Desmin Wade will take over for Dondrell Whitmore as the new head coach at Blake High School. Wade spent three seasons as the boys’ basketball coach at High Point, where he led the team their first regional finals in over 15 years during the 2018-19 season.
“I loved the home environment at High Point,” Wade said. “I’ll definitely miss the bond with those guys. Every kid that wanted to play in college this past season, they did. It was also just great to see so many people in the community come back and watch us play at the regional final.”
Wade, who is also a teacher and the athletic director for White Oak Middle School, remembered the head coach position at Blake being opened so, he applied with a pool of coaches looking for the same position. Within a couple days, Wade got a call back that he’d been offered the job.
Matt Samuels, who was Wade’s assistant coach at High Point for one year, he said Wade getting the job speaks volumes about his hard work and dedication towards coaching.
“When I found out he got the job for Blake I was so excited,” Samuels said. “He’s like a little brother to me and I know how hard he’s worked in order to be taken seriously at his young age as a coach.”
Samuels thought Wade changed the High Point community. He said parents, staff, and community figures reached out to him and the coaching staff acknowledging the changes they noticed with High Point.
“He brought hope to High Point,” said Samuels. “There was an out pour of support from alumni following our games this past season and seeing the wins pile on was just great, it was a lot of support behind us for bringing back a winning tradition to High Point.”
Blake’s entire starting lineup is returning for next season. One of the key returners is Raef Hetherington, who was named to Montgomery County’s All-County team. Hetherington is no stranger to Wade.
“I knew [Wade] through AAU,” Hetherington said. “I never played under him but, always talked to him because my AAU coach and him were close. When I found out we were getting a new coach, I was surprised that our old coach left but, I was excited to see what the future was going to look like at Blake.”
Hetherington is excited to be working with someone he has known for years. He feels Wade will impact Blake in a very good way with more workouts and more opportunities to get better on the court.
Wade expects to come into the program ready to compete. He wants to keep the game exciting while building a strong basketball culture at Blake.