The Berkeley Stags are 16-1 this season, undefeated in region so far, and this is their first year playing 5A basketball.
They were dominant in 4A too, so what is it that makes this team so successful?
Joe Wallace said, “I would say chemistry. We have a very good chemistry, as I said, the guys have been playing together for a while, so they build that chemistry and camaraderie, and they trust each other.”
DJ Chisolm said, “man I can’t even explain it. Like we are, we’re like a family, a big family.”
We often hear teams say that they have a strong chemistry, that they feel like a family. For the Stags, there’s a little more to that family feeling.
Chisolm said, “the center, Ishan White, that’s my cousin, and the other point guard, that’s my cousin too. Yeah we all grew up together, now we’re playing on the big stage in high school games.”
Ishan White said, “actually I played DJ when I was little, when we was younger, in St. Stephens where we’re from. I didn’t know that was my cousin at first, that’s how we found out we’re cousins, but it’s fun.”
These guys clearly have a lot of fun together, so I asked DJ if there was ever any drama he laughed and said no way, in fact playing with family is a pretty big advantage.
Chisolm said, “it helps us a lot because most of us on the court think alike, and like after every game we’re with each other, before the game with each other, before practice. It’s just an everyday thing.”
Wallace said, “you see them guys together. They hang out together. They spend the night at each other’s house, so it’s not just about basketball, but away from basketball they genuinely like each other, and that’s good.”
It just seems like a fun bunch to be around, and it sure is fun when you’re winning. These Berkeley Stags were undefeated last season in region, and they believed they should have won state in 4A, so now, with a team full of seniors, they say this has to be the year.
White said, “we were supposed to go to state last year, but we fell short to Wilson. This year, this is basically, all of our team is seniors. All of us want it, so that’s pushing us to go harder before we go off to college.”