“One is good, but I’ll take two” Those were the words of Rasheed Wallace after the Detroit Pistons won the NBA championship back in 2004 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The same sentiment resonates with the West Linn Lions at this time. They finally were able to knock off the ferocious Lake Oswego Lakers in the semifinals on their way to victory over Central Catholic. Better late then never right?
This is a team I have had the joy of watching for some time now. I have family in West Linn and have had the ability to watch this group of guys play over the past 5 years or so. I remember telling them they will have something special and might even win it all by their senior year. The state championship came a year earlier than expected, but certainly isn’t the end of the line. I had a chance to sit down with Matt Wright, a junior guard who shared his thoughts on next year’s expectations. “We could win it all again next year. We have a lot of great players coming back and just have a great chance,” said Wright. He was a role player this past year on a team flowing with talent. They have a great core and play together well. Next year will be a great chance for this great group of guys to get their college entrance ready.
This is a time where they have to stay hungry. Getting to the top has got to be one of the best feelings a basketball player can have, but keeping focused at such a young age is where the challenge gets even tougher. When it comes to preparation, Wright had this to say: “We have AAU teams, summer league and our personal workout plans this summer.” On where he feels he will be next season: “I feel like I am ready to make that push to be a starter next year and make an impact. “
I had the pleasure of watching my high school varsity team win the state title when I was playing JV basketball as a junior and I know what kind of special thing that is for everyone involved to go through. We lost the vast majority of the talented boys who brought us to the top back in 2002, but that will not be the case for these Lions. For now, I will just say congratulations to the boys and hope that you stay hungry for the special chance at a repeat title. As for Wright, keep up the hard work and I look forward to seeing your offseason efforts come out on the court. The reality is most kids who ever play basketball never get the chance to say they have won a state championship let alone win two. That said, no matter what happens with this talented bunch next year they can hold onto that feeling they have right now.