I know, right? Hard to believe. But it's the truth according to Joshua Hairston, a Duke recruit and D.C.-area friend of famously bombastic Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez. Speaking to a North Carolina radio station this morning, Hairston spilled the goods on Vasquez's, um, conflicted feelings toward Duke. (You can listen to the interview here.)
"He talks about Duke all the time, how much he loves Coach K, the staff and the program itself. When I first met Greivis the first thing he kept talking about was how much he loved Duke and how much he loved Coach K. I thought he was being sarcastic at first but he's very serious about it," Hairston said. "When they [Maryland] were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament we were running a camp together at Montrose (Hairston's high school for his senior season). A kid asked him who he wanted to win the tournament and he said 'Duke all the way'. He's always been a big Duke fan and he hopes we can pull it off. He is a true Duke fan even though he plays for Maryland."
A "true Duke fan," eh? As any college hoops fan knows, Vasquez was a major Duke antagonist during his four years at Maryland, culminating in Vasquez's onions-y performance in a 79-72 March 3 win that gave Maryland its final signature NCAA tournament win and, as we know now, Duke's final loss of the 2009-10 season. Are we sure this is the same Greivis Vasquez? The one who once called Cameron Indoor Stadium "my house"?
Apparently we are, and apparently there's something to be said for a rivalry's ability to breed respect. Please turn your basketball textbooks to page "Magic and Bird" for further reference.