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In the Mississippi Valley,
In the Crescent Bend
Stands our loved and noble Xavier,
Far her praises send.
Wave her colors bear them onward
Gold and white so true
Hail to thee, all hail, dear Xavier
Hail, all hail, X.U.!
Xavier, ever be our guide
And lead us on the way,
Through life's journey, onward, upward
To the eternal day. (Refrain)
Joseph, who is 5 feet 9, led the Chargers to a 65-12 record
the past two seasons and consecutive appearances in the basketball state semifinals
for the first time in the history of the New Orleans West Bank school. As a senior
Joseph averaged 16.7 points per game, made the Class 4A All-State second team and
capped a career in which he was All-Metro New Orleans twice and all-district four times.
O. Perry Walker's Joseph signs with Xavier
April 28, 2009
NEW ORLEANS — Wanto Joseph, the diminutive and
intelligent point guard who led O. Perry Walker High School to back-to-back appearances in the
LHSAA Boys' Top 28 Tournament, signed a scholarship Tuesday to play men's basketball
for Xavier University of Louisiana.
Joseph is the fourth to sign with the Gold Rush for the 2009-10 season and
the second from Louisiana.
Joseph will carry a 3.88 grade-point average into next
week's final exams and "most certainly will wind up as valedictorian or
salutatorian at graduation," said his coach, Brian Gibson. Joseph's sister
Guerda was salutatorian of O. Perry Walker's 2007 graduating class and now attends
Xavier's primary rival, Dillard.
A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Joseph and his family
moved to New Orleans in 1997. He spoke only Haitian Creole when he arrived in
the United States but was determined to learn English — and excel in school.
"The teachers always put your name on the board when
you made good grades," Joseph said. "I always wanted to see my name on the board."
As a junior Joseph averaged 15 points, was all-state
honorable mention and helped the Chargers reach the Top 28, where they were the 4A runner-up,
for the first time since the school's initial appearance in 1992. He averaged 15.1 points
as a sophomore for a 25-10 team that reached the state quarterfinals, and in 2005 he
received MVP awards in the Five-Star Basketball Camp and played for an AAU team which won
the Division II state tournament and.
"Wanto Joseph is incredibly tough," Xavier head coach Dannton
Jackson said. "He is an excellent student and a big-time competitor. He knows how to win,
compete and defend. He will bring a high level of toughness to our program."
Joseph signed his scholarship with Xavier during a classroom
ceremony which his coaches and teammates attended.
"Xavier is the best choice for me," said Joseph, who said
he is considering accounting or pharmacy as his major. "I'll have a chance
to play right away. Their players embraced me. I felt like I had a home there.
I want to get Xavier to that national level and help them win a national
Joseph will have the opportunity to replace at point guard the departed
Shaun Dumas, another New Orleanian who was NAIA Division I All-America third
team two of the past three seasons.
"Wanto is an exceptional young man," said Gibson, who
pointed out to his players that Joseph's signing with Xavier "is bigger than a
ball. It could be worth $100,000 (in scholarship money over four years).
In the big scheme of things, it's what you can keep with you the rest of your life,
like a college degree, that matters the most."
Signing with the Gold Rush earlier this month
were 6-7 forward Denzell Erves of Vicksburg, Miss., and Vicksburg High School,
6-1 guard Brandon Morris of Sorrento, La., and St. Amant High School, and
6-5 guard DeRonn Scott of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Etiwanda High School
Xavier is an NAIA Division I member which finished 19-12 in 2008-09 and
tied for fourth place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. The Gold Rush's 25 seasons of 20 or more victories are the most in
the history of Louisiana men's collegiate basketball. Jackson's Xavier teams reached 20 victories in five of
his first six seasons.
2009-10 Xavier Men's Basketball Recruits
||High School (College)
||New Orleans, La.
||O. Perry Walker
||Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
|* classification at Xavier in 2009-10.