New season, new team, same mission
Updated: Oct 16, 2021
By: Steven Pham
Graphic by: Connor Waltz
Wichita, KS. - This upcoming season for Sunrise Christian Academy will usher in new faces and experiences but uphold the same team goals on and off the court. The goal on the court is to play and compete at the highest level of high school basketball and bring home the national title. The goal off of the court is to learn from one another and develop into young men that others would emulate.
The Sunrise Buffalos welcomes back two returning players this season; four-star senior and KU commit Gradey Dick and junior Joe Zhang. Even with all the player departures, Sunrise drew interest and recruited players from across the country and world.
Some notable five-star and four-star transfers include; junior Layden Blocker, and seniors Mark Mitchell, Baylor commit Dillon Hunter, Bobi Klintman, Jerome Beya, and Cameron Corhen. The rest of the team is composed of juniors Scotty Middleton, Louie Tucker, Eddy Pinedo, and seniors Noah Pick, and Armaan Bhakta.
Naismith High School Boys Coach of the Year Luke Barnwell leads this year’s team. The other coaches joining head coach Barnwell include; Elhad Emerllahu, Braeden Proctor, Spencer Dexter, and Bret Michael.
Sunrise Madness occurs on Saturday, Oct. 23rd at Sunrise Christian Academy, 5500 E. 45th Street N. Bel Aire, KS 67220. Sunrise hosts the event each year to introduce the players and coaches to the public and get fans amped up for the upcoming season.
The players will compete in a three-point contest, dunk contest, and scrimmage at this year’s Madness. Sunrise will also honor and retire Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr.’s jersey at the event. Tum Tum was a former player for Sunrise and acts as the current head coach of Sunrise’s post-graduate basketball team. Following Madness, the new-look Buffalos will start their quest for the national title at home on Nov. 9th against Phoenix Prep at 7 p.m.