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June 17, 2003

Roy Hibbert, the tradition continues

Introducing ShaDirk or also known as Roy Hibbert, the 7-foot-2, 255 pound rising senior from Georgetown Prep H.S. in North Bethesda, MD. Is he another in a long line of Hoya destroyers? Only time will tell, but there is no question that Roy Hibbert has the physical makeup to continue the storied tradition of Hoya big men to grace the campus of Georgetown University.

Hibbert gave a very early oral commitment to Georgetown prior to his junior year, and is expected to arrive on campus in the fall of 2004. I had the pleasure of speaking with his current high school coach and former Hoya standout Dwayne Bryant who informed me of Hibbert's itinerary for the summer. Coach Bryant informed me that "Roy will not be playing with the DC Blue Devils, (his former AAU team) the remainder of the summer, but will be competing in the Nike All-American camp as well as with his high school team in The Rock summer league" at High Point high school.

The Rock summer league is where I had the opportunity to catch up with Hibbert and take in his first summer league game. He was scheduled to face off against Jared Gaither, the skilled 6-foot-8, 280 pound rising senior from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, MD. The match up that many came to see did not materialize however, due to a coaching decision as a result of an earlier incident. But Roosevelt still managed to field a very competitive team that made for a very interesting game.

Hibbert did what he can be always counted on doing, which is exploiting his seven-foot size by rebounding, blocking shots and scoring around the basket. Although many of his shots weren't falling (3-10 from the field), he did play very aggressively finishing up with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. He also displayed solid accuracy from the free-throw line as he converted 3-4 attempts. I asked Hibbert after the game if he was disappointed he didn't get a chance to play against Gaither and he said, "I was really hyped before the game because I had been looking forward to playing against him". Here's a little more of our conversation:

What are your plans for the summer, I know you played AAU ball with the DC Blue Devils?

Well, I'm playing for the Blue Devils but you know… I'm gonna take a little (break). Because I committed to a school so early, I don't really have to impress anybody. I hurt my foot twice and I don't want to be out on the road to places like Houston, TX and California and have a chance to injure my foot again when I have a chance to go to Georgetown and show people what I can do. I have a summer job right now from 2-7 working at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington.

Has the injury completely healed, it seems like you're moving around well?

Yeah, the first time I broke it, the doctors put me out there real quick. I was in a caste for a month and a week. I went to Georgetown hospital to have the surgery. They put a screw in my fifth metatarsal and I was out for the whole summer. I had 3 months in a caste, 2 months in a boot, and one month of full recovery working out with my trainer who I'd like to thank. He got me back in shape doing a lot of exercises and I have my mobility back in my ankle because it was pretty stiff.

How do you feel like your game is progressing?

I'm kinda disappointed in myself though. Because the last 3 games of the school year, I had 28, 29 and 17 and these were against not bad teams, but okay teams. But this team (Eleanor Roosevelt) I should've been able to take advantage of. But my game is improving, I'm trying to get down low. At school they have a nickname for me. They call me ShaDirk, like I'm half Shaq and half Dirk Nowitzki. Because if you ask any of my teammates, during practice I shoot 3s and I can hit them sometimes. But I don't do that (in games).

How are your grades?

My grades are real good right now. I have a 2.9 GPA. Georgetown Prep is a real tough school and not just any kid can get in there. But when people see me and know I go to Georgetown Prep they think automatically basketball. But you can't really think like that at Prep. I made a decision second semester last year to live on campus. I go to practice, they give me something to eat, I come back for dinner and I have 2 hours of study hall. So I have that structure and I can get my work done.

Have you taken the SAT?

Well the first time I did it, I didn't really study. However, I qualified to play because my grades are real good. But I took the SAT last weekend and I studied for it, so I feel like I did much better.

Did you attend the Capital Classic, which featured Matt Causey and Darian Townes in the preliminary games?

Yes I was real happy to see my two future teammates in Matt Causey and Darian Townes. I talk to Darian sometimes. During Georgetown games, I would go back to the locker room with Matt Causey and we'd meet the players.

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