Pete Carlson’s Athlete of the Week: Joziaha Winfrey

Pete Carlson’s Athlete of the Week: Joziaha Winfrey

Martín Di Felice

Desert Hot Springs, CA

Usually the sound of a buzzer indicates the end of a game, for Joziaha Winfrey, it was the end of his high school basketball career.

"No one likes to lose," Winfrey explained. "Especially if it’s your last high school game. I mean we all love the game, not just the seniors, we all love the game, we were all were crying."

Tears were shed but heads were still held high.

"They won 20 games this season which is unheard of." Desert Hot Springs head basketball coach Justin Flores said. "They made the playoffs. They won their first playoff game in school history. It didn’t end there. They won their second game and unfortunately this third one didn’t go our way."

Winfrey was one who never stepped off the court.

"Joziaha is our leader." Coach Flores said. "He gets the guys going. He’s energetic. I’m going to miss him."

"I love Coach Flores." Winfrey said. "He’s seen my potential as a freshman before I even seen it in myself. He pushed me and my teammates to work as hard as possible. I mean, he showed me different things not only in basketball but in life."

Coach Flores never gave up on Winfrey, even when he couldn’t play his sophomore year.

"I had an ACL tear and meniscus so it held me back." Winfrey explained. "I had to miss a whole year of sports."

Now Winfrey plans to take his skills to the next level.

"Hopefully college ball," Winfrey explained. "Football or basketball. Either one. I’d be excited to play either."

Winfrey will never forget his time as a Golden Eagle.

"It was great." Winfrey said. " I loved it. I loved the school. I loved the administrators. I love my teammates. I love my coaches. It was all fun. We all treat each other like a family here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else."