Rogers signs with IBL’s BayRunners

Shawnta Rogers said Wednesday afternoon from his home in Baltimore that he has chosen to play for the Baltimore BayRunners of the International Basketball League. He was waived Oct. 25 by the New Jersey Nets of the NBA.

When (the Nets) signed (guard) Sherman (Douglas), I knew I wasn’t going to make it, Rogers said. If they hadn’t signed him, I would have played for sure because they had a guard spot.

Rogers chose between the Continental Basketball Association, the IBL or playing overseas. He said the IBL’s rookie salary was the highest and said the prospect of playing in his hometown was a big factor in his decision. One thing that made the decision difficult was the fact that the IBL will not release Rogers to the NBA during the season unless a team buys his contract. Rogers vowed that he will try to make the NBA again next year.

The BayRunners had been eager to get Rogers and months ago had advertised its plans to seat children in a special Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood section. Rogers said that he would start practice Wednesday night.

Rogers also mentioned that he will continue to pursue his GW degree. I’ll be back for sure, he said. I’m still gonna get my degree.

Basketball Notes:

– Men’s basketball coach Tom Penders received a verbal commitment from Shawn Davis, a 6-6, 225-pound strong forward from Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn., Mike Sullivan of The Insiders Report reported Sunday.

The early-signing period starts Nov. 10 and lasts until the 17th. During last year’s early-signing period, Penders landed Chris Monroe and SirValiant Brown. Penders, whose statements about unsigned recruits are limited by the NCAA, was unavailable for comment.

Davis, who also considered Syracuse University and the University of Southern California and cancelled a scheduled trip last weekend to Xavier, told The Insiders Report that his visit the weekend of Midnight Madness, Oct. 15, sold him on becoming a Colonial.

I loved the atmosphere, the players, the coaches, he told The Insiders Report. I just liked George Washington so much. It was a great trip, and I can have a chance to play right away if I work hard.

Davis averaged 19 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks as a junior last season.

The Insiders Report reported Monday that David Hawkins, a 6-3, 200 pound swingman from Archbishop Carroll High School in D.C. narrowed his choices to GW, Tulane University, and Temple. He took a visit to GW Oct. 1-3, according to The Insiders Report.

Hawkins, who averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds as a junior, told The Insiders Report he will sign with his chosen university Nov. 10.

– Red Auerbach (’40) was honored Wednesday night in Boston to celebrate his 50 years with the Celtics. Appropriately, the tribute came at halftime of the game with the Washington Wizards. Auerbach, of course, makes his home in Washington and started his NBA career with the Washington Capitals. Bill Russell spoke during the tribute. It was GW Coach Bill Reinhart who first brought Bill Russell to Auerbach’s attention while Russell was in college. Russell and Auerbach won nine NBA championships together.

– The Big East Conference presidents voted Tuesday to bring Virginia Tech in as a full member July 1, 2000, after the University of Miami made a commitment to stay in the Big East. The prospect of the Hurricanes leaving had cast a shadow on the arrangement with the Hokies, who have been a member of the Atlantic 10 since 1996 (in all major sports but football).

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