One of the most important relationships in high school basketball is between the head coach and his point guard. The best ones can communicate without speaking and lead the team with consistency.
That’s what Wilson has this year with sixth-year coach James Boykin and senior point guard Nico Colchico.
“I’ve had him getting minutes at that position since he was a sophomore, so we know each other well,” Boykin said of Colchico. “He’s pretty much our vocal leader on the team. We have good chemistry as far as we want from the team.”
The 6’3” Colchico has been working hard in the gym during the offseason with his fellow upperclassman to try and help the Bruins finish with a winning record for the first time since 2018.
“We put a lot of time and effort into getting to the basket through contact,” Colchico said. “We’re a drive and kick type of team so it was a lot of driving to the paint and finishing through contact… There were times when we were going at it with each other because it was so physical. But that’s good because the Moore League is a physical league. We’re more prepared for that than in past years.”
Colchico is also an elite distance runner who has missed some time on the court because of other practices. He was participating in three different sports in the spring during the rescheduled season, but that didn’t stop him from leading Wilson to a playoff win on the road.
“There’s times when I can’t make it to practices, so there’s times when it’s detrimental, but overall I think it makes me a better athlete and a better person in general,” Colchico said of being a multi-sport athlete. “I’ve learned how to balance my time better and it makes me stronger.”
Senior Jake Deleray and junior Mikey Kirley will join Colchico in the backcourt. Kirley is a 6’1” shooting guard and Deleray is a 6’2” returning starter who averaged over 15 points per game in the last handful of games in the spring.
“He reminds me of one of those old school Duke players,” Boykin said of Deleray. “He dives on the ground, takes charges and is very efficient. He’s one of those coaches’ dreams.”
Senior Destin Okafor is the most experienced forward on the roster, and he’ll get a lot of help down low in late December when St. John Bosco transfer Sean Oliver finishes his sit out period. Boykin said the 6’5” 210-pound junior will be a game-changer all over the floor.
“We’re a very different team from last year,” Colchico said. “We have less experience but we have more heart. We’re going to be a gritty team. We don’t have a true big so it’s very important for us to be scrappy and leave everything on the floor.”
“The pieces we have are all complementary pieces and really it’s about just putting it all together,” Boykin said. “Somebody asked me who our biggest competition was and I told them that Wilson is. I think we have a pretty solid team this year. If we’re going to match the toughness and intensity in the Moore League we’ll be okay. If we don’t we’ll struggle. It’s about our schemes, mentality and what we hang our values on. If we can do those things I feel confident.”
Wilson is opening the season at the Ocean View Tournament this week, and then has marquee non-league games against Los Alamitos (Dec. 1), Mira Costa (Dec. 8), St. John Bosco (Dec. 22), Mission Viejo (Dec. 27), and Mayfair (Jan. 4).
However, Boykin and Colchico both think the league performance will define the season. Wilson opens league play against Long Beach Poly on Dec. 13.
“The expectation is always to compete in the Moore League but I think it’s going to be tough to even make the playoffs this year because we’ve got some pretty good teams,” Boykin said.
“Whoever wins the league it’s about who wants it more,” Colchico added. “There are teams that are more skilled but it’s about bringing that strong mindset.”