Above, Coach Lloyd Webster celebrates the team’s success with members of the King/Drew Golden Eagles. (Photo by Kayana Hudson)
By Lisa Green-Golden
King-Drew Medical Magnet High School
Fly, Golden Eagles, fly.
The players on the boy’s basketball team at King-Drew Medical Magnet High School, under Coach Lloyd Webster, have proven they are not only skilled athletes, but competitive students, too.
In fact, all six of the team’s seniors have won admittance to four-year universities.
March Madness at King/Drew traditionally represents the month of college acceptances. This March, however, the month also includes basketball success.
The Golden Eagles had their best-ever season, winning the City Division II championship and advancing to the state finals for the first time in school history. The team lost Tuesday to View Park in the regional semifinals, but the team’s seniors can look forward to a future beyond sports.
“I am extremely proud of our scholars,” said Principal Reginald Brookens. “They have succeeded on the court and in the classroom, which is the expectation of all student-athletes at King/Drew. The sky is the limit for them.”
Webster, in his inaugural year after heading the program at Locke High and coaching at Narbonne High, created a family among the young men. He instilled in them a desire to be more than a basketball team.
Their academic record is as impressive as their athletic feats. While the average GPA among the six seniors is 3.26, team captain Ethelbert Anum earned a 4.3 GPA despite taking some of the school’s most rigorous courses.
The team’s seniors have been accepted at the following universities:
- Ethelbert Anum – University of Southern California and UC Berkeley
- Dunsin Akinbi – UC Riverside
- Bryce Collier – Howard University
- Christian Doss – Cal State Dominguez Hills
- Brandon Figueroa – University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Kennedy Stitt-Riley – San Diego State University, with more acceptances on the horizon
These athletes have adhered to the school’s mission of demonstrating academic success.
King/Drew was established to expose local children to rigorous and well-paying science and health-care professions. Even the campus’ design resembles a college setting, with limited space for sports.
The school’s academic focus has produced thousands of top university grads. Dr. Ernie Roy, who served as the school’s first principal when the school opened in 1999, quickly identified the need to incorporate sports to ensure students had a well-rounded high school experience.
Principal Brookens is an L.A. Unified graduate and a former athlete who has broadened the school’s vision to produce scholar-athletes.
“It is no longer acceptable to only perform on the court and field,” he said. “It is necessary to advance in the classroom, as well.”
These seniors have contributed to the Golden Eagles’ legacy, establishing a trademark of excellence for younger team members to carry-on.