Dewayne Curtis, a 6-9, 235-pound center from Whitney Young High School, was on campus for the Western Carolina football weekend to meet his future teammates and check out the campus scene. "I really like Auburn," says Curtis, who gave a verbal commitment to the Tigers last month.
Curtis, who just began his senior school year last week, says he has been working on his all-around game this summer. "I did pretty well my junior season," he says. "I averaged 12 points and about 10 rebounds and that was playing behind an All-American, Marcus White, who has gone to Connecticut. That was my first year at the school and he welcomed me to my new school. Whitney Young is a magnet school and the academics are real good so I like it there."
A prospect with lots of offers from Big 10, Big 12 and other colleges after impressive performances as a junior and in offseason basketball events, Curtis says, "I am trying to improve my quickness and my speed. I have been working on my 15-foot jump shot."
When asked to describe his style of play, Curtis tells Inside the Auburn Tigers, "I am mostly a power player, but I use finesse at times. I can play with my back to the basket or face-up, too."
Curtis, who has plenty of natural ability, blossomed this past season under the guidance of Lamont Bryant, the coach of Whitney Young High. Curtis' play last season attracted the attention of Auburn assistant coach Tracy Dildy, who is from Chicago. He came to AU this summer from DePaul where he was an assistant coach.
"My high school is a perfect fit for me, especially with my coach," Curtis says. Bryant led the 2001-2002 Young team to a 24-6 record in one of the nation's toughest high school leagues.
Whitney Young High is again expected to have one of the top teams in Chicago. "I am the only big guy on the team this year, but we have a lot of good juniors from last year's team who are back," Curtis says. "We have really good guards, especially our shooting guard, Andre Knox, and point guard Anthony Harris."
Curtis is planning to sign with the Tigers in the early signing week in November.
"Dewayne has tremendous potential," says Bryant, who says that big man has made significant improvement since he joined the program at Whitney Young. "He is the type of prospect that colleges are looking for."