New players figure to make team smarter, tougher this season

Eric Smith

The Washburn basketball team has begun a new season with a boost from some new faces on the team. Many played for another school last year.

The new transfer students on the team come from all across the country and have many goals in mind, including getting the team back on the winning track.

“Mario Scott is a young man from Grand Rapids at the point guard,” said coach Bob Chipman. “Angel Santiago, a transfer from Dodge City junior college from Chicago, is at the two [shooting guard]. We have Darnell Kimble from Buffalo, New York. He’s a transfer from Brown Mackie Junior College and playing the five [center] for us. Dei Dei is also from Brown Mackie and is playing the four [power forward].”

Also new to the team are junior James Williams from Topeka, who is a transfer from St. Bonaventure, and Sheldon Warmington, a sophomore transfer from Southeastern Illinois CC.

“They are talented guys, and great athletes that can score. And that was what we had been lacking,” said Chipman. “You’re always looking in recruiting for tough guys that are athletic and can shoot it and that’s why we like this group.”

For many of the players, Washburn is just another chance to show off their basketball skills.

“It’s a great honor to be on the team because we have a pretty good tradition of having good basketball teams here at Washburn,” said Warmington. “Even though in the past couple years the team hasn’t been great, we know that playing for a coach like Mr. Chipman is a privilege.”

After having the first two losing seasons of his career in the past two seasons, coach Chipman and his coaching staff went out and got some hardworking players.

“These guys are going to play a huge role this year for us. It’s going to give us the depth and allow us to play hard like Washburn teams have always done,” said Chipman. “These guys are capable of being great defenders and capable of scoring and allowing us to play nine or ten guys, which I think is very important in college basketball nowadays.”

All of the new Washburn transfers have great potential. But in coach Chipman’s mind, the guys bringing the ball up the court are pretty special.

“You’re only as good as your guards, I’ve always said,” said Chipman. “Mario Scott and Angel Santiago have a chance to be very good players here. It’s early but they’re pretty important to the team, and it all starts with them.”

Washburn has always had a great basketball team. If the team is to be successful this season, the new additions will definitely have leave their mark.

“Our goal this season is not just to rebuild but just to get some more wins. To win a couple more games,” said Warmington. “I believe we can do this just by getting on the same page as the coach as opposed to contradicting what he says. We just got to play together as a unit and get the job done.”