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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK / JEFF FELLENZER : UCLA, Georgetown on List of Potential Schools for Ventura College Standout Curry

March 25, 1993|JEFF FELLENZER

He hasn't attracted newspaper headlines like Lakewood Artesia All-Americans Charles O'Bannon and Avondre Jones, but 6-foot-6 swingman Calvin Curry of Ventura College has quietly become Southern California's most heavily recruited basketball prospect west of the 605 Freeway.

Curry helped lead Ventura, the state's top-ranked team most of the season, to the championship game of the California community college tournament at the University of San Francisco, where it was upset by Columbia, 97-88. In that game, Curry was held to 12 points. But it hardly mattered to major college recruiters, who watched him average a team-leading 21 points and seven rebounds a game. He was chosen the state community college co-player of the year with guard Roddie Anderson of Columbia.

In the words of Ventura Coach Phil Mathews, Curry has "pro range" as a shooter.

Curry, who played at Compton High, has visited Oklahoma and Arizona State. He'll visit Washington State this weekend and has trips scheduled to Georgetown and UCLA. Insiders believe Curry would like to sign with UCLA, although that may depend heavily on his academic performance this semester. The first day of the spring signing period for high school and community college basketball players is April 14.

"He'll definitely fill a need for some school," Mathews said. "He's one of the best shooters I've seen in California this year."

Mathews said his other top prospect, 6-5, 210-pound forward Brandon Jessie, will return for his sophomore season. Jessie, the son of former Ram receiver Ron Jessie, was recruited by numerous schools as a football and basketball player as a senior at Huntington Beach Edison High. However, he decided to attend Ventura in hopes of raising his grades.

Jessie averaged 17 points and nine rebounds this season, and joined Curry as a first-team all-state selection. He has already been contacted by UCLA, USC, Georgetown, Arizona State, Arkansas and Kansas State, among others.

Notes

The best unsigned football prospect in California, 6-5, 255-pound defensive line standout Germaine Gray of Rialto Eisenhower, said this week that he is leaning to Arizona State over USC and UCLA. Gray took an unofficial trip to Arizona State last week. The football signing period that began Feb. 3 ends April 1. . . . Some observers believe that Lakewood Artesia's 6-11 center Avondre Jones will sign with Michigan over USC, UCLA and Arizona. If so, no one would be more surprised than USC Coach George Raveling, who remains confident that Jones will sign with the Trojans. Jones, whose offensive skills rival those of any senior center prospect in the country, recently attended several Big West Conference tournament games at the Long Beach Arena. He also had a home visit with Cal State Long Beach Coach Seth Greenberg. In addition, the Las Vegas Sun reported last week that Nevada Las Vegas has hopes of signing Jones. . . . UCLA is expected to receive an unwritten commitment from 6-1 point guard Cameron Dollar of St. John at Prospect Hall High in Frederick, Md. According to veteran Prospect Hall Coach Stu Vetter, Dollar is an "outstanding defensive player, very unselfish and a dramatically improved shooter." Dollar averaged 11 points and 12 assists a game this season and made 57% of his three-point attempts and 83% of his free throws. His 302 assists set a Maryland single-season record. Vetter said Dollar, who has the grades to qualify for schools such as Princeton and Yale, was "very impressed with UCLA and Coach (Jim) Harrick" on his recent visit. He is scheduled to visit Miami this weekend, and is considering trips to Temple, North Carolina State, Providence and Richmond. . . . As expected, 6-6 forward Keith Booth of Baltimore Dunbar, a consensus choice as one of the top 30 players in the country, chose Maryland over Duke, Kentucky and Towson State. UCLA had hoped to get a campus visit from Booth. . . . South Torrance point guard Jimmy Williamson is visiting Loyola Marymount today on an official recruiting trip. The 5-9, 160-pound Williamson opened the eyes of many college coaches with his passing and penetrating en route to 33 points against Inglewood Morningside in the Southern Regional Division III championship game two weeks ago. Williamson, the son of former Loyola Marymount guard Duane Williamson, visited Fresno State last weekend. Other other schools that have shown recent interest in Williamson are USC, Miami, Michigan State, Boise State, Texas Christian and Cal State Northridge.

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