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Demetrius Calip II using ‘Last Chance U’ to aid DI chances
ELAC guard Demetrius Calip II is using the JUCO route to get to the highest levels of college basketball, just like his dad before him. (Credit: Sam Huff/HuffVisuals)

Demetrius Calip II using ‘Last Chance U’ to aid DI chances

LOS ANGELES (BVM) – Demetrius Calip II, better known by the nickname DC, was pretty much born to play basketball. His father, Demetrius Calip, was a star high school basketball player in Flint, Michigan before heading to the University of Michigan where he helped the team win its first national championship in 1989 before becoming the team’s leading scorer as a senior in 1990-91. This success allowed Demetrius to go into the NBA where he played seven games with the Los Angeles Lakers before ultimately leaving professional basketball after three years.

To say DC had expectations for himself is an understatement. The guard has lived with a chip on his shoulder for most of his life and that showed itself in a big way in Season 2 of the Netflix hit series “Last Chance U: Basketball.”

“I’ve been shooting for a while now man,” DC said in the show. “It’s actually the first thing my dad taught me how to do.”

The show highlights DC as a supremely talented player with a bit of a problem understanding his role with the team and fitting into the culture created by head coach John Mosley. While he may be hard to coach due to his cockiness and belief in his own abilities, DC has proven that he has what it takes to be a successful college basketball player. 

During the 2021-22 season highlighted on the show, DC played in 20 games but only earned one start. However, he made the most of his time on the court as he put up the ninth-highest points per game at 5.6 and hit over 60% of his shots while only playing 9.8 minutes a game.

“I have no doubt that the best team we can put on the court, DC would be one of those five,” Assistant Coach Rob Robinson said during the show.

“Honestly, athletically he can just do things other kids can’t do,” Assistant coach Ken Hunter added. “I love him. I absolutely love him. I’ll take 15 DCs.”

Given his play as a high schooler, it seemed that DC was destined like his dad to succeed at the Division I level. During his junior year in 2019, DC was invited to compete at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.

However that year, Demetrius suffered a stroke that sent him to the hospital and kept him from supporting his son at games and practices. This threw DC for a loop as he lost a strong support system for him off the court, though Demetrius would survive and is still alive today.

“It was frightening because I didn’t really understand it,” DC said in the show. “When something is distracting from basketball it’s harder to play.

“He’s still alive. At the end of the day, I can call him on my phone and he’s going to pick up and have a conversation with me. That’s all I need from him. I need to see him and be able to call him, as long as we’ll be able to do those two things, I’m happy.”

As a senior, DC averaged 16.3 points and 5.2 rebounds while leading his Taft High School team to a 22-11 record and a spot in the regional quarterfinals of the CIF State Division III playoffs. He earned All-Area honorable mention by the LA Daily News and was named to the West Valley League first team.

His performance earned DC a three-star rating by both Rivals and 247Sports. But, DC only earned one DI opportunity at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

“We are excited to welcome Demetrius to UIC and our men’s basketball program,” UIC head coach Luke Yaklich said in a press release at the time. “He brings a winning mentality to our program after playing four years for Coach Derrick Taylor at Taft High School in California. Demetrius has also learned a great deal from his father who won a national championship as a player at Michigan.”

Unfortunately, still reeling from his dad’s medical scare, DC couldn’t find much success at UIC. He played in just two games, earning three total minutes, during his lone season at the school during 2020-21. He ultimately decided to transfer out and try his chances at the JUCO level at ELAC.

“We just came to the decision that it was probably not the best place for me at the time,” DC admitted.

Now, a year after the events in the show took place, DC is still working his way up the JUCO ladder with the Huskies. In his second year under Mosley, DC has once again found himself contributing at a decent level.

So far this season, DC is averaging 5.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 52.4% shooting including 47.1% from 3-point range over 11 games averaging 10.4 minutes a contest. Though he hasn’t earned a start for the Huskies yet, it is clear that DC has found a way to improve his play on the court despite limited action with the program.

Perhaps DC will see an increase in playing time later in the year like he did a season ago. Though he only averaged 9.8 minutes a game across all 20 appearances, DC saw more action in the Huskies’ six conference games near the end of the season where he averaged 11.5 minutes and 6.7 points, even earning his lone start of the year during that span.

Regardless of what happens during this season, it is clear that DC is looking to make it to the next level of collegiate basketball and is using the popularity gained from “Last Chance U” to help springboard him forward. Though it hasn’t been an easy journey for him by any means, DC is ready to live up to the hype his father created for him at a young age and hopefully make an impact at his next college destination.