Firebirds Middleton, Wisdom announce college choices

photo by: Shane Jackson

Free State senior DK Middleton drives past a Blue Valley Northwest defender during the opening round of the Class 6A state tournament on Thursday at Wichita State University on March 12, 2020.

Free State teammates DK Middleton and Alyus Wisdom revealed the destinations for their basketball futures this week and both will be staying close to home.

Middleton, an all-Sunflower League first team selection during the 2019-20 season, announced his commitment to Johnson County Community College on Twitter.

After thanking his friends, family, teammates and coaches, Middleton thanked the staff at JCCC for “giving me the opportunity to play the sport I love.”

Middleton averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block per game for the Firebirds this season and played key roles on previous Free State teams, including the state runner-up squad during his sophomore season.

“He has experienced playing high-level basketball in Kansas for the past four years, and I think Johnson County is a great spot for him to continue his basketball career,” FSHS coach Sam Stroh told the Journal-World. “It’s close to home, but he can still get away a little, too. He’s a versatile player who can do a lot of things, and it will be fun to see how he fits over there.”

Shortly after Middleton’s commitment surfaced, Wisdom announced his commitment to Ottawa University on Twitter.

Injured early during his senior season, Wisdom missed more than a month of action for the Firebirds, who qualified for the Class 6A state tournament this year.

He returned to full strength late in the year and carved out a role off of the Free State bench, earning praise and appreciation from Stroh for his heart and commitment.

“He did a great job of buying in and helping us when he could,” Stroh said. “He’s versatile, athletic and he’ll be a nice pick-up for Ottawa.”

With several seniors from the local high school hoops scene staying close to home for college, Stroh said he was excited to see college programs around Lawrence add more local players to their rosters.

“I think it’s very cool to see those places pick up local talent,” Stroh said. “And there’s some really good basketball played at those levels and some great coaches, too. We’re excited for these guys and all of the guys in the area.”

Middleton and Wisdom joined Lawrence High’s Peyton Mallory (Simpson College in Iowa), Willie Dotson IV (Ottawa) and Bishop Seabury’s Cobe Green (Baker) in announcing their commitments during the past week.


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