Multiple Teams · Kobe Wrice and Darius Watts reaching new levels

Bulldogs forward Kobe Wrice brings the ball up the court.
Bulldogs forward Kobe Wrice brings the ball up the court.

The boys basketball season ended in March, but for North Dallas players, Darius Watts and Kobe Wrice, their season will end this summer.
Kobe, a junior, plays for the Nike Pro Skills team, and Darius, a junior, plays for Triumph; both are AAU teams. The highlight of the season will be at a tournament in Las Vegas July 22-26.
Playing for these teams will also pay off for next season’s North Dallas basketball team, and may also help them earn college scholarships.
“This is more about exposure,” ND basketball coach Brett Cole said. “They are playing in front of college coaches.”
Cole said both are “playing at a high level,” and they are playing with “the best kids in the neighborhood.”
At 6-5 and 205 pounds, Kobe said he wants to play college basketball, and he realizes his performance will “get me more exposure.”
He said playing with the Nike Pro Skills team is a “different challenge.
“People are bigger and they have more IQ in basketball,” he said.
Kobe’s full name is Kobe Bryant Wrice. Yes, he was named after the Lakers star. Kobe said his mom “liked the way he smiled.”
Kobe, 16, plays power forward for Nike Pro Skills, and he said he’s averaging about 8 points a game.
At North Dallas, he has earned All-District honors his first two years. He led the team in scoring with 18 points a game and also had 8 rebounds a game.
Darius, at 6-6, 165 pounds, averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds a game last season. He has only been playing basketball for three years. He began as a freshman at North Dallas. He said the soccer coach told Coach Mason after seeing Darius play in a pickup game.
“I tried it out and grew on basketball,” said Darius, who’s favorite player is Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Darius said the experience with Triumph makes him “more competitive.”
“it shows me where my game is at and what I need to work on,” he said.
Darius and Kobe are playing in tournaments against other teams from around the country.
“They get to see the talent across the nation,” Cole said. “They see there’s bigger things out there. And the game of basketball can take you places.”
Playing with other athletes their age, both are learning about “attitude and effort,” Cole said. “Everyone is working hard.”
Darius said he “works harder” playing for Triumph, and the atmosphere is very “positive.” He sees good things for North Dallas next season.
“It definitely makes us better,” Darius said. “It makes the team better for North Dallas.”