Members of the Denver East men’s basketball team watched the seconds tick down to zero at the Coors event center, last winter, as they won a well deserved state title. With that victory the Angels added the eleventh state basketball championship to the school’s list. As the Angels look to add more championships, this upcoming season won’t come without challenges.
The Angels lost four of their starters with Dominique Collier now at CU Boulder, Ronnie Harrell at Creighton, and Jevon Griffin and Tyre Robinson at Sheridan College (Wyoming) and Garden City Community College (Kansas) respectively. The only returning starter will be senior point guard Brian Carey.
Carey spent the summer playing for the Colorado Chaos basketball club and is being looked at by schools such as Portland State, Loyola Maryland, Blackfield State, and Minot State with other offers expected to come as time goes on. He is undersized at 5’8, but is a shifty scorer and active defender. Carey averaged 9.7 points per game last season and had impressive scoring nights against Chaparral and Overland scoring 23 points in each. Carey recognizes that this season he will need to more consistent in every aspect of his game as he leads an inexperienced team. “I need to get better at my pull up jump shot, I can always get better at defense, and I need to work on becoming a leader,” he states.
Leadership is going to be a major asset for Carey this season. The only players that got any on court experience last year were Carey and Jordan Willis. Willis stands at 6’5 and averaged 3 boards per game as a junior. He stepped up for the angels when they were missing senior center Tyre Robinson. Willis is a big body that can do some damage in the paint, however needs to work on finishing at the rim and defending bigger players. He may be able to find help from transferring player, Jack Buckmelter. Buckmelter is a center coming from Colorado Academy where he averaged 18.7 points per game as a sophomore. Carey is excited about the additions to the team as well as four other returning players that played very minimal minutes last season. “We were carried by talent (last season),” Carey explains “but the team this year might work harder than the team last year. We have a good group of guys that know how to win.”
The attitude of winning is a commonality for East Basketball. The returning players for the Angels are all seniors and have experienced being on a winning team and know what it takes to be successful. Over the summer East played in a summer league with other Colorado high schools where they made it to the championship game, but were defeated by the Rangeview Raiders. Carey believes the team is always getting better and has high hopes for this season. “We look good and can definitely upset some people this season” he states.
Denver East basketball comes back “reloaded” every season. The squad this year is looking to mimic the success of not only last year’s team, but the success of all the great basketball teams that have come and gone from the school. Brian Carey will lead this inexperienced group against a tough schedule against some of Colorado’s best as the angels seek out another appearance at the Coors Event Center.