Maryland Announces Changes to Basketball Roster
Terps sign Cekovsky, Pack; Mitchell leaves to tend to ill grandmother
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon has announced the signing of center Michal Cekovsky (7-0, 225) to the class of 2014 as well as fifth-year senior Richaud Pack (6-3, 185). Pack will be eligible to play immediately. In addition, Charles Mitchell has been granted permission to transfer for his junior season to tend to his ill grandmother.
A native of Slovakia, Cekovsky (pronounced Michael Chi-kov-skee) spent the past season with Canarias Academy in Spain. He is rated on multiple national websites as a four-star recruit.
“We’re excited to welcome Michal to the University of Maryland,” Turgeon said. “He has a special skillset for someone of his size and ability. Michal has great speed, athleticism and agility. He’s a versatile player who can play either the four of five positions for us. The combination of both his perimeter play and strong interior game will add a new dimension to our frontcourt.”
“I’m excited to be coming to the University of Maryland,” Cekovsky said. “I’ve followed Maryland and have enjoyed getting to know Coach Turgeon and Coach Clark. I first took notice of Maryland when Alex Len played there and I watched how he developed into an NBA player. The opportunity for early playing time was something that excited me and I’m looking forward to being a part of a great program and university.”
“First and foremost, Michal is a very high character person with a great work ethic on the court and in the classroom,” said Rob Orellana, director of the Canarias Basketball Academy. “His combination of size, skill, and athleticism makes him a very unique player. Offensively he can shoot the three, score with his back to the basket, and make plays for others. Defensively his mobility is a great asset. Coach Turgeon did a great job selling Michal on the University of Maryland. “
Cekovsky joins the ninth-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to ESPN.com for the 2014-15 season. The class includes McDonald’s All-American Melo Trimble, Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens and fellow seven-footer Trayvon Reed.
A recent graduate of North Carolina A&T, Pack (6’3”, 183 pounds) averaged 17.0 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting from the field in 2013-14. In addition, Pack led the Aggies in free throw percentage (.804) and added 4.6 rebounds per game. He poured in a season-high 30 points against NJIT on January 18. Pack also spent two seasons at FIU.
“We’re excited to welcome Richaud to the University of Maryland,” Turgeon said. “He comes from a great family and I really enjoyed getting to know Richaud and his mother, Kaija, during this process. Richaud is a great shooter and scorer and will fit in well with our team and system. He will have an opportunity to further his education in business administration, a field he is very passionate about.”
“Maryland is a great university with an outstanding reputation for its academics and athletic facilities,” Pack said. “I really believe in Coach Turgeon and I feel I can be a part of something special. I did a lot of research on the business school and I’m excited to pursue my MBA in business administration.”
A native of Detroit, Mich., Pack plans to pursue a master’s degree in business administration with a focus in international relations.
Mitchell (6-8, 260) averaged 6.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in 70 career games (17 starts) over two seasons at Maryland.
“Recently, Charles shared with us that his grandmother had become ill,” Turgeon said. “I feel terrible for Charles and his family. Although we will miss Charles, we understand and support his decision to move closer to his home so he can help support and be there for his family. I appreciate Charles’ commitment to our program and he will always be a part of our family.”
“I want to especially thank Coach Turgeon for his support and compassion during my family’s time of need,” Mitchell said. “I loved playing for Coach. He is a great man and great coach. The reason I decided to leave Maryland is to be near my grandmother who has been ill over the past year. Knowing that she raised me and is still a very big part of my life, I decided to move closer to home. It’s important for me to be there for my grandmother and to help support my family. I didn’t want to leave, but I have to put my family first. I really enjoyed playing with my teammates and I’ve had a lot of great memories over the last two seasons. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and wish Maryland nothing but success in the future.”