All African American starting five signals a new cultural era

Photo courtesy of Brophy Hoops Instagram page | The basketball team is seen huddling around the starting five in between quarters.

By Nicholas Williams ’21


For the first time in Brophy history, The 19-20 basketball team stepped on the court with an all African American starting five.

The closest occurrence of this was last year, during the 18-19 season, in which four African American players were on the floor at the same time.

“I think that it is a touchstone in the continued evolution of Brophy’s student body,” said Brophy basketball head coach Mr. Matt Hooten.

As the rosters were often varied, the most consistent starters include Joe Feeney ’20, Arnold Dates ’20, Desi Burrage ’21, Myles Nash ’22, Basil Ribakire ’20 and Patrick Chew ’22.

“I think that it is important to recognize and celebrate that our black and biracial student-athletes—like many of their teammates—impact our school community in myriad other ways beyond the basketball court,” Mr. Hooten said.

“Ultimately, I think our basketball team is a reflection of Brophy’s commitment to ensuring that our student body echoes the diverse populations found in Maricopa County.”

After an extensive investigation, in which the Roundup cross-referenced MaxPreps rosters with the Brophy hall graduating classes, The Roundup came to the conclusion that there have never been more African American players on the roster.

Mr. Hooten also said that he hopes this allows the next generation of Broncos to see themselves in our student body.

This year there were seven African American players out of the thirteen players on the full roster, last season there were only four.

Basil Ribakare ’20 said that he was very surprised when finding out the team made history.

“I didn’t realize this for a while because we constantly had rotating lineups. But I began to realize it more and more once we stuck to one lineup for the rest of the season,” said Ribakare.

Ribakare also was very adamant that this would help diminish Brophy’s “rich white boy” stereotype, and encourage more people of color to look at Brophy as a home when choosing a high school to attend.