Three former Falcons basketball stars knew starting over after Bishop Ford closed wasn’t going to be easy so, they decided to do it together.
Devon Dingle, Dior Dixon and Israel Farrington all chose to play next season at Bishop Loughlin, which has become home to many of Ford’s former students.
Dingle and Dixon are both senior guards and had family members and friends who attend the Fort Green school. For Farrington, Loughlin was the best combination of convenience, basketball, and academics, and gave him one more chance to play with his friends. They are coming off leading Ford on a surprise run to the Catholic Class A title game.
“We were all close and like playing with each other,” Dingle said.
The trio will be asked to make an immediate impact with the Lions. Loughlin is starting over after graduating a talented group of seniors, including Khadeen Carrington (Seton Hall), Mike Williams (Rutgers) and Javian Delacruz. The former Falcons will be among the squad’s most experienced players. Dingle and Dixon were both all-league selections last season. They will be asked to lead right away, and it’s a challenge they feel up to.
“It’s not easy,” Dixon said. “You just have to get comfortable, get to know everyone. So far it’s been going well.”
They have been playing with the Loughlin squad in local tournaments this summer and know there will be a learning curve to excelling at the Class AA level. Louhglin is one of the best programs in the city, and the top level is more physical day in and day out.
Lions coach Ed Gonzalez doesn’t anticipate the transition being a difficult one for them. He believes the daily practices will test the three of them enough to get them ready to compete at the next level.
“They are going to raise their level of play because they can play basketball,” Gonzalez said. “Their level is going to rise with everyone else’s.”
Their last season with Ford gave them a taste of success, but not being able to finish what they started with their former teammates left a bad taste in their mouths. In their eyes, Loughlin is a new beginning, but with the same goal.
“I want to win it for them too, because they are seniors, we have been together,” Farrington said. “I know they are hungry too.”
Dixon, Dingle and Farrington are excited about taking on the task at hand, and happy to have a new place to call home — together.
“It’s a little easier,” Farrington said, “since we have each other.”