After playing professional basketball for one season in China, Dodie Dunson, at age 26, decided it was time to get into coaching. He wanted his first job to be at the junior college level.
“A lot of kids get overlooked,” said Dunson, himself a juco player at Vincennes after a freshman season at Iowa State. “I see there are a lot of guys who don’t get the right breaks. It’s an opportunity to get yourself to the next level. It’s a really big help that a lot of kids don’t look at.”
Dunson found the juco job he was looking for at Wabash Valley College, where he will assist new coach Mike Carpenter.
“(Carpenter) called me and said there was an opportunity here,” Dunson said. “I knew the city supports the team and it’s a great community.” Dunson was already very familiar with WVC. His brother, Brandon, played there as did cousin Dmitri Riggs.
At Wabash, he hopes to “prepare these guys mentally and physically and maximize their ability to help them get to the next level.”
Dunson has been a recruiting coordinator and coach with his father at Team Illinois AAU program, thus he has a handle on, or at least information on, virtually every player in the state. “Since I’m fresh out, I know a lot of the guys coming up the ranks, which should really help in bringing in recruits.”
The Warriors next season will be an “uptempo team” on offense, according to Dunson. “We will be more of an up and down type team. I don’t think we’ll be a slow pace team.”
On defense he expects the Warriors will still “be able to lock down defensively.”
There are 14 players already signed for next year, with only one remaining recruiting slot available. Dunson likes what he has seen so far. “I’m very happy with the talent. We have a good group of guys.”
With plenty of talent available still available all around the country late in the recruiting season, Dunson and Carpenter have still been able to line up players they want to fit their system.
“We recruit a certain way. We’re looking for guys who play hard and play together. And good character-type guys,” he said.
Dunson called his time playing professionally in China “different. Going to a different country, it was exciting.” He said the Chinese “welcomed me really well.”