Shoemaker graduate Nykolas Dawson thought he had played his final organized basketball game in February when Shoemaker lost to No. 5 South Grand Prairie in the Region I-5A bi-district playoffs.
But things have a funny way of working out.
After attending a tryout, Dawson earned a roster spot on the Southern University at Shreveport (La.) team last month.
“I’m really excited, I can’t believe that I made it,” Dawson said.
SUSLA is a National Junior College Athletics Association Division I school that competes in the Miss-Lou Conference.
During his senior season at Shoemaker, Dawson helped the Grey Wolves win 11 consecutive District 8-5A games, finish second in the district and nearly pull off an upset of South Grand Prairie in the opening round of the playoffs.
“I thought that was the last time I would be playing basketball,” Dawson said.
The SUSLA Jaguars went 15-7 last season, including a 6-0 conference record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Region 23 Tournament.
Dawson is already enrolled at the school. He’s been told that his versatility can be a huge asset to the team. Dawson can play shooting guard, small forward or power forward.
At 6-foot-5, Dawson has often been one of the tallest players on the court in high school. In college, there will be quite a few more players his height and taller. That’s an adjustment Dawson said he’s looking forward to making.
“I need to practice my shots a little more, work on fast breaks a lot. I need to work on playing defense on guards instead of posts,” Dawson said. “Just play really good for my teammates and get used to them.”