The DJ Vincent era has begun at Wilson.
After fifth-year head coach Erin Carey stepped down in June, Vincent has stepped in to try and take the Bruins back to CIF-SS postseason glory. Wilson won its first title in two decades weeks before the COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020.
“We’re in rebuilding mode but I do have some assets I can coach up and so we’re going to be solid and compete,” Vincent said. “We’re a defensive team, or at least that’s what we’re trying to be. We have no superstars so everyone is going to have to play their role and do what they do best.”
Vincent is a Wilson alum who’s been coaching boys’ and girls’ basketball in the Los Angeles area for the last 10 years. He last worked at Culver High and also coached with AAU and middle school teams.
“I follow a strict formula of learning life lessons through the game to help the youth to be able to maneuver through society, be a humanitarian and build character and teamwork,” Vincent said.
Vincent will rely heavily on senior point guard Sydney Ross to lead his new team on the floor.
“We had a rough start at first but team chemistry has formed as the weeks and months went on,” Ross said of the transition with a new coach. “The practices are more intense because we’re more focused and with the running we’ve been doing we’re in much better shape than we were a year ago.”
“She’s a defensive guru out there so I’m looking forward to her stepping up her leadership and the girls rallying around that as a team and with a team effort instead of just an individual,” Vincent said of Ross.
Ross will be joined by guards Laurin Tiangco, Justice Vincent, Liliana Triassi and center Latitia Kariuki in the starting lineup. Junior Justice Vincent and Triassi are also a returning starter in the backcourt.
Vincent wants his team to create its offense by being smart and unselfish with the ball.
“We’ve been trying to learn the game itself on a different level instead of just jacking shots up,” Vincent said. “We have to be able to read the game. It’s a new experience for them but they’re learning and getting better at it as the weeks go by.”
Ross, who has been working on her shot in the offseason, said she really likes that style of play since she’s been healthy and able to stay on the floor for practices.
“I’ve learned from (former guard Ashley Hawkins and others) that it’s not all about one person,” Ross said. “You have to build team chemistry first in order to perform on and off the court. Not only do you have to build a team on the court, you have to build some kind of sisterhood in order to perform well.”
Wilson only has four non-league games on the schedule before starting Moore League play against Long Beach Poly on Dec. 13.
“A rivalry starts when teams go back and forth, so until we change that it’s not really a rivalry,” Vincent said of playing Poly. “Our goal should never be to just beat Poly. Our goal should be to beat everybody we face, or at least try to.”