The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches voted Woodrow the ninth best team in the state last week. The team is undefeated in its district and is a few wins away from another district championship.
Woodrow made the spotlight this season after the team beat Kimball High School when Kimball was ranked fifth in the state, says head coach Pat Washington.
The Woodrow team is led by five senior starters: Lamar Everd, Bryan Hall, Chanston Goodman, Jake Patin and Karim Gunter. Washington says the best teams in his 18 years coaching at Woodrow have been led by teams with many senior starters. He believes several seniors will receive scholarship offers to play in college this year.
Washington attributes the team’s success to standout guard play, including excellent shooting from the outside.
When Washington took over the program 18 years ago, it was all the team could do to not get beat by 60 points. However, during the last 12 years his teams have qualified for the playoffs and earned five district championships. “I fashion myself as a builder,” he says. “I like putting things together.”
Washington estimates that he has sent about 45 athletes to play college basketball. These success stories are more important than state championships, he says. Current assistant coach Anthony McCoy and former assistant Juan Rivas, who is now the head boys coach at Bryan Adams High School, were on his first Woodrow team.
The team’s success is especially impressive this year considering construction has required them to practice in a middle school gym, area recreation centers and the girl’s gym. But Washington says the school’s new performance gym, where they can host boys basketball games for the first time, will make the inconvenience worthwhile.
Coach Washington, a graduate of Adamson High School, knows that Dallas ISD basketball provides fierce competition. He isn’t looking past his next game against the team coached by his former assistant at Bryan Adams. The Woodrow team will finish next week at Seagoville High School with a chance to win another district championship.
Though a state title eludes Washington, he says winning isn’t the ultimate goal. Seeing his players graduate high school, attend and graduate college, get married, have families and build their careers is his championship. “In this life I have learned, if it’s the Lord’s will to win one, we will. If not, I am ok with my ‘state championships’ calling me up.”
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