Nicolet ahead James Graham places up a three-pointer in opposition to Whitefish Bay. (Photograph: Rick Wooden, Milwaukee Magazine Sentinel)

The longer term is now for former highschool basketball standout James Graham.

Sure, former.

The 6-foot-Eight ahead who signed with Maryland previous this month introduced Friday on Instagram he’ll graduate from Wisconsin’s Nicolet Prime College early, join in faculty and be to be had to play for the Terrapins this season.

“The largest factor for me was once I think like, as a competitor, I needed to do it,” Graham told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “To get ahead of the competition, take advantage of the opportunity I had, that was huge.” 

Shortly after Graham’s announcement, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon confirmed the news with an announcement on the team’s website.

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Graham, a four-star recruit, broke the inside track with Zach Schumaker on Instagram.

Graham had for years been  in graduating early, however the thought of enrolling in a faculty early wasn’t one thing he strongly regarded as till lately. He took additional categories at each Nicolet and College College of Milwaukee, which he attended as a freshman.

He spent the summer time taking part in in opposition to former Department I gamers from Milwaukee equivalent to Duane Wilson, Carrington Love, Levi Bradley and Tray Palmer, and ruled highschool festival in fall leagues. 

Graham introduced up the theory of enrolling on the finish of the autumn semester to Turgeon when he dedicated to Maryland a few months in the past. Then, two weeks in the past, they mentioned it once more and began to transport towards making it occur.

“It changed into a fact in those remaining couple of weeks,” Graham mentioned. “I informed (Turgeon) I am desirous about it. I am taking part in in those leagues and, to not brag, nevertheless it wasn’t difficult sufficient. I sought after to recover than the opposite gamers in my elegance and being used to the physicality and tempo of faculty would assist me do this.” 

Maryland opened the season Wednesday with a win over Outdated Dominion and is scheduled play Army at three p.m. nowadays.

“This 12 months does not rely for eligibility, so I am not going to redshirt,” Graham mentioned. “I’ll be a normal participant. In doing so, I do know I am not going to be a chief choice or the rest instantly. I would like to take a look at to paintings my method into some form of rotation.”

Graham will probably be neglected at Nicolet.

“Senior 12 months was once going to be massive for me,” Graham mentioned. “I in reality imagine that some folks suppose I do not deserve what I gained with regards to faculty popularity. Senior 12 months was once going to be giant. I sought after to win a state identify and win Mr. Basketball. We gained a hoop at Nicolet (in 2019), however we all know Jalen (Johnson) and Jamari (Sibley) have been the principle gamers on that group.

“It simply got here down to what is extra essential: profitable a state championship in highschool or listening to my title known as within the draft?”

The four-star recruit averaged 20.three issues and six.6 rebounds remaining season. He was once a 55% shooter, connecting on 61.2% of his two-point makes an attempt and 44% from three-point vary.