Johnny Earl Dawkins came from a family of ballers. Running on the D.C. playgrounds with his father and three uncles, the young boy learned the essence of the outdoor game before ever stepping inside the cushy confines of the gym.
“They didn’t cut me any slack,” Dawkins told Darren Sabedra of the San Jose Mercury News about playing on Dodge City’s asphalt. “But it hepled me because I understood how to play the game at a faster pace. I had to play just to survive.”
It was during those asphalt runs that he developed into the mercurial, quicksilver marksman that would go on to become one of the greatest guards the college game has ever seen. Read More »
In ‘81, the summer camp that took its name from the Washington, D.C. based high school All-Star game provided me my best shot at a college scholarship.
I came in as the unknown transfer from Seattle and the West Coast. The camp boasted three of the nation’s top 20 players, all pre-season All-Americans: Tommy Amaker, who later played for Duke and is now the University of Michigan Head Coach; Billy King, who also played at Duke and is now the general manager for the Philadelphia 76’ers; and Michael Jackson, who played with Patrick Ewing at Georgetown on their NCAA Championship team in 1984.
I promised myself by week’s end that I would shock the camp and prove I was the Capitol Classic’s best player. One of the first tests was the one-on-one competition. I bested Michael Jackson, the camp’s biggest mouth, 11-3 in a drubbing. In the final, I faced the 6’7” player who played for the camp director, with the whole camp watching. At game point, with the home court advantage of the entire camp routing and cheering him to force me to my supposed weak right hand, at 6”4”, I blew past him to the “right” to the championship. Read More »