Although he plays a stones throw away in Gary, Indiana, Branden Dawson has never been included in the conversation of the Chicagoland area's best basketball players.
Dawson should more than prove he belongs. A five-star prospect and rated No. 17 overall in the Class of 2011, Dawson was recently called, "the best offensive rebounder in the class," by Scout.com's Dave Telep.
So far Dawson is 2-0 at NBPA Top 100 Camp and is averaging 13 points per game. Good enough for seventh overall in the camp.
"It's been amazing playing against the best competition," Dawson said. "This is the best opportunity I've ever had in my life. Playing against all the best players and just competing, playing together as a team, coming together as a team."
Dawson may be a high-level athlete, but he is also running with an extremely talented group that includes Rodney Hood, Sidiki Johnson, Bernard Sullivan and Marcus Paige.
"It's been real good, guys are not selfish. You come to these camps and guys are (usually) selfish," Dawson said of his teammates. "We have good big men who can rebound the ball; guards with high IQ. So we've been doing good, playing hard."
Although known as a tenacious offensive rebounder, Dawson has spent the summer working on other aspects of his game.
"Yeah (rebounding) is my best strength," Dawson admitted. "But I've been working on my other stuff; my mid-range, ball-handling, stuff like that."
While Dawson's top six of Georgetown, UCLA, Marquette, Purdue, Indiana and Michigan State has remained the same for awhile, some new schools have also begun to enter the picture.
DePaul, Louisville and Missouri have all recently shown interest in Dawson. DePaul has not offered a scholarship, but Branden and his Gary Lew Wallace teammates will be in Chicago for the DePaul Team Camp next week.
Gary Lew Wallace is scheduled to play Morgan Park in Monday's 3 p.m. session, which would pit five-star small forwards Wayne Blackshear and Dawson against each other.
Dawson and Gary Lew Wallace also will participate in Purdue's Team Camp and Branden will participate in the Paul Pierce and LeBron James Skills Academies.
And while he spent some of the spring running with the Chicago-based Meanstreets AAU program, Dawson acknowledged that he will be with the Indiana-based SYF Players for the month of July.
Keep it tuned right here as WeAreDePaul.com brings you the best from NBPA Top 100 Camp in Virginia.
NBPA Camp: Branden Dawson
We Are DePaul Top Stories
Coach Offers Insight on Tre’Darius McCallumTre’Darius McCallum is the newest addition to the Blue Demons for 2016. In this report, we turn to one of his coaches to gain some insight on the type of player McCallum is and…
We Are DePaul5:48 PM
Family Ties: John Diener Commits to DePaulFamily ties are the ties that bind and it was a family connection that brings class of 2018 shooter John Diener to DePaul.
We Are DePaulYesterday at 6:00 PM
DePaul Draws Rutgers in Gavitt Tipoff GamesThe Big Ten and Big East conferences announced the matchups for the second annual Gavitt Tipoff Games. The event features matchups between eight members of each conference to be…
We Are DePaulYesterday at 9:14 AM
McCallum Talks About DePaul DecisionIt didn’t take Tre’Darius McCallum long into his official visit at DePaul to decide that it was the place where he wanted to spend the next two years playing basketball and…
We Are DePaulMonday at 7:10 PM