Gonzaga comes into the 34th Annual DC Classic as the reigning champion. In last year’s championship game, they knocked off local power Jackson-Reed of D.C., 64-58. The team will once again play a national schedule that includes tournaments in Chicago and Arkansas, a game versus the number one ranked team in the country, and a game at the Hoop Hall Classic against another regional power.
Coach Steve Turner, now in his 20th season as head coach, has an impressive 440-165 record. His Eagles are coming off a 26-11 season, losing by two points in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) tournament semifinals to eventual champion St. John’s. Gonzaga returns nine players from last year’s varsity, including three starters. Junior Nykolas Lewis returns after a First Team All-WCAC and All Met campaign to help lead the Eagles. Lewis is joined by fellow junior guard Derek Dixon, who continues to grow as a perennial perimeter threat. Coach Turner’s squad includes returning starter junior forward Alex Touomou as a player to watch, alongside junior transfer Christian Gurdak at center. Turner also expects a lot from junior guard William Harper and senior guard Blake Harper, who recently signed with Howard University, and who continues to develop alongside the rest of his Gonzaga teammates.
The Eagles play in the WCAC - one of the nation’s best conferences, where they face nationally ranked competition in schools like Paul VI, DeMatha, St. Johns, and O’Connell. The team travels to the Chicago Elite Classic prior to the DC Classic. During the Christmas break, the Eagles travel to Arkansas for the King Cotton Classic before resumption of the WCAC schedule. In January, Gonzaga will face an away test against the number one ranked team in the country, Florida’s Monteverde Academy. The Eagles also travel to Springfield, Mass. for the Hoop Hall Classic over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend where they will face New Jersey power Hudson Catholic before turning their focus back to the remaining WCAC schedule.
The oldest all-boys school in Washington, DC, Gonzaga has a rich legacy that stretches back 200 years. Over the course of that history, Gonzaga has demonstrated and reaffirmed a deep commitment to Jesuit education. And it has chosen to do so in the heart of the inner city—on a street shared with leaders of business and government, and on a block where it ministers to the least fortunate in society.
At times, our location was seen as a liability. But the decision to remain on Eye Street was driven by the recognition that where we are plays a major role in shaping who we are. Today, Gonzaga’s downtown location is one of the many reasons for our success. Three blocks from the Metro and the main railway line at Union Station, Gonzaga draws students from all over the Washington area. Our location also reinforces our commitment to service. Located on Gonzaga’s campus, The Father McKenna Center is a Catholic social service agency serving men struggling with homelessness as well as very low income families.
With a total enrollment of 960, Gonzaga annually awards over $4 million in financial aid to over 35% of its students. Learning opportunities abound on Eye Street through the availability of over 100 honors and AP sections, and our students are well prepared for college and beyond.
Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of athletics and other extra-curricular activities. With 18 sports offered, and 41 athletic teams, more than 80% of our students participate in a sport each year. Gonzaga also produces two large-scale theater productions annually and offers opportunities to take part in multiple musical groups – including a chorus, jazz ensemble and winds ensemble.
Our commitment to spirituality and social service is realized annually by over 700 students who participate in Kairos and other class retreats, and through over 20,000 student hours spent in service locally, nationally, and internationally.
Through religious studies, retreats, opportunities for prayer, and service, Gonzaga seeks to help students answer these questions – as well as the three pivotal questions of St. Ignatius: “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ?” The answers to these questions, central to Jesuit spirituality, are the four-year quest of a Gonzaga student- a quest which then continues for life.