Immediately after re-taking over the reigns as men’s basketball coach at Howard Community College this spring, Mike Smelkinson expressed his commitment to recruiting some of the top players in the school’s backyard.
In just a few short months, Smelkinson is more than making good on his promise.
On Friday afternoon, the Dragons officially added reigning Howard County boys basketball Player of the Year Daeshawn Eaton of Oakland Mills to its roster for the upcoming winter season. Eaton is coming off a senior season with the Scorpions where he average 20 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game and finished second on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,121 career points.
“I’m very excited to have Daeshawn join our program. He is a poised player with good size at the guard position. We plan to play him at the point guard spot, but are comfortable with sliding him to the 2 during the course of the game,” Smelkinson said. “Daeshawn has dribbling, passing, and shooting skills that will translate as he begins his college basketball career.”
Eaton expressed his own excitement in a statement issued by the Howard CC athletics department.
“It should be an exciting two years here. I really want to go for a ring and I feel like we will be in a place to compete” Eaton said. “I really like the coaches at Howard. From the first time we talked they showed a lot of support and love for me. When I came to campus it felt like a second home to me.”
With the addition of Eaton, the Howard CC roster now features five former All-County players from Howard County. Casey Parkins (2018-19 first team) from Atholton, Judge Payne (2016-17 first team) from Reservoir, D.J. Tucker (2011-12 second team) from Marriotts Ridge and Naquan Williams-Day (2015-16 first team) from Oakland Mills are all slated to suit up this season for the Dragons.
Tucker and Williams-Day have each previously played for Smelkinson. Tucker was a junior forward at Marriotts Ridge during Smelkinson’s lone season as head coach for the Mustangs in 2010-11. Williams-Day, meanwhile, played under him at Harford CC last winter and averaged 10.9 points a game.
The 2019-20 Howard CC men’s basketball season is currently scheduled to tip off on Nov. 5 at home against Manor.
Glenelg field hockey senior Hoffman undeterred by ACL tear
Rising senior Kathryn Hoffman, who made first team All-County the last two years and led Glenelg in scoring with 15 goals as a junior, got some devastating news during mid-July.
While scrimmaging during a summer camp at the University of Delaware, where she has verbally committed to continue her field hockey career next fall, Hoffman collided with another player and fell to the turf.
“My whole leg like twisted. But at first I thought I had just tweaked it and didn’t think it was anything that serious,” Hoffman said. “When the trainer was looking at me over on the sideline, though, they said I was testing positive for an ACL tear. I went to the doctor for an MRI and sure enough.”
Hoffman, who says she this is her first serious injury, had successful surgery on Wednesday Aug. 14. The prognosis is for a nine-month recovery period.
That means she will miss the softball season in the spring as well — where she was a first-team selection as a utility player as a junior.
Despite being unable to play, Hoffman intends to stay plenty involved in the Glenelg field hockey team. Head coach Nikki Trunzo says she will lean on her senior captain in basically an assistant coaching role and Hoffman plans to make the most of the opportunity.
“I was definitely so upset when I realized I wasn’t going to get to play my senior season, but the fact that I will still get to be a part of the team and be out there with my teammates means so much,” Hoffman said. “I’m going to try and look at things positively and try to mentally grow my game. I should be able to see things from the sideline and pick up on things that maybe I wouldn’t have if I was playing.
“And, just as importantly, hopefully I can still be a leader for our younger players.”
Hoffman is currently on crutches, but plans to start attending practice next week ahead of the Gladiators first set of play day scrimmages on Aug. 24.
Howard girls basketball standout Harris commits to Salem University
Coming off a junior season where she averaged a team-best 12.9 points per game and made second-team All-County, Howard’s Anii Harris recently verbally committed to play collegiately at Salem University in West Virginia.
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The Tigers are a Division II program that won eight games a year ago and compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.