Frederick K.C. Price school basketball player Josiah Wimberly made major improvements to his game in his senior season. He specialized in defense until his new coach, Chans Smyth demanded more from him.
“He said that I’m not a defensive player, I’m a basketball player and basketball players play with defense and offense,” Wimberly said. “I got my offense better, that was a challenge for me.”
Committing to the process of improving on offense was advantageous, Wimberly’s contributions helped the Knights reach the CIF Southern Section Division 3A Championship game. The Knights finished their season with a 25-10 overall record.
Wimberly has experience playing football, playing at center. His strength surprised his opponents.
“I didn’t play quarterback or running back, and I was the skinniest dude on the team,” he said. “I learned the principles of staying low very young.”
His defensive skills in football helped him on the hardwood. He learned how having the right mentality is more essential than having the proper technique.
Being a student athlete means being a role model, according to Wimberly. He knows that academics and athletics can relate to each other. Math taught Wimberly the importance of paying attention to detail, which is a helpful lesson in basketball.
Balancing schoolwork with practice is second nature to Wimberly.
“I don’t even think about it as juggling, I just think about it as something I have to do,” he said. “If I want to play basketball, that’s my dream, I have to do good in school.”
Wimberly enjoys his AP Literature class, he enjoys writing and learning new words. The most interesting word he learned is “befuddled.”
“My teacher used it one time, that was a funny day,” he said. “It’s cool to break the stereotype that some people may have.”
Wimberly likes to write poetry and rap songs; his favorite book is “Invisible Man” by Ralph Waldo Ellison. The book helps Wimberly understand race relations in American society.
“The concept of being an invisible man is very relatable,” Wimberly said. “It makes you feel like I’m not the only one going through this even though we see it all over social media.”
As a leader of the basketball team, Wimberly learned how to critique people in a respectable way and hold his teammates accountable by reminding them of the importance of winning.
“If I get on you about something, you got to take it and roll with it,” he said. “We’re all leaders, so if I mess up, they’re on me too.”
Wimberly is a member of Leaders in Training, a club that helps with the Crenshaw Christian Center. He enjoys being a mentor to young kids and watching them develop their faith. Three of his teammates are also involved with the club.
“I got closer to God, so I felt like if I could do it, my friends could do it.” Wimberly said. “It helps all aspects in life.”