The Mission High Bears stood up to a roar from the Oracle Arena crowd on Sunday night – a roar at least as loud as any other on a night of phenomenal plays by Stephen Curry that gave the Warriors a 139 to 115 win over the Wizards.
Mission High’s basketball team has done what no other public school in San Francisco has – taken the state title – a feat that garnered the attention of Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who mentioned the win in an interview and invited the team out to a game.
Mayor Ed Lee and the school district’s board were also there to show their appreciation – and watch the game.
“These are great moments to celebrate,” Mayor Ed Lee said just after handing each player a bag of official San Francisco cookies, which had a remarkably clear picture of the city’s flag frosted on top. “We felt this was such an accomplishment and we wanted to let them know how much we care,” Lee continued.
Mayor Lee watched much of the game beside Mission High’s team.
Players, coaches, faculty and family squeezed into their own mid-level box offering a clear view of the action unfolding below, notably Curry’s 42 point game.
“I wasn’t really expecting all of this,” said junior Anthony McBride. “I thought we would be up in the nosebleeds.”
The players, many of whom wore the team’s gold trimmed jerseys, were greeted by appreciative fans.
“I’ve known some of these kids since the ninth grade.” said Linda Martley-Jordan, from the African American Achievement and Leadership. It showed. Nearly everyone walking through the narrow aisle stopped to give her a warm hug. “They made the whole city proud.” she said.
Outgoing senior Jamion Wright was surprised. “I didn’t expect all these people to know about us.” he said. As Wright looked back on the landmark season, he added “We just played hard the whole time, through ups and downs we stuck together.”
The only “down,” it seemed, ensured the team’s success. “That one loss (to Danville’s Monte Vista) probably helped us the most.” Wright said of the team’s only blemish on a its nearly perfect 35-1 record.
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Senior Niamey Harris, Mission High’s MVP, noted that “ball movement and threes” were pivotal to the Bears’ success, fundamentals they share with the Warriors, who on Sunday shot 44 percent from behind the three point line.
Harris, who plans to play in college, is looking at USF, Cal Poly and SFSU among other schools.
As the team watched some of the best players in the world hustle line to line Assistant Coach Donald Dudley noted “This motivates the kids to keep going and chase their dreams.”
As far as next season is concerned, incoming senior Anthony McBride expects one thing – “A lot of dunks.”