Dudzinski a center of gravity
With one more year at Kaneland, Knight gets summer work in at court
DEERFIELDâ€”After going to the hoop, working in the paint and jockeying for position against some of the area and nationâ€™s best, what was Kaneland Class of 2010 basketball weapon Dave Dudzinski ready to do after play concluded on Monday in the North Shore?
â€œI had a really good time, but Iâ€™m glad itâ€™s over and now Iâ€™m going to go sleep for awhile,â€ Dudzinski said.
The 6-foot-9 center, who is getting looks from various Division I basketball programs, participated in the fourth annual boys high school Academic All-American Showcase at Joy of the Game in Deerfield, Ill.
The camp, recognized in USA Today and grabbing the eye of college coaches throughout the country, was home to high-achieving academic players with an overall average ACT score of 27.
Dudzinski, an honor roll student, played five games over Sunday and Monday at the NCAA-certified event.
â€œYou get to play in front of coaches here. You get such a small window and you have to make the most of it, so I felt I had to come out here and perform well,â€ Dudzinski said.
Even at 120 players strong, the showcase provided Dudzinski ample room to show off center skills, which included 35 points in one outing.
â€œI got put on a really good team,â€ said Dudzinski who wore jersey No. 123 on the Spurs team. â€œI was with some players who were really good at sharing the ball, so I was really pleased with that.â€
The showcase on Sunday and Monday was only the tip of the iceberg for Dudzinskiâ€™s time in Deerfield, as he also participated in the Chicago Summer Classic at the same Joy of the Game location on Waukegan Road.
The event showcased talent from around the Midwest and was covered by local and national media that included basketball periodicals like SLAM magazine.
Dudzinski, who was on his usual AAU outpost Naperville Velocity for the Classic, also was a presence at the Indianapolis Summer Showcase last week and scored 24 points and racked up 17 rebounds against a formidable Tennessee outfit.
Dudzinski is far from done, as he also balanced summer league ball for the Kaneland Knights and is headed to Orlando for AAU Nationals from July 25-31.
The incoming senior looks to take the floor for new varsity coach Brian Johnson and capitalize on a season that saw him average over 17 points, nine rebounds and almost two blocks per game.
Despite what seems like living at the court, the center was noticed right up until the very end.
â€œEven though Iâ€™d been playing for a week straight, some of the coaches here really liked my athleticism. Itâ€™s just about working really hard all summer long. You need every advantage, so the athletic advantage is real important,â€ Dudzinski said.
PHOTO: Kaneland High School athlete Dave Dudzinski drives to the basket on Monday morning as part of an academic all-american showcase at Joy of the Game in Deerfield. Photo by Mike Slodki