A smooth transition for Draughn

At the time he made it, Jernavis Draughn’s (Potomac ’00) decision to leave a Division I program like American University for the confines of junior college basketball in Hagerstown, Md. might have seemed like a step back in his career. He certainly thought so.

He had started six games for the Eagles as a freshman, played in 22 and averaged almost seven points per game, competing at the NCAA’s highest level of competition. This was where he belonged.

But academic difficulties forced him to make a change in plans. Although Draughn would have been eligible for his sophomore season at AU, he was struggling enough that American coach Jeff Jones thought it might be in Draughn’s best interest to go to a junior college to get squared away academically so he wouldn’t be ineligible down the road.

Jones contacted Jim Brown, the coach at Hagerstown, on behalf of Draughn. Brown, in turn, was interested in bringing Draughn in.

But Draughn wasn’t so sure. It wasn’t until he met Brown and got a feel for the school and the program that he felt comfortable about attending there.

“It took awhile for me to embrace the idea of going there,” said Draughn, the 1999-2000 Potomac News Boys Basketball Player of the Year after leading Potomac to the state tournament. “But it’s been the best thing for me.”

Draughn has thrived, especially on the court, where Hagerstown (17-4) averages over 90 points per game. He is the team’s second-leading scorer (14.0 points per game) and rebounder (7.9 rpg) and is shooting 57 percent from the field. On Sunday, the 6-foot-6 small forward scored a season-high 26 points in a 90-78 win over Allegany Junior College (Md.), which is ranked 12th in the NJCAA. The win snapped Allegany’s 17-game winning streak.

“He’s been a good match for us,” Brown said.

Brown, who is in his 23rd year at Hagerstown, has sent a number of players to the Division I ranks, among them, Dexter Boney, who played at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and former CAA player of the year Bernard Hopkins (Virginia Commonwealth).

Draughn isn’t sure what Division I school he will attend next once he graduates from Hagerstown and he won’t be eligible to compete at the Division I level at the earliest until January of 2003. But in the meantime, Draughn is getting plenty of good preparation for his return.

“This will help me move on to a bigger and better school,” Draughn said.


Sheena Johnson (Gar-Field ’00) won the 400 meters (54.32) and placed fourth in the triple jump (38-4.75) to help UCLA finish third Saturday at the Illinois Women’s Invitational. Johnson’s time in the 400 was an NCAA provisional qualifier.

The two-time defending NCAA indoor champion Bruins are ranked fifth.

Virginia Tech’s Jason Fludd (Brooke Point ’00) took third in the triple jump (48-8) over the weekend at the Kroger Invitational in Blacksburg.


David Horak (Hylton ’98) was recently named an academic all-star in the Big East Conference. Horak, a senior at the University of Notre Dame, is the program’s record-holder for the 100 and 200 backstroke.


James Madison’s Seth Cameron (Stonewall Jackson ’99) improved his record to 10-4 by recording a decision, a major decision and a forfeit during three dual matches last weekend at Franklin and Marshall College.

On Jan. 19, Cameron kept a family tradition alive when he won the 165-pound title at the Virginia Intercollegiate Championships at the University of Virginia.

In 1976, Cameron’s father Bill won the 167-pound title at the same championships while wrestling for George Mason University.

“He’s worked so hard,” said Bill Cameron, a former head wrestling coach at Stonewall and currently the athletic director at Brentsville. “He’s been sick and missed about half of his matches. But he’s coming around and is starting to pick up steam.”

David Fawcett’s They’re In College Now column appears Fridays in the Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger. Reach him at (703) 878-8052 or at [email protected]

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