Being a walk-on at the Division I level isn’t easy. From the moment these athletes step onto campus, they must prove that they deserve their spot on the court, field, course or rink. Without a scholarship as their security blanket, they can be let go at a moment’s notice.
Four athletes began the challenging walk-on journey Monday, Oct. 2 when DePaul basketball held its first official practice of the season.
Players and coaches were not available for interviews prior to publication.
- Tobias Dwumaah
Dwumaah is a 6-foot-3-inch senior from Chicago who is a hybrid guard and forward. He was the manager of the team last season.
He graduated from DePaul College Prep in 2013 and has played in organized summer basketball tournaments in Chicago the last couple of years.
- James Anderson
The 6-foot-1-inch guard from Melbourne, Australia came to the United States before his junior year of high school to play basketball at La Lumiere High School in La Porte, Indiana. During his senior year, he was part of a La Lumiere squad that went 29-1 during the regular season and won the 2017 DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals championship game. He also played AAU ball for ALL-IN Athletics.
- Pantelis Xidias
The 5-foot-9-inch guard from Michigan City, Indiana also spent his high school days playing at La Lumiere.
He was also part of the team that won the 2017 DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals, where he made a name for himself with his dance moves on the bench.
Bolstered by former La Lumiere head coach Shane Heirman’s addition to the coaching staff in May, DePaul has established a pipeline of talent between the two schools. The Blue Demons now have five players from that high school on the current roster.
- Jason Malonga
Malonga is a 6-foot-4-inch shooting guard from Bolingbrook who spent his high school days playing for Benet Academy in Lisle.
Malonga averaged 11.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game during his senior season and helped his team capture a second-place finish in the Class 4A Illinois High School Association State Basketball Tournament last March.
With the addition of these four players, the Blue Demons now have 10 guards on the roster, 11 depending on what position Dwumaah plays. Levi Cook’s surprise exit last month leaves graduate-transfer Marin Maric as the only player listed as a center on DePaul’s roster — a blow to a team that struggled to compete with size last season.