The Brownwood Lions basketball team was recently honored as the Impact Team of the Year by the Big Country Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Nominated by Brownwood High School Principal, Mitch Moore, the 2016-17 Lions basketball team reached the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

Moore commented that the process of achieving this goal derived from the commitment of new Brownwood athletic director Kyle Maxfield that all BHS Athletic programs would be successful. That followed through to new head coach Nadir Dalleh, a Brownwood High School graduate, who instilled excitement in the Lions and entire basketball program. A program that had experienced a 36-game losing streak, a winless season in 2014 and had only one district win in the 2016 season faced an amazing challenge.

But no one could have imagined the challenge and tragedy that would occur at the start of the school year, with the loss of senior and starter, D’Avion Wasson, who drowned while swimming in San Saba.

Moore said that Dalleh met with the Lions the Monday after the news of D’Avion’s death and asked if anyone felt like practicing.

“In that moment, the team decided the best way to honor D’Avion would be to go out and practice every day and be the best team they could be. They never missed a practice,” Moore said. “Some of the team members were ambassadors to the family of D’Avion and his jersey traveled to every game with the team.

“The players knew they were fortunate to get to play a game that D’Avion loved but would never again be able to play because his life was taken too early form this earth.”

Prayer spread through the team and the entire student body at Brownwood High School.

“Overcoming adversity is something all teams work to do but overcoming tragedy I something that no team should have to do,” emcee Trace Michaels said during the recent FCA All-Star Awards ceremony in Abilene. “The 2016-17 Brownwood Lions boys basketball team was forced to do just that.”

Moore added, “This team came together to show their faith and love to their community, the family of their lost teammate and accomplished what no Brownwood team has done in five years.”

The Lions went on to win 18 games in 2017, more than the previous four years combined. A new beginning, a lifelong bond with the family of a fellow teammate and positive impact on a school and community had taken place during one season.

Team members include Bryson Wells, Blake Bronniman, Xavier Porter, Tristin Revada, McLane Moore, Blaine Hughes, Corleone Pressley, D’Avion Wasson, A.J. McCarty, Gavin Jefferson, Sean Yoder, and Blaize Infinger.

Dalleh, the head coach, is assisted by Shawn Cullins and Brad Bowden.