#RUNTHISTOWN follows Wilson basketball’s rise

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#RUNTHISTOWN follows Wilson basketball’s rise

More Than Basketball

More Than Basketball

More Than Basketball

Alex Cirino

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The boys varsity basketball team is coming off one of its best seasons yet, playing among the top teams in the country and making it to both the DCIAA and DCSAA championship games. Their performances on the court made this season unforgettable. Now, there’s a way to relive their action-packed season.

“#RUNTHISTOWN” is a docu-series created by the Cross Country Basketball Network (CCBN) and More Than Basketball that focuses on the evolution of Wilson basketball from a mediocre public school team to an elite basketball program. The docu-series provides a glimpse into players’ struggles off the court, along with the difficulty they face trying to manage their home lives, academics, and a rigorous basketball schedule.
Arize Ifejika, the founder of More Than Basketball, has followed Wilson basketball’s path to stardom for the past few years. Ifejika has filmed many local tournaments at Wilson and over time has established a good relationship with much of the Wilson coaching staff and the DC basketball community as a whole. “I was able to see the rise of the program,” said Ifejika. “I was able to see the team grow a lot in the last few years.”

Star junior forward Dimingus Stevens added, “even before I came to Wilson I was coming to the games, so I got to see the team grow to becoming an all-star team.”
With lots of attention surrounding the Wilson program ahead of the 2018-19 season, Ifejika decided that it was time for the world to know about the Tigers’ impressive journey. “We wanted to show everything behind a team that was performing at the level of a private school but with the backing of a public school,” said Ifejika.

The adversity faced by the team on and off the court is one of the main themes of the docu-series, which premiered on January 30. Although the team has moved into the national spotlight, the players have had to overcome a lot of challenges to get there. “I always believed that basketball is the tool to teach life lessons,” Ifejika added.
With a team that saw a lot of new faces on its roster this season, finding team chemistry was very hard at first. “There were a lot of attitudes especially at the beginning of the season,” senior Jay Heath said. “With a lot of talent everyone just wanted to do their own thing and we just had to come together as a team and accept criticism.”

“We’re all teammates and we’re going to fight, laugh, and argue,” senior Makhel Mitchell said. “But we got through it and had a very successful season,” he said. Ifejika emphasizes the importance of not taking this season’s success for granted. “Appreciate what you saw this season because it may never happen again,” he said.
Episodes air every Monday at 8:30 p.m. on CCBN’s Twitter with the hashtag RUNTHISTOWN, or can be viewed on The More Than Basketball YouTube page.