The KIPP DC College Preparatory boys’ basketball team, winners of the inaugural DCSAA Class A state championship, were recognized by the District of Columbia City Council for their historic achievement. On hand to meet the team was Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie.
“When student-athletes have the season you all have had and accomplished what you’ve accomplished, I want to recognize it,” said the councilmember. “I’m frequently in the community and visit schools often, but it’s important for me to have you all come down here, inside the John A. Wilson Building, and see that it’s not my building, or the Mayors building; it’s yours.”
Head coach Chris Miller accompanied the team on their visit and spoke on the team’s long journey toward their history-making accomplishment. “When we came together at the beginning of the season, our team had the goal of winning a championship, and I’m proud of what they accomplished. A lot of people don’t see the hard work that goes into achieving something like that, so to be invited down here and able to meet with councilmembers and be recognized is a great experience for them.”
For everything the Panthers accomplished this year, it would surprise most how young the team is with only one senior on the team’s depth chart. Jaylin, who will be enrolling in North Carolina Wesleyan this fall to study exercise science, shed light on what this journey has meant to him. “We all wanted to achieve something special this year, especially me in my senior year, and it’s been a blessing. I’ve been with KIPP DC since I was in the fifth grade, so to have this support and go out like this has been special.”
As for the actual state championship win itself, the Panthers defeated SEED 55-47 in a back and forth affair to etch their names in the history books. MVP of that game was Saveon, who finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists, seven steals, and three blocks. “I saw how much my team wanted to win and told myself at halftime that I’m going to play this game like it’s my last. I knew I had the tools needed to help us win, so I just went out and left everything I had out on the court.”
Before departing, Councilmember McDuffie left the team with a bit of motivation heading into the 2019-20 season. “Now, you’ve got to repeat.”
If history is any indication, the Panther’s will be ready when the season tips off next fall.