Posted On: 03/13/18 10:10 AM
Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School has one of the richest basketball histories around dating back to 1983-1985 when they were national champions and arguably the best high school basketball team ever assembled. Over the past weekend, the Poets won their 16th state championship title, with this win coming against defending Class 1A champion Fairmont Heights.
Senior guard Da’Shawn Phillip has been the key to the Poets’ remarkable 20-3 overall record. This past weekend in the semifinals and final was no different as the 6-foot-4 guard averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two assists over the two-game span. In the state final, Phillip exploded for 27 points (11-of-19), 13 rebounds, three steals and two assists.
— ShawnBuckets5️⃣ (@Lbg_shawn) March 9, 2018
One aspect of Phillip’s game this season was his willingness to lead. Not to say he wasn’t a leader in previous seasons, but he checked all of the boxes with his attitude this year in terms of constantly communicating, encouraging and pushing his teammates and coming up in key moments when his team needed him most.
“My leadership and my ability to take over a game,” Phillip said addressing his biggest improvements this season. “Also my ball handling and just doing whatever I needed to for us to come out with the win.”
Phillip, who ranks No. 47 in our 2018 player rankings, will hit the occasional three-pointer here and there, but much of his scoring comes from his ability to take his man off the dribble and either pull up from the mid-range area or finish at/above the rim. His length and athleticism makes his match up difficult and with a high-release point on his jumpshot, rarely do you see him get blocked.
Phillip is more than a scorer, as indicated by his numbers. He is an active rebounder for a guard on both ends. In the state championship game, five of his 13 rebounds came on the offensive end. As a defender, Phillip has solid lateral movement with quick feet and can contest shots with his long arms. His length also pays off with his ability to anticipate in the passing lanes to spark transition opportunities.
Phillip currently holds one offer from James Madison, but told Prep Hoops that Hampton, Longwood, Radford and Toledo are all expressing interest.
What can you expect from Phillip to bring at the next level?
“Just a winner’s mentality, heart and defense,” Phillip stated.