Darius Guinn: The Return

Erik Svoboda, Opinion Editor

     One of the most well-known athletes at LHS is back for his junior year. Making varsity basketball and football is no small feat, so coaches and teammates have high hopes this year for 6-foot-5 Darius Guinn.

     Guinn has good memories from his freshman year at Lakeridge. He won state on the freshman football team and is eager to reunite with some of his old teammates.

     “There were some good guys on the team that year, like Nick Hoddevik,” he said. “I’m excited to come back and play football this year with guys like them.”

     Last year, Guinn went to Franklin High School in Portland after spending his freshman year at Lakeridge. He was very successful in both sports, winning the league in basketball and making state in football. Although he had a great year at Franklin, he says the reason he returned was that he really missed the community at Lakeridge and the friends he made freshman year.

     “We had a solid season in football, and got second in the league,” he said. “For basketball we won league and made state for the first time in two decades. It was a really cool thing to be a part of.”

     “The reason I did come back was because I realized how much I loved Lakeridge,” said Guinn. “And now that I’m back I’m excited to stay. I love these guys.”

     At Lakeridge he’ll be competing against the top high schools in the state, so he hopes to have his best year. He has missed the start of the football season with an injury, but he is confident he can come back strong. Guinn also has never played under football coach Elvis Akpla. This year will be Akpla’s second season, so they’re both excited to see how the season goes.

     “Individually, I want to come back from injury and have my best year,” he said. “Junior year is the most important recruiting year, so recruiters are a little worried about the injury.”

     “The team goal [for football] is to be a state contender,” said Guinn. “In basketball, we have a deep team this year and I’m really excited.”

     Guinn’s favorite sport is basketball, and in the offseason he has been playing for Maeko, a traveling basketball team considered to be the best in the state. Two other Lakeridge students, Immanuel and Christian Allen, play for Maeko as well.

     “We play teams both within the state and nationwide,” he said. “It’s a really cool experience to travel and play basketball, the sport I love the most.”

     Finally, Darius looks up to his brother Jordan Railey, who played college basketball for Washington State and currently is on the Delaware 87ers in the NBA Development League.

     “He played for Philadelphia last year, and that was a really big thing,” Guinn said. “He also went to China this summer. NBA workouts are coming up, so that’s really important for him.”

     Railey also has some amazing highlight plays from when he played at WSU.

     “He made the SportsCenter Top 10 twice for some crazy dunks his senior year,” said Guinn. “It was a really cool experience watching my brother on TV.”

     Darius is really thrilled to see what’s in store at Lakeridge this year. His coaches, teammates and friends are really excited for him to be back, and he will definitely be a key part in the Pacer football and basketball teams.