LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - “After seven years to finally have an opportunity to fulfill your dream and make it a reality. We’re trying to make this dream a reality,” said Hamilton Christian head coach Dexter Washington.
That dream? To bring home a state championship. After falling short in the semifinals each of the last two seasons, the third time was the charm for Hamilton Christian as the Warriors will aim to win the school’s first-ever state title on Friday.
“I didn’t exactly know when it would happen, but I knew we had the core group of kids that would one day have that opportunity," added Washington.
Leading that core -- Junior point guard, Michael Thomas. Thomas has been the catalyst for the Warriors since stepping foot on campus and his numbers show his versatility. With averages of 15 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds per game, it’s no surprise that colleges would come calling.
There was one school in particular that stood out to Thomas. After the Warriors second round win over St. Frederick, the junior announced he was committing to UL Lafayette.
“It fits well for me. The style of play fits my style very well," Thomas admitted. "They like to run and gun which is how we play at Hamilton. Not only that, but the academics. They graduate their players and that stood out to me.”
“He gave me valid reasons and his mom valid reasons as well. If he wanted to go to Alaska University, I was going to be right there with him," Washington added.
But before Thomas heads east to Lafayette, there’s some unfinished business to take care of in Lake Charles. The first task, making history with a state championship game win.
“It’s going to mean a lot,” Thomas said. “Not only to the team but the community and school as well.”
“We’re not going anywhere, but this would take us over the hump in the community," Washington said. "There’s a lot of people that don’t know about Hamilton Christian but they’ll know about us if we win a state championship. We’ll make sure they know.”