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Donnell Diggs another rising talent at Montrose Christian
Donnell Diggs' solid play
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BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
ROCKVILLE, Md.--When Olatunji "Knuckles" Turner played basketball for James Monroe High School, a visit to Culpeper was considered a long road trip.
But Turner's son, Donell Diggs, is a junior reserve guard for Montrose Christian School's powerhouse program.
The Mustangs have traveled to Hawaii for games, and they were scheduled to visit Puerto Rico earlier this season.
"It's like a blessing because that's something I always dreamed of doing," Turner said. "I didn't stay focused, but now I can push him to make it to the next level. I can look back and say he did something I didn't do."
Turner, a 1991 JM grad, was a 5-foot-6 guard for the Yellow Jackets.
Diggs is 5-foot-9 on a roster loaded with tall, strong players who will play college basketball in the near future. But Turner said Diggs' "heart is bigger than his body."
"I don't even worry about size when I'm on the court," Diggs said. "I feel like I'm the biggest person out there, and I play like it."
Diggs said his goal is to play Division I basketball. He has a 4.0 GPA and has received inquiries from Cornell and Bucknell.
"The main thing with the basketball experience is just for him to take it to the next level from what I did," Turner said. "If he plays [one game of] college basketball, that's more than what I did."
Turner lives in Landover, Md.
He and Diggs were watching NBA superstar Kevin Durant play on TV one day a few years ago when announcers said Durant attended Montrose Christian.
Turner coached Diggs in AAU basketball, but wanted him to play for a program of that caliber.
Diggs transferred to Montrose in eighth grade and joined its junior varsity team. He has been a member of its varsity program since his freshman season.
"I heard a lot of good players go there," Diggs said. "I knew that playing against better players every day in practice would make me better."
It didn't take long for that to happen. Diggs said that after his second season in the Mustangs' program, he was finally able to beat his father one-on-one.
"He might still have a little bit of game left," Diggs said. "But I've got him right now."
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526