Lou Wilson said he “almost jumped through the phone” late Wednesday night when a caller on the other line informed the Riverdale Baptist coach that he had been selected to coach the East squad in the McDonald’s All-American Game, scheduled for April 2 in Chicago, Ill.
“Oh my goodness,” Wilson said. “I’d say this is right at the top of high school basketball coaching.”
It’s the latest accolade in a perpetually lengthening list for the coach.
Last season, he took the Crusaders to the inaugural Capital Beltway Athletic Association title. He has also led Frederick Douglass to its first ever state championship game in 1986, won a state championship with Largo in 1993, a National Championship for Christian Schools with Riverdale in 2004 and 2005 and was subsequently named the NACA National Coach of the Year.
At the All-American game, Wilson will be heading at least one familiar face, as Bishop O’Connell’s Melo Trimble was selected to play for the East team.
“It’s great to have a familiar face in the lineup,” Wilson said. “[Trimble] has done great things in the Washington, D.C. area.”
Wilson has coached at Frederick Douglass, Largo, Howard University — where he led the Bison to an NCAA bid as a player in 1981 — and Riverdale, where he has been for the past eight years. Asked why he thought he was bestowed with such an honor, Wilson replied succinctly via text message: “I guess for being good for a long time.”
Per usual, the game, one of the most prestigious honors for a basketball player and coach, will be broadcast by ESPN.
— Travis Mewhirter