keeled forward?

"Not at all," he said firmly, but without bravado. "To be honest, I might look up in the stands once or twice to see who is there, but like my high school coach says, if that is your motivation, it should just make you play harder, or play better."

Judge, like may top high schoolers, gets the chance to play a different style of basketball during the summer months.

"In high school, I go to a public school, so we run with whatever players show up," he explained. "We make up a unit, and we all play together. We focus on defense a lot. This AAU team, we are talented from the first position to the last man on the bench. At first it was hard to adjust with everyone being good, but this is our second year together so we are working that out. We've become more of a family."

Judge and his 16 and under teammates also get the benefit of competition with the 17 and under team, which was also in Morgantown.

"It's like a rivalry with the 17s," he said with a laugh that denoted the good rapport he and his teammates have with their older program mates. "When we watch them they try to impress us, then we try to impress them. When we go back to the hotel we might talk about who won by the biggest margin or things like that."

Judge did a bit of impressing in front of the 17s, scoring on a swooping, soaring drive into the lane where he laid a finger roll into the hoop while drawing a foul. The move drew appreciative hoots from the 17s in the stands, and also served notice that Judge will be a standout member of that squad next year -- his next step toward national prominence.

Wally Judge Profile

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