As Former Teammates And Rivals In the Homestretch of Great Careers, Stanwick And Cummings Remain Close
While Maryland attackman Joe Cummings and Virginia attackman Steele Stanwick were warming up with their respective teams before last year's NCAA title game, they looked for each other to exchange gestures meant to say, "Can you believe it? We're actually here."
It certainly wasn't the first time the former teammates at Loyola Blakefield in Baltimore knocked heads at Atlantic Coast Conference rivals. And with the fifth-seeded Cavaliers and unseeded Terps going to work in this weekend's NCAA tournament quarterfinals, it might not be the last.
In fact, after each team lost in the semifinals of the ACC tournament last month, the two chatted briefly and expressed hope that history would repeat itself.
"It was a dream come true for us the first time," Cummings said. "We talked about how cool it would for [the tournament final] to be the next time we saw each other."
The two former stars at Loyola, who won a pair of MIAA championships there, have had great careers on predictable arcs since. Stanwick, the most prized recruit of his incoming class, recently became Virginia's all-time leading scorer and has 262 career points. Cummings recently passed the 100-point mark and is Maryland's top scorer this year. He also hit the dramatic game-winning shot to beat Lehigh in the first round on Sunday.
And one of the first congratulatory texts came from, you guessed it, Stanwick.
"It was a huge honor to play [at Loyola] with a player of Steele's ability and selflessness, and such a winner," said Cummings. "He is the man."