By MARCUS HELTON
A look back at some of the key players and storylines from Week 2 of the 2017 DMVelite Fall League:
RELATED: Fall League Focus, Part 1
RELATED: FULL FALL LEAGUE SCHEDULE + STANDINGS
NESBITT LOOKING COMFORTABLE EARLY AT VA ACADEMY
One of the more intriguing newcomers to the area this year is 2020 guard Amir Nesbitt, who transferred to Virginia Academy after spending his freshman season at Bishop Sullivan Catholic in Virginia Beach.
“It’s going to help me a lot,” Nesbitt said of his move. “It’s going to get me more exposure and the coaching is harder. And the competition is more skilled – the guards are more savvy.”
Nesbitt is already firmly on the Division I radar, with scholarship offers from Hampton, North Texas and Stetson to go with interest from Old Dominion. He is coming off of a strong summer with Boo Williams and the Virgin Islands 17U national team.
The 6-foot-1, 155 pounder looked strong in a 44-26 win over Douglass, scoring a game-high 14 points and helping the Patriots pull away in the second half. He did a good job of attacking and finishing and getting to the foul line.
“Shooting [is a strength], but my shot wasn’t falling today,” he said. “I’ve learned to use my body and attack the basket now, and I’m improving on my ball handling skills. … We have a good team. A lot of us it’s our first year, so we’re coming together still, but we have a bunch of good guards.”
MARTIN NEXT IN LINE AT CHAVEZ
In recent years, Cesar Chavez (DC) has received a well-earned reputation for developing some of the city’s top guards, with recent graduates Chris Baez, Malcolm Clark, Jacob Long, Keleaf Tate and Tristan and Tyler Thompson, to name a few.
Next up is 2018 guard Lawrence Martin, who will be counted on to step in as the leader for the defending DC Public Charter School Champions.
“I’m going to attack it like I attack every year,” Martin said. “It ain’t nothing new – we did it last year, so we’re just going to come out and try to get these wins.”
Martin finished third on the team in scoring last year at 13.2 points per game behind only Tate and Long, and is the top returning scorer with that duo now at Niagara and Bowie State, respectively.
“It was great,” Martin said of playing alongside Tate and Long. “They were good scorers, good defenders and hustled. They kept me working.”
The 6-foot, 180-pound Martin went to work Saturday morning, posting 21 points in the Eagles’ 37-34 comeback win against Reservoir.
“I feel great,” he said. “ We’re working hard every day, Monday through Friday, and then we come out on the weekends and get some games in and keep it going.”
Martin said he’s ready to shoulder the load for Chavez this season, adding he put in a lot of work this summer to prepare.
“I stopped playing AAU, but I was working out every day,” he said. “I feel great, I was lifting weights and getting shots up and playing against some of the best guards. I feel good about this summer.”
WILSON’S MARABLE AN EMERGING AS FORCE IN MIDDLE
As Wilson (DC) progressed through its DCIAA Championship run last year, 2018 big man Josiah Marable emerged as a valuable contributor. He carried that momentum into the summer with DC Premier, and after a strong showing on the Under Armour circuit, he’s ready to make a name for himself.
“It was real important,” he said of the summer, “because after that Gonzaga game [in the DCSAA Playoffs] I was really trying to get my name out there, and playing with DC Premier really helped it. Playing with that circuit really gave me that chance to get better and play against better competition around the country.”
Marable is an intriguing post prospect with a nice combination of size and athleticism. He’s 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds and runs the floor well, displaying good footwork in the paint and a nice touch around the rim.
“I feel that I’m real good right now,” he said. “I’ve just got to improve and get my body right before the season starts and get in better shape and work on finishing.”
Marable finished with a team-high 13 points in Wilson’s 42-35 win over Pro City on Saturday, and effectively used his size to his advantage on both ends of the court.
Marable’s continued emergence will provide yet another option on a Wilson squad that’s already full of them. In addition to returning stars Ayinde Hikim and Ricky Lindo, the Tigers added transfer guards Jay Heath and Dimingus Stephens from Bishop O’Connell this summer.
“I think we’re real talented,” Marable said. “Dimingus and Jay, I think those are two big pieces that we need, losing Marquis [Copeland] and Isaiah [Jennings] last year, those were two big seniors that we really needed to get where we did. And me, Ricky and Ayinde really helps us come together.”
Indeed, the Tigers look primed to make yet another run to the DCIAA title after capturing their first since 1984 last winter.
“A lot of people were doubting us at the beginning of the season last year,” Marable said, “and we were just telling them we were going to prove them wrong. We started this little lingo that we had called, “Road to the ‘Ship” and we just kept with it from Day 1 since we started practicing and we used that as motivation. All the haters and stuff, we used that as motivation to get to where we wanted.”
WEEK 3 VARSITY GAMES
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
6:30 pm: McKinley Tech vs. South River Shooters
7:30 pm: La Plata vs. Reservoir
7:30 pm: Surrattsville vs. Wilson
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
6:30 pm: Fairmont Heights vs. La Plata
6:30 pm: Calvert vs. Pro-City (DuVal)
7:30 pm: Bowie vs. Cesar Chavez
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
10 am: Capital Christian vs. Team Rampage
10 am: Paint Branch vs. Friendship Tech
Noon: Bowie vs. Virginia Academy
Noon: Indian Creek vs. McKinley Tech
2 pm: Surrattsville vs. Crossland
2 pm: Bowie 2 vs. Virginia Academy