[BOYS Christian Webster, Landon]
The Michael L. Trilling Awards
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
On May 14, Landon School senior Christian Webster received a phone call from a family friend who is also a police officer.
Webster was upset, but not surprised when he heard that Brandon Scott, his childhood teammate with the under-9 Kingman Boys' and Girls' Club basketball team, had been killed in Northwest Washington.
"I knew Brandon when I first started playing," Webster said. "He had all the potential in the world."
Webster, a senior All-Met basketball player who will play at Harvard next year, has spent the past four years traveling to elementary and middle schools in the district and Maryland speaking to students about staying in school, staying off the street and making the right decisions.
"I just feel like I can be a father figure to them and that really helps a lot because I know a lot of kids don't have father figures and sometimes they end up in the wrong path without that support and guidance," Webster said. "I just talk about staying on track, doing your work and all the things you need to succeed, like stay off the street and if you're going to do something, put your all into it."
A 6-foot-5 guard who has led the competitive Interstate Athletic Conference in scoring the past three seasons, Webster lifted Landon (18-5) to its first outright IAC tournament championship since 1961 and into The Washington Post's Top 20 for the first time in more than a decade. He averaged 24.1 points per game and led the team in scoring, offensive rebounds, assists, free throws taken and made, and steals.
He recently played in the Capital Classic and is currently working out at the University of Maryland with notable locals such as Michael Beasley of the Miami Heat and Ty Lawson of the University of North Carolina as he prepares for college basketball at Harvard.
On and off the court, Webster is following in his father's footsteps. Darryl Webster, a 44-year-old social worker and former basketball player at Coolidge and George Washington University, has been honored nationally as a community activist.
"It's just amazing to me how Christian and Brandon are two kids from the same neighborhood," Darryl Webster said. "Ever since Christian was an All-Met this year and played in the Capital Classic, now everywhere he goes, kids know who he is and they want his autograph."
Webster often takes his father's degree from George Washington University with him to emphasize the importance of education.
He is a shining example of classroom excellence, holding a B average as he tackles a host of college-level academic courses in his senior year at Landon.
"Around Landon, the middle school and lower school boys all know him," basketball coach Andy Luther said, "but it's not just your typical big man on campus idol worship; Christian knows them, too, almost all of them, and by name. He remembers them from camp; from working with them or coaching them; and through his work with the MultiCultural Student Alliance."
Webster has worked as a coach and counselor of Landon's basketball camps for the past four years. He has volunteered at the Kingman Boys' and Girls' Club and coached middle school age kids for the Jelleff Hoyas in Georgetown. He recently emceed Landon's annual MultiCultural Student Alliance dinner and has been an active community fundraiser for Landon's MSA -- a philanthropic community outreach group.
"I just like kids," Webster said. "Little kids, I just like being around them. I like their company and telling them things that I know because I have the opportunity to have my dad around, and a lot of kids don't have that opportunity."