YAKIMA, Wash. -- Remember Derrick January?
If Western Washington’s men reach the NCAA Division II title game, and the Vikings’ opponent is Metro State of Denver, you might get a look at him on national TV.
January played at Yakima Valley Community College during the 2009-10 season, one in which the Yaks went 17-13 and finished sixth in the NWAACC Tournament.
January’s bio on the Metro website says the 6-foot-6 senior guard averaged 10.9 points and 4.5 rebounds as a YVCC sophomore, having begun his college career in 2007-08 at Grayson County College in Denison, Texas.
A 2007 graduate of Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., January played nine minutes in the Roadrunners’ 78-65 quarterfinal win over Franklin Pierce University of Rindge, N.H. For the season, January averaged 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game.
Western, of course, has Rico Wilkins, a 6-0 senior who played at Yakima Valley during the 2008-09 season, one in which he averaged 15.8 points and 1.8 steals en route to becoming the East Region’s MVP.
Coach Ray Funk’s Yaks, coming off their NWAACC championship, finished 25-7 and were third in the tournament.
Wilkins sat out the 2009-10 season, then received a medical hardship from the GNAC after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon early in the 2010-11 season. Last year he was a valuable off-the-bench force in Western’s national title run, averaging 7.6 points and hitting double figures nine times.
This season the Dallas native is averaging 8.1 points for WWU — seventh on the team behind, in order, John Allen, Paul Jones, Richard Woodworth, Austin Bragg, Chris Mitchell and Cameron Severson.
And like pretty much all the Vikings, Wilkins is a shooter. He’s made .452 from the field including .398 from 3-point range on a team that shoots .505 from the floor and .377 from beyond the arc.