Dayjar Dickson will be the first person to tell you that playing on a team loaded with Division I talent such as Maryland 2A state champion Potomac (Md.) has its recruiting advantages. College coaches flock to practices and games, deep playoff runs garner even more exposure, and talented teammates push each other day in and day out.
But standing out on such a loaded roster isn’t easy, something Dickson — who averaged seven points and more than five rebounds per game as one of several stars in the Wolverines’ front court — said made earning offers challenging.
“It plays both ways,” Dickson said. “Junior year, no one on our team had committed yet, so there was a lot of exposure. But senior year, so many people on our team had committed, and so many people would be the star on anyone else’s team, it was kind of hard to get exposure. But it turned out to be right.”
He’d been receiving Division II offers since a good showing at the DMV Elite 80 showcase in the fall, but he ended his senior state championship season with no Division I offers. So Dickson began heading to local pickup games and workouts, and that’s where Niagara saw him.
What the Purple Eagles’ coaches saw was a 6-7 frame and big-play athleticism paired with standout hustle. So they offered Dickson.
“It was a relief,” Dickson said of the offer. “Your confidence, it just builds. You have a lot of Division II offers and you think, ‘Okay, I’m a DII player.’ But once you get that first DI offer, your confidence just starts building.”
Though other schools expressed interest after that, Dickson visited Niagara and ultimately decided it was the right fit.
“I liked their team and their program and their whole school,” Dickson said. “Their team is like a brotherhood, I could tell how close they were.”
Dickson also said Niagara Coach Chris Casey’s energy was a selling point.
“Off the court, he’s got a cool and calm demeanor,” Dickson said. “On the court? It’s like Coach Casey drank 300 Red Bulls.”
Dickson will play the three or four position for Niagara, likely requiring more away-from-the-basket action than the Wolverines needed from him this season.
“I want to work on my wing game,” Dickson said. “A lot of cone work this summer, and of course being in the weight room.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 5
Five members of Potomac’s state championship team are locks for Division I athletics: Graduating guard Dion Wiley is headed to Maryland, classmate Quadree Smith has a list of more than 10 offers, and sophomore guard Randall Broddie is adding power conference offers by the day. Big man Keiron Howard is among Maryland’s most highly recruited linemen and almost certainly will head to an FBS school to play football when he graduates in 2015. Junior guard David Rose, also a standout football player, is receiving Division I looks on the gridiron, while junior forward and gym rat Anthony Smith is also earning basketball interest.
— When a mother coached against her daughter in an important Virginia girls’ soccer matchup, both went home happy after a scoreless draw.
— On senior night, Oakton girls’ lacrosse celebrated family style, as three pairs of sisters turned in standout nights in a crucial Cougar victory
—Madison Aughinbaugh held down No. 5 Paul VI and led No. 8 St. Mary’s Ryken to a 9-0 WCAC victory
— If ever there was a stunner, this was it: 5-10 St. Albans knocked off previously unbeaten No. 1 Georgetown Prep in overtime, ending the Little Hoyas bid for a perfect regular season in the finale.
— Monique Mendez led Walter Johnson to the Montgomery County gymnastics title. Her season-high 9.25 score led the Wildcats to a winning 160.55 overall score at Gaithersburg.
— Neither rain nor blaring music will stop Georgetown Prep baseball standout Andrew Ashur from doing his job.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY:
No. 8 St. Mary’s Ryken shut down No. 5 Paul VI in a crucial WCAC softball matchup yesterday. Here’s what it looked like: