By Cardell Dudley
It has been said, that if Walt Williams saved the Maryland Mens Basketball program, then Keith Booth made it cool to be a Terp again. Due to the resignation of legendary Dunbar Basketball Coach Bob Wade (NCAA violations), Gary Williams predecessor at Maryland, there was a immediate boycott of sending players to Maryland by Baltimore area high school basketball coaches. Without access to the ultra rich basketball talent that Baltimore has had for decades, Maryland struggled on the court and off of it during recruiting periods. Keith Booth changed all of that with his commitment to Gary Williams and the Maryland basketball program. The 6'6 Booth, a 93 McDonalds All American out of Baltimore area powerhouse Dunbar made an immediate impact at Maryland, averaging 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assist per game as a freshman and 11.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assist per game as a sophomore. However his biggest moment as a Terp may have came on January 28, 1995 against the heavily favored Duke. In front of a sold out Cole Field House, with a minute remaining and the score tied at 72, Booth proved why he was such a coveted prospect. Booth would get the ball on the block, and in one smooth motion, Booth would spin off Duke's Cherokee Parks and dunk home the game winning basket, giving the Terps the big ACC victory over Duke. Booth finished the game with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Booth would finish his Maryland career with All American honors averaging 19.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.6 assist and 2.0 steals per game as a senior and would later be drafted 28th to the world champions Chicago Bulls in the 97 NBA Draft, winning a championship in 98. Booth is now an assistant basketball coach at Loyola University Maryland.