The Student Voice of Maroon and Grey

The Cub Reporter

The Student Voice of Maroon and Grey

The Cub Reporter

The Student Voice of Maroon and Grey

The Cub Reporter

New Beginnings; Coach Washington Takes Over as the New Lawrence Central Boys Basketball Head Coach


 Sports and athletics have always been a very large part of Lawrence Central High School. The history behind all of the sports that we have are long and amazing from football, to swimming, all the way to basketball. Legacy runs through the floors of Lawrence Central.

Basketball has always been one of the key sports at the school. The history of Lawrence Central Boys basketball is lengthy but successful. Coach Al Gooden has broken countless records and currently holds the record for the most career wins in the program at LC. He had an amazing career that lasted for 40 years.

While leaving an amazing mark, Gooden made the decision to retire from coaching in early 2023 at the end of the boys season. 

When Gooden retired it left people thinking about the future of Lawrence Central boys basketball. After almost 10 years of coaching at Lawrence Central, students, players, and the community were wondering who was going to step up to the plate. 

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It was soon announced that Coach Phillip Washington was going to be the next Lawrence Central boys basketball head coach. Coach Washington had assisted Gooden for years prior to his new job. Washington has also had a large history in coaching as well. He has coached at Crispus Attucks high school, and also coaches for the Amature Athletic Union.

Beginning with the end in mind, he was able to organize a team full of young men who all have the same common goal: winning. He was also able to acquire a well chosen group of coaches that wanted to watch and help these boys grow in every aspect of their lives, but especially on the court, with the return of Coach Albert Gooden Jr, the son of the Hall of Fame High School Basketball Coach, Albert Gooden Sr.

Washington says,”Every game on our schedule is going to be a big game.” 

That statement ushered in a solid season for the Lawrence Central Boys Basketball team. The boys finished the season with a positive record of 12-10, ranking third in the conference behind the number two and number four team in the state: The Lawrence North Wildcats, and The Ben Davis Giants, respectively.

Coach Washington walking with his Guard Cordale Edwards during the Girls and Boys Double Header against Warren Central. (Evan Conners)

They continued the season beating highly skilled teams in nail biting games, such as Warren Central (60-55) and Anderson (65-62). Those games consisted of many lead changes and with senior help we were able to come out on top. 

Senior Bryson Luter spoke about the last few minutes of those tough games, “Playing in those 2 games definitely tested the Grit of the team. We as a team were challenged in terms of did we really want to win. The feeling I had was confidence because I knew the team wanted to win just as bad as me. When you can go on the court and have that feeling, the result of success becomes more likely.”

Their season ended with a heartbreaking loss to Warren. With most of the game up until the 4th, it was looking like a sectional win for the Bears. 

Coach Washington during the Sectional Game against Warren Central. (Morgan Jones)

“We got away from what got us there and had a lack of poise with the ball,” said Washington. “(We) started to play “not to lose” instead of continuing to play “to win the game.” 

Nevertheless Coach Washington was very proud of his team, and is going into his second season as a head coach at Lawrence Central with great confidence. With the prediction of the season being 3-18, and 0-5 in the MIC. The Bears greatly surpassed that and achieved many other accolades. 

“Leadership starts with a strong coaching staff then trickles down to the players,”said Luther. “That’s one thing I can take away from Coach Washington this year.”

The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless for them. Losing six seniors, the Bears will be working hard in the off season and preparing for next year. 

In the words of Coach Washington, “We are on the right path of something great!”


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About the Contributor
Laila Abdurraqib
Laila Abdurraqib, Editor in Chief
Laila is a junior at LC and is starting point guard for the varsity basketball team. Laila wants to major in communications at a top ten, D1 school. Laila loves music and writing about sports.

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    Bryson TeagueMar 13, 2024 at 1:36 pm

    Perfect guy for the job