Landon's Christian Webster Looks To Keep Playing It Smart

Post Reporter B.J. Koubaroulis reports on Landon star guard Christian Webster -- a 6-foot-5 high-scoring guard that has helped the No. 13 Bears (12-3) to their first Washington Post Top-20 ranking in more than a decade. Webster's father, Darryl -- a former Coolidge star -- has played a major role in Christian's development. Video by B.J. Koubaroulis/The Washington Post
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

His 6-foot-7 frame sunken comfortably into a green L-shaped couch in his Logan Circle home, Darryl Webster flipped through a red scrapbook while his son, Christian, peered over his left shoulder.

"Look how skinny I was," Darryl said as he pointed to a full-page spread of the 1982 Washington Post All-Met boys' basketball team.

The former Coolidge star is pictured standing, gripping a basketball and wearing a warmup suit with "Colts" lettered down the left side of his chest. The caption next to his photo reads: "Best post player in the area."

Pictured behind Webster are the rest of that season's first-teamers: Len Bias, Johnny Dawkins, Tommy Amaker, Jeff Baxter, Doug Turner, Earl Davis, Gary Potts, Michael Jackson and Linwood Davis -- stars whose legends have grown since the click of that camera 27 years ago.

"Is that Coach Amaker?" Christian said as he spotted the teenage version of the man who has been pursuing him for the past two years.

"Tommy's done a really good job," Darryl said. "He's been on him since the start."

Christian Webster, a 6-5 high-scoring guard at Landon, is one of the area's top basketball recruits, drawing interest from Amaker, a former W.T. Woodson star who is now the coach at Harvard, and Dawkins, a former Mackin High standout and Duke assistant who is the first-year coach at Stanford.

As Christian navigates the recruiting world, his father Darryl, a 44-year-old social worker and community activist, has acted as an experienced guide with one factor taking precedence: education. The push from his father has made Christian consider Ivy League schools over better-known and established college basketball powers that have pursued him.

"I never paid for my education and basketball was the only way I could have gotten educated, and I want him to do the same," said Darryl, who averaged 22 points, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks per game as a senior at Coolidge, earning a spot in the prestigious Capital Classic all-star game and a scholarship to George Washington. "It all goes by in the blink of an eye. I don't want him to look back and think, 'If I had worked a little harder or gave a little more effort?' I don't want him to look back and have any regrets."

Sitting feet from the mantel on which his grandparents once hung his medals, trophies and awards, Darryl beamed with pride as he described growing up under this same roof with 15 other family members. He described the sense of accomplishment he's felt each time he's made repairs in turning the Q Street Victorian into a gem.

Christian's medals, awards and trophies are now positioned next to Darryl's diplomas on that same mantel.

"He's been everywhere that I want to go," Christian said of his father.

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