Georgetown guard Markel Starks' pursuit of a professional career truly takes flight this week. The Big East first-team selection was selected to play in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia this week. The 64-player event with nothing but graduating seniors runs April 16-19.
Starks finished second on the Hoyas with 17.3 points while adding a team-high 4.1 assists. If enthusiasm and leadership skills could be numerically quantified, the 6-foot-2 guard would surely led Georgetown in those areas as well.
The Accoceck, Maryland native finished his career at Georgetown 26th all-time in scoring (1,246), 19th in assists and tied for fifth in 3-pointers.
As for his where Starks will begin his NBA career, Portsmouth is the first attempt to showcase his skills in a formal setting following the regular season. NBA or other teams will take note of his shooting touch, defensive skills and leadership qualities. DraftExpress.com ranks Starks 60th among all seniors.
Though not a pure point guard, Starks served in that role the past two seasons with the Hoyas. Georgetown shared the Big East regular season title in 2013 and reached the second round of the NIT this season.
Others with local ties invited to Portsmouth include Jerrelle Benimon (Towson), Juvonte Reddic (VCU), Akil Mitchell (Virginia).
Benimon, who played one season with Starks at Georgetown, averaged 18.7 points for the Tigers this season. He ranked second nationally with 11.2 rebounds and his 21 double-doubles were third best in the country.