By Dave Merchant – Varsity high school basketball can be one of the best activities to watch on a cold, snowy Friday night. People from Wayne will warm up when they see how this team plays.
One thing is for certain this season. The Wayne Memorial High School Zebras men’s basketball team are not to be taken lightly. In the middle of December, the team was off to a 3-0 start and ranked eighth in the state in the Detroit Free Press Poll and 15th by the Detroit News.
Third year coach Nkwayne Young is excited about his team especially the nucleus.
“We have 12 guys on the team and five of them are seniors,” Young commented. “We play in a tough league but I really feel it is up for grabs this season (Kensington South League).
Big players for the Zebras this season include senior Kevin Epps (six-foot, six inches) who plays wing and has already committed to play college hoops at Eastern Michigan University. Three-year starter junior Rashard Williams (6-3) point guard has had offers from EMU and Cleveland State. Senior Travez Nyk (6-4) wing man is a starter.
The other starters on the team are Terance Williams (6-1) guard who has started for three seasons for Young. Rounding out the starters is two-year varsity player Isiah Lewis (5-9) sophomore guard.
The sixth man off the bench is senior forward Natier Bryant (6-3) talented forward who has played three years on varsity. Other key bench players are senior guard Xavier Moore (5-9) who has played varsity for three years. Also, key off the bench is Kobe Price (6-4) junior forward.
“It is a good nucleus we have,” he said. “I like the fact that eight out of 12 guys on the roster are on the honor roll.”
Of the three games played by December 13th they had beaten Detroit Edison by 22 points; Detroit Cornerstone by six points the Novi Wildcats 65-58. Wayne’s only loss was on Dec. 26th at at Cass Tech against East English Village 92-77.
“This team reminds me of the 2014 team I coached at Detroit Fredrick Douglas,” he said. “We had three guys go on to play Division 1 and seven players all together who went on to play college ball.”
That team lost in the State Semi Finals.
“Our league is tough,” he said. “You have John Glenn, Canton, Plymouth, Livonia Churchill and Livonia Franklin.”
Wayne started the league’s season on January 5th with a 67-52 win against Plymouth. Bringing their record to 7-1. A big game for the team according to Young is Jan. 24th against Clarkston.
Class A districts will be played Downriver this season for Wayne. The teams in the district are the ever-fearsome Romulus Eagles, the Lincoln Park Rails, the Allen Park Jaguars, the Taylor Truman Cougars and the Taylor Kennedy Eagles. Tough competition for sure.
Young said it is a tough district and the Romulus Eagles are always tough to play.