**Click the Video Player at right for the video interview with Ashton Pankey**NEW YORK — Ashton Pankey is headed to the ACC.
After taking official visits to Maryland two weeks ago and Houston this past weekend, Pankey announced his college choice Monday in the SNY television studio.
“I’ll be attending the University of Maryland,” said the 6-foot-9, 225-pound Pankey, a Bronx native.
“I felt comfortable with the coaches. Coach [Gary] Williams is a great coach. The players, I got along with them really well. And my mom enjoyed it, too, and she thinks it would be a good place for me to attend.”
Pankey chose Maryland over offers from Houston, Rice, Drexel and Hofstra. He said he plans to sign his Letter of Intent Tuesday at St. Anthony.
A strong power forward who can knock down a short jumper, Pankey hopes to develop his face-up game at the next level.
“I can knock down a short-corner jump shot, play that four spot, be an inside presence that they’ve been lacking for the past few years. And I think I can contribute right away if I work hard,” Pankey said.
New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski described Pankey as a rebounding machine.
“You can certainly shoot to much, you can dribble too much, you can even pass to much,” Konchalski said. “But nobody has ever been taken out of game where the coach says, ‘Sit next to me, you’re rebounding too much.’
“He’s a significant retriever. The best thing he does is he goes after the ball.”
Maryland also has an offer out to Long Island forward Tobias Harris, who visited the campus this past weekend.
Does Pankey think Harris might join him with the Terps?
“I don’t really know where he’s focused on right now,” Pankey said.
Pankey is the fourth St. Anthony senior to commit Division 1, following Devon Collier (Oregon State), Derrick Williams and Elijah Carter (St. Bonaventure).
St. Patrick, which features Duke-bound guard Kyrie Irving and superstar junior Michael Gilchrist, will be the favorite to repeat as New Jersey Tournament of Champions this year, but Pankey says not to count out the Friars.
“Definitely, I think we can have another undefeated season,” Pankey said, referring to the 2007-08 campaign in which the Friars went 32-0. “There’s a lot of St. Anthony pride over there and we want to contribute and have a breakout season.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.