Starks and Prep: The perfect match
Georgetown Prep senior will head to Georgetown in the fall for college ball
On and off the court, Markel Starks' last basketball games at Georgetown Prep were nightmarish.
Everything else played out like a dream.
One of the best point guards in the country rated 19th nationally by recruiting Web site www.rivals.com finished his high school tenure in disappointing fashion. He scored 27 points in the first round of the Interstate Athletic Conference tournament Monday, but the Little Hoyas (18-6) were upset by eventual-champion Bullis. Turning for a rebound late in the game, Starks rolled his ankle, and had to watch from the bench at his teammates were blown out by Episcopal in Tuesday's consolation game.
"Definitely not how I wanted to go out," he said afterwards. "We were really clicking right before the break; we'd won about six or seven in a row, and I think we were a little off when we got back. ... But [otherwise], Prep, it's been amazing. It's been nothing but good to me and I'm so thankful I went here."
He could have been just as great to its competitors. After his eighth-grade year at Mater Dei, Starks says he applied to "all of the IAC schools," including Landon, St. Alban's and Bullis.
And while he says Little Hoyas head coach Dwayne Bryant "took a chance" on him, Starks' talent was significantly greater any conceivable risk. He started right away as a freshman, earned All-Gazette first-team honors as a sophomore, and averaged more than 22 points per game in his final two years.
Oh yeah, he also committed to Georgetown University before his junior season.
If anyone had any doubts, it was Starks.
And some of his hometown peers, apparently.
"Growing up in Prince George's County, predominantly black, there were really a lot of naysayers if I could make it here," he said of the boarding school. "I've been on my own since I was 15, and you know, it's a lot of sacrifice. I don't want to say you give up your childhood, but maybe a lot of childhood memories, to do this. But I stuck with it, and not to brag about it at all but it's like, look at me now."