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Maryland men’s basketball commit James Graham III to enroll early, join Terps for 2020 season

Maryland men’s basketball 2021 commit James Graham III will join the Terps for the 2020 season after graduating early from high school, he announced Friday.

Graham, a 6-foot-8 small forward and a consensus four-star recruit, is expected to join the program after the school’s holiday break. He will be on scholarship and available to play after passing all coronavirus testing protocols.

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Graham, a Milwaukee native, was part of a trio of four-star recruits who in November signed their National Letter of Intent to play at Maryland. Forward Julian Reese (St. Frances) and guard Ike Cornish, a Cockeysville native, also signed on to come to College Park.

“I can’t wait to get to College Park and experience a new team, new coaches and new challenges,” Graham said in a news release. “I wanted to start early so I could maximize my abilities and get into the Maryland system. It’s all about competition for me.”

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Graham played last season at Nicolet High School, which is a member of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. The WIAA began its winter sports season this month, but many schools, including Milwaukee Public Schools, have postponed or canceled the season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nicolet is an independent high school district located in the North Milwaukee suburbs.

Graham’s addition gives the Terps another skilled wing who could also provide depth in the frontcourt. Earlier this month, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called Graham “one of the most talented players offensively” he’s recruited. He averaged 20.3 points and 6.6 rebounds as a junior.

“James can put the ball in the basket from so many different ways — on the block, 3-point line, midrange, off the dribble to the rim. He’s got game. He really worked on his body this summer and just became this really good player,” Turgeon said.

Maryland opened the 2020 season Wednesday with an 85-67 win over Old Dominion. Transfers Galin Smith and Jairus Hamilton started in the frontcourt while returning upperclassmen Eric Ayala, Darryl Morsell and Aaron Wiggins started in the backcourt.

“We’re looking forward to James joining our program early and getting a headstart acclimating within our system and the weight room,” Turgeon said. “James is fully committed to finishing his high school education this semester and will join us at a later date to be announced. We can’t wait to have him in College Park.”

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