Demetrius Mims, 2018, Poly
by Derek Toney
Watching his brother become a standout on the Baltimore high school basketball scene, Demetrius Mims wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Though he took a different path, Mims became a star in his own right. The Poly High graduate is VSN’s No. 3 Boys Basketball Forward of the Decade.
Mims’ brother, Daquan Cook, helped Digital Harbor to the Class 2A state championship in 2011. Cook, who played collegiately at University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Prairie View A&M, played at three different local high schools (City College and St. Frances Academy).
Mims, 6-foot-6, was a four-year starter at Poly. He helped turned the Cold Spring Lane school, once known for its powerhouse football teams under the late Augie Waibel, into a Baltimore basketball blue blood.
Engineers coach Sam Brand said Mims embodied the program’s mantra: “Our Family vs. Your Team.”
“We recognized his character first…he just was fearless,” said Brand, a Poly graduate and former standout and assistant coach at Morgan State. “When I saw all that, I knew what kind of a player he would be for us.”
Poly and Mims took off in his sophomore season in 2015-16. The Engineers won their first Baltimore City championship and reached No. 1 in the Sun poll.
After an early exit from the 3A state playoffs, Poly gained redemption in 2016-17, winning its first state championship. Mims averaged 14.9 points and 5.1 rebounds, earning first-team All-Metro honors.
Behind Mims’ senior leadership, Poly won the city and 3A state championship. He became the program’s all-time leading scorer (1,515 points), breaking 1996 Engineer grad John McLean’s mark (1,492) with a 30-point performance in the state semifinals.
Mims averaged 18.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in his final season. Poly won 75 games, two Baltimore City and Class 3A state championships with Mims, who was able to play inside or out with his athletic frame.
“He had that long, lean live body that can snake around people or knock down a 3,” said National Recruiting Report’s Tom Strickler, who has evaluated Baltimore area players the last 30 years.
While his brother changed high schools, Mims knew Poly was the right fit.
“Since my freshman year, they preached ‘Our Family vs. Your Team,” and I brought into since day one,” said Mims. “I never thought about leaving the program, and I’ve grown through it.”
Mims signed with Long Beach State, but after his freshman season (averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds), he left. He decided to return home and play for Towson.
After sitting out last season, Mims is averaging 5.9 and 3.2 rebounds for the Tigers (4-13).
“I’m just trying to get to where I’m consistently playing at a high level,” said Mims. “All I want people to know is that I’m going to give 100-percent effort every time I step on the floor and I won’t ever quit.”