"It's All About The Game"

Crab Ball Classic Report, Pt. 2






Ron Bailey, Publisher

A couple of player reports.

March 25, 2015 - In Part 1, we discussed this year's Crab Ball Classic's outcome, a 108-103 Team Baltimore win over Team Washington. Additionally two standout players - Largo's Abdul Bundu and Northwestern's Mike White were featured.

Part 2 continues with a pair of player reports.

Dontae Etheridge - 6'4", 190 pound senior G/F, St. Mary's Ryken - "LIU Brooklyn, D2 Charleston offered me, Louisiana Tech has inquired" while West Virginia has shown some interest said Dontae Etheridge after the game, when asked about his recruiting list. A 6'4", 190 pound wingman, Etheridge is the kind of guy that makes plays all over the court. Just ask him.

Dontae Etheridge will attack the rim despite contact.

"I'm a three-two, but for my team I had to play the one-two" revealed Etheridge of his St. Mary's Ryken utilization. Regarding his mindset, he shared "When I try and play, I know some people know me for my scoring my team...But if I'm not going scoring wise, I still we have a chance to win when I'm on the floor because I can get other people the ball, become hot, and I can make key plays like rebound". Add playing well in big games, which is "something I pride myself on".

A hard working guy, Etheridge has had strong parental backing.

St. Mary's Ryken is truly in Southern Maryland, a firm hour and a half away from Washington proper. The school provides a school bus from Charles County, but it's no walk in the park for DMV kids to get there. Waking up with his mother , Melinda, at 4:15a, the pair "got out the house by 4:45" with her delivering him to the bus by 5:15a, every school day. Etheridge embraced the challenge, saying "It's something you just have to do, with the help of your parents".

It's not just Melinda Etheridge who has made it happen for him, as Dontae's dad, Wendell "is like me best friend" said the younger Etheridge. "He supports me through everything. He tells me the good, tells me the bad, he's probably going to say something today (laughter)".

Charlie Thomas, cleaning the glass.

"Overall he's been a very good support system for me and my mom as well" summed Dontae. "I love them to death".

Having reached NCAA qualification status yet being unsigned, Etheridge could hit the travel team circuit this spring/summer. Will he?

"Honestly I don't know" responded Dontae. "I've had AAU coaches inquire about me, but if something happens before the signing period in April, I might sign. I might go prep. It's honestly up in the air".

More colleges should pursue this guy.

"He is a gym rat...and a student of the game" one with a "High ball IQ!" noted Ryken assistant coach and well regarded bench leader/development guy, Blaine Sommerville. He should know, having worked with Etheridge for two years, along with former Ryken assistant Damien Rivers, a coach Sommerville labeled the kid's "most vocal advocate" who "pushed him to the current level". Sommerville added Dontae is a "great locker room guy too...unselfish".

Schools, are you listening?

Charles Thomas IV, 6'8", 230 pound senior forward, River Hill - When discussing Thomas, think player with some size that can bang around the tin, rebound, and hit mid range shots. During the CBC, Thomas finished with seven points, a Team Baltimore high 10 boards, along with two boards.
Headed to Wisconsin this summer, Thomas expects to make an impact in Madison.

"I'm going to keep grinding right now until I go up there" he shared. And when I get up there just grind even harder. I mean, just working hard, staying focused, finishing out this year right".

Thomas noted "I need to get more physical, especially for the Big 10. Just getting my inside game together and working on my shot" all standing as necessary development targets for him before enrolling at UW. "And just be conditioned".

In CBC play Thomas embraced contact to close the game, cleaning the glass, defending and impacting inside for Team Baltimore.

"We had to" play with force, he recounted. "Last couple of minutes, it got kind of tough. We had to make a comeback...And we did. We had to get physical and grind it out".

Sounds like a Badger kind-of-guy.

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