Expectations are high for Homewood-Flossmoor boys basketball, both inside and outside the program. The Vikings are loaded with talent, ranked near the top of the state and ready to take on the world.
“We want to win every tournament we are in. Win the Big Dipper. Win state,” senior Gianni Cobb said. “We coming.”
The biggest addition is Bryce Heard, the No. 1 ranked junior in the state by 247 Sports. He was at Montverde Academy in Florida last season but came home. Heard boasts scholarship offers from a bevy of Power Five conference schools.
“We’ve got a really good group of kids, I think a really good blend of positions, personalities and characters. It’s going to be a fun year for these guys,” coach Jamere Dismukes said. “One thing we’re doing is making sure team bonding is a consistent deal because I truly believe that if these kids can gel and buy in that this can be a special season, and we can hang some banners up.”
Lincoln-Way East transfer Mac Hagemester will provide some size at 6-foot-7. In fact, the majority of the roster is 6-3 or taller. Most high school teams won’t be able to match that height.
Columbia commit Cobb, who was at Perspectives Leadership Academy last year, also came back to the area to live with his mom.
“I wanted to come back home, come back to the suburbs and play with my friends,” he said. “My role is just being the point guard, pushing my teammates, getting the ball where it’s supposed to go.”
Cobb filled his role well during the Vikings’ red/white scrimmage Nov. 17. He shot well from behind the 3-point line, was able to penetrate repeatedly and either get to the hoop or find a teammate for an open shot.
“Gianni’s a dynamic guard. People say point guard, people say two guard, people say a lot of different things. Gianni’s just a dynamic guard who can pretty much do everything on the floor,” Dismukes said. “When you’re that fast, that talented, with a high IQ, the sky’s the limit.”
Add that to returning talent led by senior Carson Brownfield and the Vikings have high hopes. There’s some size, some shooting, some athleticism and even experience playing together — though that didn’t happen at H-F.
“We all knew each other since we were shorties, since we were little kids,” Brownfield said. “We wanted to come together our senior year and do something big. My whole life, they’ve been saying that H-F is soft. If we can win state, that’s our main goal and that’s what we’re going to show.”
Dismukes was hired just before the season began last winter. He didn’t have a summer or fall with the team. This group, he said, feels more like the team he wants to coach.
“As the year went on (last season), the kids figured out what we wanted to do but no question it was great being here for a full year,” he said. “They’re starting to really implement and understand what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to accomplish.”