By Kyle Lovern
The wait is over. The debut of Dikembe and Montrell Dixson for the Mingo Central basketball team will be this Tuesday as the Miners host Mount View.
Mingo Central head coach Brad Napier is just glad to start playing again. With the recent severe winter weather the school has had to postpone several games. The parking lot on Thursday was still somewhat icy, even though school was back in session on a 2-hour delay.
“We’re just excited to get to play again. It seems like it’s been a month since we played,” Napier said, talking about the weather and postponements of several games.
“These guys are tired of practicing – I’m tired or practicing – we’re just ready to play some games, “ Napier, who is in his second season at MCHS, said.
Dikembe is a 6’7” junior guard and Montrell is a 6’6” forward/guard and both have had more than enough practices to make them eligible since their move to Mingo County back in early January.
“They both have their 14 practices in and should be ready to go this week,” Mingo Central Coach Brad Napier said. “It’s been a long two or three weeks. We haven’t gotten to play much because of the weather. We’re excited to get these guys on the court and see how we play with them out there.”
“These guys fit in perfect to our system,” Napier said of the Dixson’s. “They like to get up and down the floor and play fast. These guys excel in that kind of open-court game. They are very athletic and both of them handle the ball well and can shoot the ball.”
“They are just multi-skilled players. They are going to help our entire team. We don’t have to play guys tired and we can rest out players. We have more depth. This will allow our guys to be more aggressive on defense and not have to worry about getting into foul trouble.”
“Now, instead of having seven or eight guys that we play, we will have nine or 10,” Napier added. “I think this is a big help in many ways to have these two guys.”
“I really like it here and everyone treats me nice. I love the basketball team too,” Dikembe said of his new school. “I really like the offense and the coaches let me create and go to the basket. And it lets me pass off to my teammates.”
“I like it a lot and people are treating us with a lot of respect,” Montrell said last Thursday during a break from practice. “The team is great and I’m really getting used to playing with these guys.”
“I can’t wait to play,” an excited Dikembe said after practice last Thursday.
Montrell, who liked to play a 2-or-3 (shooting guard or small forward) said he is meshing well with his Miner teammates and he has picked up the system quickly.
“I want to just continue to improve and help our team make it to the state (tourney),” Montrell added.
Dikembe has already been getting some interest from several Division One college programs and said he likes West Virginia, Marshall, Kentucky and Louisville.
Both players, who moved from Bardstown, Ky., say they are excited to get out on the hardwood and help the Miners’ basketball team.
Napier said both players have blended in well with their new teammates and at their new school.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or Twitter @KyleLovern)