Friday, January 15, 2010

The Life Of A UMd Walk-on

WaPo has a nice feature catching up with UMd basketball walk-on David Pearman, who used to light it up at Oakland Mills.

In about 2 1/2 seasons with the Terrapins, Pearman, a 6-foot-6 junior guard, has played a grand total of 31 minutes. This, he has learned, is the plight of a non-scholarship player. Instead, Pearman's role -- one teammates describe as highly valuable and one he has come to embrace -- is that of chief mimicker.

He dons a black jersey in practice and pretends to be the best shooter an upcoming opponent will have to offer. When game time comes, Pearman snaps out of character to provide useful insights on an opponent's schemes, with which by that point he is well familiar.

There were other opportunities for Pearman coming out of Oakland Mills High, of course. He could have accepted offers from Elon or Rhode Island or Wagner, among others, but Pearman chose to endure as a non-scholarship player because he had dreamed of being a Terrapin his entire life.

"He used to get recruiting calls, and then I'd hand the phone off to him, and then he was just monotone talking to these people," said Don Pearman, who has worked in the Maryland athletics academic support unit since 1992. "He didn't show any enthusiasm, any interest, and I asked him one day after a conversation, I said, 'What's the matter with you?' He says: 'I'm flattered, but I don't want to go to these schools. I want to go to Maryland.' "

In addition to basketball, the story says Pearman has taken an interest in music lately, forming a group called the Uphill Rockers. According to one of his bandmates, Pearman is confident he'll find success there, too:

"He's like: 'I've always been planning to play Maryland basketball, and I ended up playing basketball for Maryland. That was my plan, and now I'm planning on getting big and we're going to get big.' He's an extremely, extremely driven individual."

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