Jonathan Graham gets NCAA waiver to play for Terps this season

Jonathan Graham, whose father Ernest's single-game Maryland record of 44 points against North Carolina State has held up for nearly 35 years, received a legislative relief waiver Wednesday from the NCAA after transferring this summer from Penn State.

The waiver allows the 6-foot-8, 220-pound junior forward to play for the Terps this season and avoid the rule forcing most transfers to sit out a year.


"We're excited for Jonathan that he is immediately eligible for the upcoming season," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. "Our administration did an outstanding job working diligently on Jonathan's behalf."

Graham will be in uniform for Friday's season opener against Connecticut at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He's expected to back up junior Evan Smotrycz at power forward and Jake Layman at small forward.

In a recent interview with the Baltimore Sun, neither the Graham family nor Maryland would discuss the details of the waiver request.

"It's a long story," Jonathan Graham said. "It was time to leave [Penn State], in my opinion. Maryland's always been the hometown school. When I was younger, I grew up watching the games and all that. Coming here now was a business decision, but it was also a personal decision. I'll leave it at that."

Graham will wear the same No. 25 that his father, a former Dunbar star, wore during his years (1977-81) as a Terp, a number that now hangs from the rafters at Comcast Center. It is also the number the younger Graham wore at Calvert Hall.

Jonathan Graham averaged 3.9 points and 3.7 rebounds in a little less than 18 minutes a game as a redshirt freshman with the Nittany Lions in 2011-12. Plagued by a knee problem, Graham's playing time and productivity dwindled last season, when he averaged 1.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in just under 14 minutes per game.

"He has an inside and outside game," Maryland guard Nick Faust said recently of his fellow Baltimorean. "He's the type of guy that can catch it outside the post and square you up and shoot it. Or he can drive you."

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Barker contributed to this article.

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