Why Duquesne?

Posted: June 6, 2017 in Sports, Things I Love
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That’s a question I’ve been answering a lot lately, so I thought I’d cover it right here, all in one fell swoop. Here’s the deal . . .

As many of you know, one of my players, a 6′-11″, 305 lb player named Dylan Swingle, recently announced where he was going to be playing college basketball beginning in the fall of 2018.

He had quite a few options with more surely to come, but he chose to commit early to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

There have been a lot of people interested in Dylan’s choice, so I thought I’d go over some of the factors that led to his decision. 

First off, Dylan has been recruited since the 8th grade. Bottom line, he wanted to make a commitment now so he could focus on his senior year and his high school team with no distractions. Plus, he was comfortable with his choice so why wait? Quite simply he knew in his heart it was time.

Another major reason Dylan chose Duquesne was because of Coach Keith Dambrot and his staff. Coach Dambrot is an old school style coach who cultivates a family atmosphere among the staff and players in his program. As evidence of this, Coach Dambrot left Akron this past Spring and brought his entire staff with him to Duquesne. And most people know this already, but Coach D was the high school coach of LeBron James and is like a father to him. He has a proven record of success, and his 305-139 won-loss record is proof of that. There’s no doubt in my mind he will win at Duquesne.

Another aspect to consider when choosing a college was how they utilize their big men. Coach Dambrot is well-known for developing his post players and running his offense through them. Dylan will obviously have to earn it, but the opportunity is there. I believe they’ll maximize his ability to its fullest.

Coach Keith Dambrot

It’s a new program at Duquesne, a new era, and it provides an opportunity for Dylan to grow with it and to be a part of something special. Their arena, the Palumbo Center, will be undergoing $50,000,000 worth of improvements next year, so Dylan’s first season will be played in PPG Paints Arena, where many NCAA tournament games have been played. It’s a beautiful arena and home to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

There was also another big selling point for Dylan and his decision to go to Duquesne, and that was the fact that Jake Kretzer was recently named as a member of their staff. Jake played high school basketball locally near Dylan, is a friend who Dylan has great respect for, and he also played college basketball for Coach Dambrot at Akron. Jake was the icing on the cake.

Ultimately, the visit we made to Duquesne was what put them over the top. The campus is located on a beautiful area referred to as “The Bluffs”, as it overlooks the Monongahela River and sits right next to downtown Pittsburgh. It’s a gorgeous campus, the athletic dorms are amazing, and the people there couldn’t have been nicer.

Finally, I don’t want to underestimate the impact that Dylan’s mother Jody had on his choice. Although she largely let Dylan make the decision, I know he wouldn’t have made it if his mother wasn’t comfortable with it. Jody loves the staff at Duquesne. She’s a single mother who has done an incredible job molding Dylan into the young man he is today, and it was of utmost importance to her that her son be in good hands. We all know he will be.

As for me, I know the coaches at Duquesne will treat Dylan a lot like I treated him, with love and discipline. Dylan is like a son to me, and I know Coach D will feel the same way very soon.

Coach Dambrot and his staff, in particular assistant Coach Rick McFadden, have believed in Dylan’s ability from the first time they watched him. They know and understand his potential, and that cannot be underestimated. They have zero doubt that they have their man. They believe they got the steal of the 2018 class, and I believe they’re right.

Coach D and some dude that used to play for him.

 

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