Four seniors (seated) from the 2012-13 Nansemond River basketball team were joined by family and supporters as they made their public commitments to colleges during a ceremony on Thursday at Nansemond River High School. Front row, from left: Edwin Drew, Cristian Alexander, Dedjaline Anderson and Kendric Washington; back row, from left: Kristel McDowell, Traci Drew, Gary Drew, Gregory Washington, coach Ed Young and Rochelle Armstrong-Washington.
Four seniors (seated) from the 2012-13 Nansemond River basketball team were joined by family and supporters as they made their public commitments to colleges during a ceremony on Thursday at Nansemond River High School. Front row, from left: Edwin Drew, Cristian Alexander, Dedjaline Anderson and Kendric Washington; back row, from left: Kristel McDowell, Traci Drew, Gary Drew, Gregory Washington, coach Ed Young and Rochelle Armstrong-Washington.

College sweep for NRHS basketball

Published 10:20pm Friday, May 31, 2013

A Virginia college basketball rivalry soon will be heavily influenced by Suffolk, with players from Nansemond River High School committing to attend both Randolph-Macon College and Virginia Wesleyan College.

All of the seniors on the 2012-13 Nansemond River High School basketball team were recognized at a ceremony on Thursday at the school after announcing their college plans.

Ed Drew and Kendric Washington join William Goodman in going to the next level as players and students, while Cristian Alexander and Dedjaline Anderson will focus their efforts on the academic side.

This will be the fourth consecutive year that every senior Warrior will attend college.

Warriors head coach Ed Young normally has his players make their college announcements in April, but he was proud of them for what he judged was a successful conclusion to the process.

“I know they struggled with their decisions,” he said. “I’m confident in all their selections. Where they’re going, I think they’ll fit.”

Ed Drew made his decision last week to play for and attend Randolph-Macon College.

“Another great opportunity presented to me,” he said. “I want to thank God, my parents, everybody at Nansemond that helped me be able to reach this opportunity for me to play at the next level, and also get a good education.”

“Ed’s work ethic is what caught everybody’s eyes, especially Randolph-Macon,” Young said. “Randolph-Macon has been known to have some of the best big men in the league, in the (Old Dominion Athletic Conference). They feel Ed’s going to be the next one of their guys that they’ve had that has the potential to be an all-conference player.”

Drew will major in sports medicine, making plans to be around the game even after his playing days, but he still hopes to fulfill his ultimate goal of playing professionally.

“I’m hoping to even play overseas, because I really want to see how far basketball will take me,” he said. “Anything is possible, and I’m willing to work hard for it, no matter what it takes, because hard work will get you places.”

Kendric Washington will join teammate William Goodman, who committed in April, at Virginia Wesleyan College.

“Wesleyan is in the hunt every year for a national title,” Young said. “Macon’s right on their heels. They’ve got an already established rivalry.”

“It feels good, like a major step in my life,” Washington said. “Let go of high school basketball, go ahead on to college, start a new career, step up, better competition, more challenging classes, feels good.”

He credits his parents, coaches, teammates, teachers and friends for the support that got him to this point.

Young said that the coaches at Wesleyan are looking at Washington for his defensive skills, something for which most high school players are not recruited.

“That’s usually their weakest part, but they think that Kendric brings a flair of defense, that they like, to their program,” Young said.

Washington will major in mass communications, aiming to participate in sports broadcasting after college.

Though Cristian Alexander and Dedjaline Anderson are not continuing on in basketball, Young wanted to recognize them for continuing their education, which he saw as the most important thing any of his players were doing.

“Whoever has the most education usually gets the most opportunities,” he said.

Alexander will attend the Art Institute of Virginia Beach and major in graphic design.

“Everybody doesn’t get the opportunity to go to college, so being able to go to college is a good feeling, even though it’s not for basketball,” Alexander said.

He is interested in having a career making and designing clothes, though his major gives him flexibility to work in other fields, as well.

Anderson will go to Old Dominion University to pursue a degree in accounting. As the eldest sibling in his family, he was also happy to establish a good standard.

“It means a lot to set an example for my younger siblings,” he said.

He attributed his success to his dad for “pushing me the whole way, getting grades, being on my back, 24/7, all the time.”

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