They’ll still be together, and they’ll still be Eagles.
After standout high school basketball careers at Williamsburg Christian Academy, twins Da’Shawn and Ra’Shawn Cook will go from Williamsburg Christian Academy Eagles to the University of Mary Washington Eagles, as both have committed to the Division III school in Fredericksburg.
WCA coach Kenya Williams said both players came into the season without an offer, so each felt they had something to prove.
“I think it’s a great fit for them because they wanted to go (to school) together,” Williams said.
The Eagles, coming off a Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III state championship season in the 2016-2017 season, were not able to repeat this past season, but still finished as runners-up with a 28-8 record.
Da’Shawn Cook averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, while Ra’Shawn Cook averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 and 3.8 assists per game in 2017-2018.
“They set the bar for the guys behind them,” Williams said. “A lot of guys look up to them and realize that they have to work hard in the offseason to match their level of talent.”
Williams expects the duo to bring tenacity to Mary Washington on offense and defense.
“They’re going to bring a positive attitude, and they’re going to compete,” Williams said.
While the scoring, championship and winning has been nice, Da’Shawn Cook said he has much more to take away from his time at WCA, most of all his Christian beliefs. Both said they were able to strengthen their relationship with God by being at WCA, which they both describe as having a family atmosphere.
“I take away from the school lifelong friendships, a lot of bonds with the teachers, teammates and classmates,” Da’Shawn Cook said. “I’ll want to talk to them forever.”
Both said having family, friends and WCA coaches and staff at their commitment signing ceremony was important to them.
“It means a lot, because the next step is to go to college, work and be the best person I can be on the court and in the classroom,” Ra’Shawn Cook said.
The two had transferred from Warhill after their sophomore seasons at the school and then reclassified as sophomores when they enrolled, they said, to give themselves time to mature on and off the court.
Da’Shawn Cook said his time at WCA was shaped, especially, by a mission trip last year to Jamaica.
While there, he was part of a group from WCA that spent time with young children at Blossom Garden Children’s Home, and he was able to use his sign language skills with members of the Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf. He also helped with building a new vocational wing and new classrooms for the school, and spent time with children at West Haven Children’s Home, a place for children who are severely disabled.
“It was just a different feeling about me when I came back from the mission trip,” Da’Shawn Cook said. “It was my first mission trip, so just coming back and just thinking about how I impacted so many lives. I just sat back and thought, I have to be grateful for what I have, and just keep thanking God for how blessed I am.”
On the court, Cook said he’ll remember most the practices and time spent with his teammates.
“I will miss those and all of my teammates, playing the game I love so much,” Cook said. “I’m just blessed to play. I’m going to miss them. I’ll miss the championship moments and I’m going to miss the coaches, but we’ll always stay in contact.”
Da’Shawn Cook said having his brother with him will help both of them stay on the right track on the court and as they pursue their degrees — Da’Shawn in pharmaceuticals and Ra’Shawn in biology. Ra’Shawn said they’ll bring a level of competitiveness, intensity, heart and passion to Mary Washington. Ra’Shawn said they’ve always been together, and they didn’t want that to change in college.
“We’re just going to go out there, play, be able to hang out with each other in school and on the court,” Ra’Shawn Cook said. “It’s going to be the same as it’s always been. It’s not going to change at the college level.”