OKEECHOBEE – Okeechobee High School senior De’nitrik Whittaker is this week’s Big Lake Athlete of the Week for his performance in the Brahman’s varsity basketball game against the Clewiston Tigers on Jan. 22.
Against the Tigers, Whittaker had 41 points, including 10 three pointers, six steals and five assists.
Whittaker has had multiple double digit scoring performances this year, including games against Westwood, Moore Haven, Martin County, Treasure Coast, Central and Faith Christian.
De’nitrik has been involved with the Brahman basketball program since 2016. He spent 2016 and 2017 on the junior varsity team before making the jump to varsity in 2018. In 2018 the Brahmans won the district championship for the first time in 28 years and came within one point of advancing to the regional semifinal.
Now during that 2018 season Whittaker scored 96 points in 21 games played and was the highest scoring junior on the team. This year he already has 184 points scored in 19 games played.
During his senior season the Brahmans have their best regular season record in year and currently hold the number one seed in their district.
Okeechobee opened their season with a loss against the Treasure Coast Titans, but following that defeat the Brahmans went on a 13-game win streak. And when they faced Treasure Coast again on Jan. 10 Okeechobee put on a defensive showcase, beating the Titans 50-20. In that game De’nitrik was the second leading scorer on the Brahmans with 11 points.
Okeechobee’s record increased to 17-2 with their recent 58-51 win over Centennial on Jan. 24. Centennial actually jumped out early on Okeechobee, leading the Brahmans 34-31 at halftime. But defense came up strong for Okeechobee once again, and the Brahmans limited Centennial to only six points in the third quarter to come back and win the game.
Next the Brahmans will be on the road, playing district rival Jensen Beach at 7 p.m. on Jan. 31. Okeechobee and Jensen has been a close, contentious rivalry in recent years with the two teams regularly meeting in the playoffs. Last year the Brahmans beat Jensen to claim the district championship. But now Jensen is going through a rebuilding year following their loss in the championship round last year and currently have a 9-12 record.
Okeechobee will close out the regular season with three home games against Avon Park on Feb. 3, Glades Day on Feb. 4 and South Fork on Feb. 7.
If you have someone you’d like to nominate for Big Lake Athlete of the Week, email Lake Okeechobee News sports reporter Richard Marion at email@example.com.