Jonathan Graham Follows in Father?s Footsteps

Posted on July 11, 2006

By Keith Mills

Long before Ernie Graham broke the single-season scoring record at Maryland by pouring in 44 against N.C. State in 1978, he was pumping in the points in high school at a record clip. At Lake Clifton under Woody Williams and later Dunbar under Bob Wade, Graham was a scoring machine.

Now, he's the father of a young, freshman-to-be who is tearing up the summer playgrounds and making the old man proud. Jonathan Graham, 14, is headed to Calvert Hall after a private school recruiting war that ended with father and son deciding the Towson-area school and coach Mark Amatucci would be the perfect fit.
 
Graham joins a Calvart Hall program with a storied basketball tradition. James "Pop" Tubman, Paul and Darryl Edwards, Mark Wilson, Duane Ferrell and Juan Dixon all played for Amatucci at Calvart Hall.

"I'm excited and real happy for Jon," Ernie Graham said. "I'll try to give him some advice on some of the things I went through. But, for the most part, I just want him to have fun, do well in school and learn how to play the game."

Ernie Graham remains active in the community through his “Get the Message” program, a drug and alcohol awareness program that serves several high schools in Baltimore County. He is open and honest about his battle against drugs and uses the forum to inform the students of today.

Students like his son.

"Jonathan's a very good student," Graham said. "And he's developing into a very good basketball player. He's a lot different than me. He's a very good post player. Kind of like a Tim Duncan player. Me, I was more wide open, liked the jumper."

Jonathan led the First Baptist Church team of Columbia to the state's Under-14 AAU championship. Two years ago he led Deer Park to the city's middle school league championship.

Last year he pumped in 47 points in one game, eclipsing the now memorable 44-point game his dad put up 28 years ago. "He's tired of seeing that game," Graham said, laughing. "He turns it off when I put the DVD in."

The famous Graham-brothers genes have apparently found Jonathan. Ernie Graham's brother Kevin was a standout player at Lake Clifton while his other brother, Gary, was a star at Dunbar and played at UNLV. Ernie's oldest son, Ernie Jr., 25, is trying out for the Baltimore Colonels of the ABA.

Time will tell if Jonathan Graham can duplicate his dad's success in college, but he's certainly off to a good start, on and off the court.

"The thing I'm most proud of is that he's a good student,” said Ernie Graham. “Can't go wrong with that."

***

Swing by the nationally-renowned North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) this weekend for a great chance to see some of finest swimmers in the world at the club’s Midsummer Classic Meet July 14-17.

The North Baltimore Club, now in its 38th year, was purchased by then-Loyola High head coach, Murray Stephans, in 1987 and has since achieved some staggering national and international success.

Katie Hoff, 17, of Towson, the record holder in the 200-meter individual medley, is using this meet to gear up for the USA Swimming 2006 Conoco Phillips National Championships held August 1 in Irvine, Calif. Like fellow NBAC swimmer Michael Phelps, she represented NBAC in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Another nationally-ranked swimmer to watch is 15-year-old Courtney Kalicz of Fallston High. She is the age-group record holder in the 200-meter butterfly.

Kalicz and Hoff are just the latest in a long list of female swimmers who helped put north Baltimore on the world map in club swimming. Theresa Andrews won the team's first Olympic Gold Medal in Los Angeles in 1984. Anita Nall followed that with a gold in Barcelona in 1992. Beth Botsford won the gold in Atlanta in 2002 in the 100-meter butterfly.

Issue 1.12: July 13, 2006

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