Wilson’s basketball teams were on the rise and in the middle of all of its success, two standout players set out memorable junior seasons, catching the eye of some big name college scouts. Now as Tara Cousins and Dimingus Stevens head into their senior seasons, they can do so with a little less pressure. This past summer they both committed to Division 1 college programs. As their last year of high school ball looms upon them, they have also decided to transfer to other schools, searching for the best competitive opportunities ahead of their collegiate career.
Tara Cousins was definitely a standout for the girl’s basketball team her junior year. Earning the DCIAA Player of the Year and fourth-team All-Met awards and averaging 16 points per game, Cousins led the team to a 14-7 record. On August 9th, Cousins announced her commitment to the University of Delaware. “It’s a high level team that gets better every year.” Cousins said. “The coaching staff and the players embraced me like I was already part of their family from the first time I was on campus.”
Cousins decided to transfer to New Hope Academy in Landover Hills, Maryland and won’t be at Wilson for her senior year. “It was a really hard decision because my heart will always be with Wilson,” she said. “I made the decision because for my last year of high school, I wanted the best opportunity at the highest level of basketball.” Ranked as the top girl’s high school program in the country by USA Today after winning the National Championship, the team is coached by Cousins’ club head coach and features some of her club teammates with whom she is very comfortable sharing the court with. She believes that the competitive national schedule will ultimately make her a better player and best prepare her for D1 ball.
Cousins credits both her club and school play for inspiring her D1 basketball aspirations. “Wilson helped me grow not only as a basketball player, but as a person. I was put in a leadership role from day one so I learned how to be a better teammate,” she said. It was also her club team, Maryland’s Finest, that allowed her to catch the eye of several college teams. “My club coaches made efforts to reach out to college coaches and really supported me through the tough summers with non-stop tournaments.” Cousins added. With her club’s philosophy centered mostly around player exposure rather than winning, Cousins was put to the test against some of the nation’s most elite programs.
“Wilson will always be my home and I thank each and every person who ever helped me, supported me, or cheered me on,” she said. “None of it was ever unnoticed or taken for granted, and I will always be a Wilson Tiger at heart.”
As for Stevens, he immediately became a part of Wilson’s starting five when he transferred from Bishop O’Connell High School his sophomore year. After contributing to the Tigers’ back-to-back DCSAA championship runs, Stevens stood out after an unforgettable high school campaign. In mid-July, Stevens announced his commitment to Seton Hall University adding to the growing list of D1 commits graduating from the basketball program.
Stevens’ development was largely due to the high standards and quality players that made up the Wilson team. Playing with and training against some of the top players in the nation elevated his game and turned him into the D1-bound player he is today. “He’s a very good kid and has a very high ceiling,” said head coach Angelo Hernandez. “People don’t understand how good he’s really going to be.”
“What I always tell my guys is to pick the best situation for you and your family,” Hernandez added. “If they ask for my advice, I’ll give them my advice.” With very little say in where his players end up, Hernandez believes that he and his coaching staff have prepared them well enough to succeed at the next level. Stevens’ club team also played a vital role in his recruitment. Playing for Team Takeover in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, one of the highest levels of youth basketball in the country, Stevens’ team placed first in their division and finished the season ranked 14th in the country.
Like Cousins, Stevens also transferred ahead of his senior season. Stevens will attend the Bishop Walsh school in Cumberland, Maryland. While his decision came as a surprise to Hernandez, Hernandez still acknowledges Stevens’ major influence and contribution to the program. “I wish him the best and I still will help him with anything he needs help with,” Hernandez added. While his motive to transfer is unknown, in a social media post, Stevens stressed that transferring was the best option for him and wishes his Wilson teammates the best of luck.