Four sophomores, one team, one goal, 32 minutes. Their mission: win. Pressure is heavy, composure is a must, and failure is unacceptable.
According to Coach Don Dumas, basketball is an intense game that requires great skill, strength, and versatility. These qualities are embodied by a group of sophomores called by the Fantastic Four’: Rashaun Square, Morris Stokes, Damascus Sanders, and Damaje Sanders.
“They are very skilled players and they have great work ethic which is necessary to succeed at the varsity level,” Dumas said.
After successfully making the varsity boys basketball team, the group began calling themselves the Fantastic Four.
“We chose the name because we’re fantastic and there are four of us all in the same grade,” DM Sanders said.
The bond between the Fantastic Four is undeniably strong and also has an impact on the way each member performs on the court.
“They are all like brothers—two of them of course actually are brothers. But I think before them, they have great comradery and you can tell they like being around each other. That helps them play together on the court,” Dumas said.
Playing basketball can be intimidating for younger team members; the emotions when on the court may affect how the players perform.
“It is very exciting. There is a rush because I love playing basketball and it is even better now that I play it with my friends. It is fun when you hear your name being called; just in general everything is hyped,” Square said.
As basketball playoffs are starting in the next few weeks, it is important that the team prepares correctly and effectively to end the season on a successful note. Rashaun Square explains that teamwork and effective listening is how success can be achieved.
The addition of the four sophomores to the team has been a positive and beneficial one. They are described to be versatile, impactful, and nonetheless talented. Coach Dumas details how the team has been impacted by the presence of the Fantastic Four.
“All four of them are heavy in our rotation and any given day, one of them can lead the team in scoring or lead the team in rebounding or steals.” Dumas said.
As underclassmen on a varsity team, it is critical that each player maintain their composure on the court.
Stokes explained how starting a game can be “nerve-wracking” at times, though when the game starts to flow he finds himself in a more comfortable state to play in an effectual manner.
As basketball playoffs are starting in the next few weeks, it is important that the team prepares correctly and effectively to end the season on a successful note, with teamwork and effective listening, according to Square.
“I think just all playing as a team and you know teamwork and just buying in to what coach Dumas tells us and trusting in him and that he knows what he is talking about,” Square said.
The impact of basketball has extended to not only on the court but off the court as well. Often, the players feel inspired to better their character because of playing basketball. DM Sanders describes the extent to which such statement is true.
“I feel like I play this game too much to [be nervous], so I always focus and do my best. The way it [basketball] inspired me is on and off the court. It inspired me to be a better person in a leadership role if I tell someone to do something, then that is doing something off the court too if I tell someone something, I know what to expect,” DM Sanders said.
Time spent with the team leads to strong friendships as demonstrated through the Fantastic Four. Stokes has described how he was able to make friends while getting involved with his teammates.
“I love the energy of being on the court with all my teammates and you can really make friends,” Stokes said.
Coach Dumas expresses that this group of sophomores are very talented and even encourages people to come out to support the varsity basketball team and watch the Fantastic Four play and see their talents live.
“They play really hard, they understand that they are represented in the school and the community and they’re really fun to watch, ”Dumas said. “If you haven’t seen them play I encourage all the students and staff to come out and check them out,”