Boys basketball aims for a groundbreaking season

Noam Jacobovitz

Coming off its most decorated season ever—repeating as DCIAA champions and winning the DCSAA championship for the first time in school history—the Wilson boys basketball team still wants to climb higher. Despite three of last season’s starters graduating, the Tigers have handily filled those voids.

Maryland-bound big men Makhi and Makhel Mitchell, who transferred to Wilson from Montverde Academy (FL) in April, join an array of new faces on the team. Freshman forward Darren Buchanan Jr. and sophomore forward Zaakir Williamson have already seen extended minutes on the floor for the Tigers through their first few games. Senior Carlos Dunn has also stepped up as starting point guard, a position held by star Ayinde Hikim over the past few years. Junior guard Dimingus Stevens Jr. and senior guard Jay Heath use their star power to round out a stacked starting lineup.

Last season, Wilson successfully defended its DCIAA crown against Roosevelt for the second year in a row. Two of Roosevelt’s best players last season, Darius Miles and Marcus Dockery, transferred out of the school over the summer. The Tigers beat Roosevelt 67-34 on Monday to open DCIAA play. Wilson is the clear favorite to win its third successive DCIAA championship. To reach their goals of winning both the DCSAA and DCIAA again, the Tigers must, “play for each other… and keep our intensity up the whole game,” according to senior Makhi Mitchell. Senior Heath adds the team should remember to, “always stay hungry and humble.”

Heath says the team hopes to win the City of Palms Tournament, a competition they will play in mid-December in Fort Myers, Florida that attracts the best teams from around the country. Having a national schedule is important, “because all of us need to know how it feels to be under bright lights and that big stage for the next level,” says Makhi Mitchell. Mitchell says that he knows Wilson can compete with, “any team in the country,” based off what he has seen over the Tigers’ first few games.

The Tigers shocked many people around the city last year with their DCSAA title victory. Wilson defeated two WCAC juggernauts: Gonzaga in the semifinals, then St. Johns in overtime in the final. Both St. Johns and Gonzaga lost key pieces from last season but still pose the biggest threat to the Tigers bid for another DCSAA championship.

Wilson currently stands at 3-1 (as of December 11), with wins over St. Stephen’s St. Agnes, Poly, and Roosevelt. The Tigers fell to IMG Academy last Friday, the number-two team in the country.