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Posted On: 03/13/18 5:42 PM
Doral Academy made history on Saturday in Lakeland.
The Firebirds, appearing in its first state tournament took home the Class 7A title with a 43-38 victory over Choctaw.
Junior guard Jonathan Nunez led his side with 14 points and commanded the offense from the opening tip.
He said that this season was extremely because from the beginning of the season everyone doubted Doral, a program that launched in 1999.
“We ignored all the rankings all the talk from other teams in 7A being better than us and simply grinded day in and day out. This team deserved a state title and that’s what we got,” Nunez said. “Personally winning a state title in Lakeland has been a goal of mine since I was young. My father was fortunate enough to play in the same arena and win a title about 30 years ago so it was nice to match him so I didn’t have to hear him brag anymore.”
Nunez, a 6’0″, 180-pounder who goes by the nickname “Jojo” says there were many important lessons learned from his junior campaign.
“The most important thing I learned throughout this season is to never lose hope and if you believe in what you’re doing anything is possible,” he said. “I was most proud of my team pulling through and fighting all the adversity and reaching Lakeland.”
No offers or interest have come yet for Nunez. He plans to play for Florida Gold Coast this summer for AAU ball.
He called his biggest strengths his basketball IQ along with a few other key things.
“Since was young I was surrounded by individuals who played “old school” basketball so I developed a feel for the game,” Nunez said. “I always feel confident with the ball in my hands and knowing situations: what to do considering time and possession.”
Nunez plans to work on making his shot more consistent and to gain more muscle.
The 2019 guard was essential to Doral’s success all year long and in the state tournament, he averaged 11 PPG. Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but Nunez is a vocal point guard who makes changes to sets like a quarterback under center. He should be able to propel this season into a nice summer.
Photo credit: Miami Herald