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FACS preps for playoffs, Mr. Basketball finalist leads the way

Daniel Egbuniwe is a Division 2A finalist for Mr. Basketball as his team preps for regional battle against ECS.
Credit: Michael Priest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The First Assembly Christian School's boys basketball team is ready for redemption as they prepare for the regional semifinals against Evangelical Christian School.

“It’s so special this year because I have eight seniors this year and I’ve had most of them for four years five years,” said head coach Dee Wilkes.

Including division 2A Mr. Basketball finalist Daniel Egbuniwe.

“He started coming off the bench. He sat on the bench a whole year and another kid brought him into the tryouts and he was the tallest one so we just kept him because he was tall,” said Wilkes.

In Egbuniwe’s sophomore season, FACS made it to the state championship falling to Lausanne who at the time had former Memphis Tiger Moussa Cisse.

That hard loss changed how daniel saw the game of basketball.

“I started taking it more and more seriously and I kept getting better,” said Egbuniwe.

This season Daniel is averaging 21 points, 12 rebounds, and at least 4 blocks a game, attracting the attention of multiple colleges.

However, head coach Dee Wilkes said his best skill is how unselfish he is with his teammates.

“UAB and Southern Miss were here to watch him last week and he was just passing the ball. I was like Daniel, I need you to score it’s a tight game. He was like I'm trying to get them involved. I was like no, I need you to score we’re trying to win the game,” said Wilkes.

“I understand that I’m a good player and they’re good also. I put in the same work, I get them to come along with me in all my workouts we go everywhere together so I think they should get recognized too,” said Egbuniwe.

According to coach Wilkes it's their close-knit relationship that has allowed them to remain undefeated in district play for three consecutive seasons.

Being that they lost state together in their sophomore year,

he said it’s also what drives them to compete harder to make it back to the championship this year.

“I don’t want to experience that as my last game as a senior,” said Egbuniwe. 

If the Crusaders come out on top this Friday, they will only be four games away from finishing what they started two years ago.

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