HYATTSVILLE, Md. – First Love Christian Academy (Washington, Penn.) guards Isaiah Wilson and D.J. Gordon were content with not having their names on the “Players to Watch” list headed in to the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest; they’d much rather earn a mention on the list after the showcase concludes.
The junior duo may not be racking up the star ratings and multiple highlight videos yet, but their play this season is progressively putting them on the national map.
“People don’t really know about us like that and we understand,” said Gordon, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard. “I just feel like that puts us in a good position to wake people up.”
Mission accomplished in the Knights’ 64-59 win over National Christian Academy (Fort Washington, Md.) Sunday at the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest.
Gordon posted 22 points and eight rebounds and Wilson had 15 points, eight rebounds, six steals and six assists in route to taking home MVP honors.
“We know what we’re capable of,” said Wilson, a 6-foot point guard. “We just come out every game and try to prove it. That’s been our approach since we started playing.”
Wilson and Gordon are cousins and have been playing together since the fifth grade, which has, quite naturally, produced a massive amount of chemistry on the court.
“We’ve been playing together so long I know what he’s gonna do before he does it and he knows the same about me,” Wilson said. “Just having that chemistry makes it hard to stop us.”
Wilson turned heads while splitting time between All-Ohio Red and the Pittsburgh Rytes this summer, picking up offers and interest from Rhode Island, Winthrop, Drexel and Missouri, among many others.
Gordon, who only transferred to First Love this season, ran with the NY Jayhawks this summer and averaged 12 points a game on a team with multiple double-digit scorers. This season he’s posting 17 points and seven rebounds a game for the Knights.
Wilson is averaging 16 points and six assists a game.
First Love coach Khayree Wilson said that his message for the duo with budding star potential is to concentrate on winning and to let accolades come organically.
“The moment you try to make yourself bigger or try to focus on doing you, it won’t work,” Wilson said. “They’ve bought in. The talent is undeniable, and they’ve got the right mindset.”
Gordon knew that coming into the National Hoopfest he’d have to implement extreme focus not to get caught up in trying to turn in the most memorable performance with elite players and teams competing.
“I just had to approach it like it’s just another game,” said Gordon, who has offers and interest from Dayton, Pittsburgh, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and VCU, among many others. “We just try and play better every time we step on the court as a team.”
Wilson said that keeping the focus on winning keeps all of their goals in reach.
“Everybody remembers the team that won,” Gordon said. “We want people to know who we are and all of that stuff, but the best way to do that is to win.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY