Home News-Free Playing for 13: BPCC men’s basketball team honors Decari Markray

Playing for 13: BPCC men’s basketball team honors Decari Markray

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Courtesy Photo of Kei Thomas, BPCC Public Relations

Fans donned in maroon shirts packed the Coach Billy Montgomery Gymnasium Wednesday night for the Cavaliers home game against Baton Rouge Community College.

Before tip-off, head basketball coach J.A. Anglin stood at center court. He was joined by the family and friends of Decari Markray. His mother, Lakechia, wept as she was presented a framed number 13 jersey, the number Decari wore as a Cavalier. Then, the crowd applauded for 13 seconds.

The Cavaliers have dedicated the 2021-2022 season to number 13. Decari’s jersey and shoes still sit in the locker room where he left them. Anglin said they will remain untouched the rest of the season.

Decari, who was tragically killed in a car accident in October, was part of Anglin’s first recruiting class at BPCC. As a high school senior, the Doyline native helped lead the Panthers to a 33-2 record and their first State Championship since 1967.

Decari put on a show that will go down as one of the best single-game performances in Louisiana High School State finals history. He was selected MVP of the championship game and earned All-State, All-Parish, and All-District honors for his performance. He also played baseball and ran track for Doyline.

But Decari was much more than an athlete. Anglin described him as a very respectful young man, a great friend and someone who was mindful of his academics. At the time of his passing, Decari was working towards a Criminal Justice degree at BPCC.

Decari made 19 appearances as a freshman for the Cavaliers in the 2020-2021 season. He finished last season on a high note, playing his best game statistically with 9 points and 7 rebounds against Victoria College in the Region XIV Tournament in Jacksonville, Texas. He played one of his best games in a BPCC uniform on the road in the Cavalier’s upset of #14 ranked Panola College. Decari finished the game with 8 points and 4 rebounds in their 76-74 victory.

“He was a winner,” Anglin said. “He made winning plays and always seemed to find himself in the right place at the right time. He was the heart and soul of this team.”

Fans erupted as the game clock hit zero and celebrated the Cavalier’s Maroon Out victory, defeating the BRCC Bears 87-58 in a thrilling matchup. But more importantly, the team won it for Decari.

Anglin said he’s helping his team through this difficult time by reminding them of how special number 13 truly was.

“I wake up and give my family, this program and these guys everything I have because that’s what Decari did every day,” Anglin said. “When you think you’re working hard enough, you’re not because he always went the extra mile. We have to do the same thing to honor him.”

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