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Dickerson a building block for the future

True freshman ‘understands winning’

Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012

Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 14:02

Rakeem Dickerson jump shot

Ashley Helliwell/Herald

Rakeem Dickerson attempts a shot duirng the Feb. 2 game against Louisiana Monroe at the Convocation Center.

Rakeem Dickerson, a freshman point guard for the Arkansas State men's basketball team is leading the Red Wolves with confidence, and giving the Red Wolf Nation hope for the future.

Typically a student's athletic eligibility is four seasons—a number derived from the four years of academic work, but some college athletes are given the opportunity to redshirt.

Redshirting allows the athlete to spread those four years of eligibility for five and sometimes six years.

Athletes who begin playing are recognized as "true" freshman.

With his superb ball handling, aggression and shooting ability, Dickerson, as a "true" freshman, is making moves that are playing a pivotal role in the Red Wolves' success.

Dickerson is no stranger to success in his basketball career. Playing high school basketball at Little Rock Hall, Dickerson led his team to the 2009-10 6A Arkansas State Championship.  Dickerson averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 assists and three rebounds per game at Hall.

Playing one year at Brehm Preparatory School in Illinois, Dickerson averaged 14 points and six assists per game, leading the team to a 38-10 overall record.

After completing high school, Dickerson was  given many different options to play basketball at the collegiate level, but chose to play at ASU.

"Being in Illinois, I became really home sick, and wanted to be close to home. Brady was loyal to me from day one, and I really liked the campus when I came for a visit," Dickerson said.

Recruited as a point guard, also called the "play maker" or "the ball-handler", Dickerson is taking on essentially the most important role on the court.

"He makes the players around him better, is unselfish, and a good defender and understands winning," said head Coach John Brady.

Making the transition from high school basketball to D1 basketball was a major adjustment for Dickerson.

"It is totally two different games, college is much faster," Dickerson said.

Dickerson is one of three freshmen who joined the pack for the 2011-12 season.

"At first it was intimidating and really tough the first few practices, but I just continued to push through, listening to Coach Brady and eventually it all came together," Dickerson said.

Dickerson has played in 23 out of the 27 games played so far this season, averaging 3.3 points and 1.5 assists per game for the season.

Dickerson scored a career-high against Louisiana-Lafayette, scoring 12 points.

He is a player who is excelling on the court with a look at the scoreboard and not the record books mentality.

"My role this year has been to lead and defend, scoring will come later, " Dickerson said.

With three seasons of eligibility left with the Red Wolves, Dickerson is looking to the future with hopes of one day being a college basketball coach, but until then be on the look out for Dickerson as he continues to make plays on the court.

Dickerson, along with the rest of the Red Wolves, will be on the road to play South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. on Thursday and at Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb 11.

 

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