Jenifer to prep first, shoot later for UVa.


Towson Catholic's Keith Jenifer, one of the Baltimore area's best high school basketball players last season, has announced his intention to play at Virginia despite interest from Maryland and several other colleges.

Jenifer, who will first attend Hargraves Military Academy in Chatham, Va., for the coming school year, spoke of his decision at a tournament in Las Vegas.

The 6-2 guard, who expects to enter Virginia in 2001, averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals for Towson Catholic last season.

"I like their style of play, and I like the atmosphere there," he said, saying that Virginia's penchant for fast-paced basketball complimented his slashing tendencies.

Shy of the NCAA's eligibility requirements for freshmen this winter, Jenifer knew he would be going to a prep school after his final Towson Catholic season. Because he didn't graduate from high school, he will play at Hargraves as a senior.

Jenifer said that while he was in Las Vegas, where his Baltimore Select team reached the round of 16, several teams approached his coach about him. But after visiting Charlottesville, where the University of Virginia is located, earlier this month, he thought it would be best to end the recruiting process.

"I'm sure everyone else would be committing early, too," said Jenifer, who counted New Mexico, South Carolina, Providence, Massachusetts, Xavier and UNC-Charlotte as potential suitors.

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