Dayton, Ohio — It all started with rumors circulating in the Dayton area that Thurgood Marshall assistant coach and Team Flyght 17U head coach Tony Dixon had been named the new coach at Dunbar. This rumors turned out to be true as former head coach Lyle Cole has stepped down. Cole is the uncle of former Cleveland State and Miami Heat star Norris Cole.
Cole came into the Dunbar job with an uphill battle, as a fight broke out during a 2018 basketball game against Thurgood Marshall. The Wolverines had multiple players that left the bench during that fight and those players didn’t serve their full suspensions. This resulted in a suspension from the OHSAA tournament for Dunbar. They returned to the state tournament last year as they defeated Waynesville and Eaton but ended their tournament run against Trotwood-Madison following a 86-33 loss to the Rams.
Thurgood Marshall has seen a lot of recent success since head coach Shawn McCullough took over. The Cougars were co-champions of the City League in 2019 and won the the title outright in 2020. They made it all the way to the regional semi-final before a rematch against Trotwood-Madison that everyone wanted was cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19.
A lot of players wanted to transfer to Dunbar after Dixon got the job due to his well-liked personality in the community. Thurgood Marshall would have returned the majority of that district title team next season as Mekhi Elmore, Anthony McComb, Chanze Amerson, and Prophet Johnson were all returning. This was the main thing holding back those players from making the move to Dunbar. But when the news broke on July 5th, that McCullough had accepted the head coaching position at Springfield. Thurgood Marshall’s reign of success in Dayton was seemingly over.
Reigning City League player of the year Mekhi Elmore made the announcement Monday morning that he’ll be making the move to Dunbar this winter. This comes just days after Elmore just made the announcement he’ll be traveling to Switzerland next summer to play for Chris Wright’s Team Flyght World program.
Chanze Amerson will also be leaving Thurgood Marshall to transfer to Dunbar, while Anthony McComb will be making the move to Trotwood-Madison. Meadowdale standout Justin O’Neal will also be moving to Dunbar next season along with the trio of talented sophomores from Belmont. Twin brothers Antone and Antaune Allen and guard Randy Latham will all be making the move to Dunbar as well.
Looking at the rest of the City League, Belmont will struggle as they lost their trio of sophomores and 4-star big man Shawn Phillips who just recently transferred to Ypsi Prep to team up with Michigan State commit Emoni Bates.
Meadowdale is returning star Will Hill, who is coming off an ACL injury. But they do lose Justin O’Neal. The Lions have some other young pieces that can help them this season to contend for a City League title.
The Stivers Tigers lose seniors Tre Ellis and DaJuan Allen and will also lose upcoming senior Allen Lattimore who is transferring to West Carrollton. Like the rest of the City, Stivers will have some younger players but with the lack of experience at the varsity level, the Tigers will have some growing pains this year.
And lastly will be the Thurgood Marshall Cougars. Thurgood will be losing a majority of its team and coaching staff. The two time reigning City League champions will have an uphill battle this season but still have some other players that can help them rebuild.
Elmore will look to lead a Dunbar team back to where Thurgood Marshall left off last season. With the chemistry still there from last year, the Wolverines have a chance to really make something special.